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Non-sarcastically, why am I so sure that this image is generated by AI?

This post is reposted from a source I do not trust (Double Down News) by a person I do not trust (Dr Susan Michie, adviser to the SAGE committee and literal communist) on a topic (the Israel-Hamas war) where AI-generated fakery is rampant. Remember the six-fingered Palestinian child?

Closer examination give yet more causes for doubt – the bizarrely elongated finger on the left hand of the soldier second from the left, the way that, perhaps in compensation, the right hand of the rightmost man seems to have no fingers at all. There is something wrong about the bipod of his rifle, too. The angle of the windows on the left of the picture looks off. The flame coming out of the window is too neatly defined.

But what interests me is that I thought “AI-generated” before I looked closely enough to see any of that. Possibly the thing that tipped me off, if I am right at all, was that all the elements of the alleged photograph looked exposed to the same degree, when one would think that the glow of the flames would dominate. Even that form of words, which I got from my husband, is more explanatory than whatever it was that screamed “fake” to me.

That said, this image is a great deal more realistic than those of only a few months ago. My spidey-sense for fake pictures will not last much longer.

45 comments to Non-sarcastically, why am I so sure that this image is generated by AI?

  • DiscoveredJoys

    The sky looks ‘wrong’ too. An unusual colour and strange clouds.

  • Paul Marks

    You do not pose for a photograph like this in a combat zone, more than 150 Israeli soldiers have been killed and I am NOT counting those killed on October 7th. Soldiers who posed for a photograph like this would be killed by snipers.

    By the way – note to idiots, Israeli defenses were not “turned off for seven hours”, they were overwhelmed, the electronic devices going “bleep-bleep” does not do much good if the soldiers listening to them have been torn to pieces by thousands of fanatics (and, no, the religions do NOT teach the same principles) – who rape women so hard they brake their pelvis.

    And note to other idiots – far from being to blame for the Gaza Salient, the Prime Minister of Israel, back when he was Finance Minister, resigned in protest over the insane pull out from Gaza – a pull out pushed by the accursed “International Community” the same swine who “want Bibi out” now.

    A pull out for the “West Bank” would produce the same results, or rather much worse results.

    As for French “France 24” news, and all the rest, you think attacking Israel will earn you points with the increasing Islamic population in your own lands – it will not.

  • Phil B

    The soldier on the left of the picture has a right foot that needs a clown shoe too … The combat Load bearing equipment (LBE) is mismatched and the 2nd from the right looks like 1980’s Chinese LBE. Wearing the LBE on your waist like the guy on the far left means that if you needed to lie flat, your backside would be literally exposed to the gunfire or shrapnel

    One problem with AI is that it fails to have colour “perspective” – in that image the walls if the buildings are too “flat” and don’t show the shadows etc. that would be expected and the exposure of the subjects is also too flat.

    Close but no cigar.

  • GregWA

    Is AI that bad, to have gotten so much good but screw up the length of some fingers and one foot? I don’t think so.

    Why else might the AI have done this?

    A good question to ask the AI responsible: “why do you go to great lengths to create images that humans can’t discern from real and then put in features that clearly are not realistic? What are you up to and will you tell me the truth about that?”

    And Natalie, don’t worry about your Spidey sense, my guess is that the first thing that got your brain stem working was the scene itself…because yeah, a selfie just after a rough encounter is just what IDF soldiers would do (maybe? probably? Paul says ‘no’ but maybe all the snipers have been themselves sniped?) and what their leaders would want shared (NOT!)

  • The question should be, what looks right about this image? Even a cursory glance screams fake.

  • You do not pose for a photograph like this in a combat zone

    Actually there are loads of somewhat similar (real) images from Ukraine. So even if it was real, so what? Soldiers celebrate achieving objectives and surviving.

  • JJM

    Actually there are loads of somewhat similar (real) images from Ukraine. So even if it was real, so what? Soldiers celebrate achieving objectives and surviving.

    And there are photos right back to WWII and earlier. Soldiers on every side of a conflict tend to do this if they get the chance.

    What’s more interesting is that, despite the plethora of bodycam and mobile phone images and videos taken by Hamas on 7 October, the Double Down News site has posted the sum total of none of them.

    Gosh. What a surprise.

  • Quentin

    This is definitely uncanny valley territory; soon they’ll be able they’ll be good enough to pass unnoticed. These days the big tell that a photo cannot be trusted is when the photo is uncredited.

  • Steven R

    The FBI and ATF posed for photos just like those while the women and children of the Waco compound were still being pulled out of the building.

  • bobby b

    I must be overly credulous. Even blown up and examined, it all looks real to me.

    ETA: I also note that, were I an Israeli soldier who had been participating in the cleaning-out of the Hamas sub-humans, I would celebrate just as much as these guys appear to be doing. Hell, I’d be dancing. If someone thinks this photo makes the soldiers look bad, they’re on the other side from me. Kudos to these guys.

  • jgh

    Everybody’s going on about the marginal oddness of the picture, but nobody’s noticed the outright lies screaming from the text. Are people really this dumbed down?

  • NickM

    I know quite a bit about AI imagery. That’s a fake. The depth of field is all out as is the lighting. Also, the above mentioned weirdness in the proportions of fingers and feet is a give-away. For some reason AI is poor at limbs or any similar protrusions. I really don’t know why this is the case but from my use of AI image software it happens a lot. I have produced quite a few images of five-legged tigers and lions with their tails in the wrong place. It is just something AI isn’t good at. The image is clearly very weirdly HDR-ed up. In a sense it is technically good but just not realistic. It’s a nice image by certainly technical metrics but it looks like a painting doesn’t it?

    For the record I design websites. That is why I have been using AI for several months now. And I have been using it to “fake” images by which I mean remove parts of photos (such as backgrounds) or to give me inspiration for logo design. This is what I mean by “fake”. I mean it is taking images and “falsifying” them but deliberately and obviously so. My style tends to mid-C20th chrome Americana SF cartoon-style stuff or steampunk/cyberpunk. What I mean is my fakes are meant to not be taken for real. I also did some kick-ass Tolkienesque Christmas cards and some with a fractal bent. Basically, whilst I am using photos as seeds for images, they are to create graphic designs and not photos.

    I’m loving it. I have learned a lot.

  • Surellin

    Awfully nice sky (see comment above). Also, no shadows.

  • NickM

    JJM said,

    What’s more interesting is that, despite the plethora of bodycam and mobile phone images and videos taken by Hamas on 7 October, the Double Down News site has posted the sum total of none of them.

    And that is what the World needs to see. It needs to know people were brutally raped and tortured by Hamas on October 7th and these videos and images were uploaded to social media largely via the phones of the victims by Hamas. Frequently to the social media contacts of the victims so their friends and family could “enjoy” the spectacle. They were probably expecting the new post to be about the fun they were having at a music festival. Instead they saw their daughters abused, mutilated and murdered via their own social media accounts.

    I was actually stunned by such evil depravity. NAZI Germany at least tried to keep their “Final Solution” on the QT.

    Read this.

    And note here The Times of Israel is actually quoting the NYT!

  • NickM

    Yes, lovely sky (interesting contrast with the bleak setting) and yes, I noticed the lack of shadows. Also note the image almost seems to be kinda “spun”. It’s just not right. I mean technically. That may be part of the reaon for the weird limbs but, as I mentioned, AI is bad at limbs.

  • Fraser Orr

    @NickM I’m curious to know what tools you are using.

    FWIW, I did read that NYT article, or I read half of it until I couldn’t bear it anymore. I can’t imagine getting a message from a loved one which was a video of their brutalization and murder. TBH it is so horrible I can’t even allow my mind to go there. And to think, there are mass protests AGAINST the victim on our streets. I guess her skirt was cut a little too low, so she deserved it?

  • Fraser Orr

    BTW, in terms of Natalie’s concern, it is worth checking out this video generated by Microsoft’s GAIA, which is, I believe, open source. This is an example of generating a talking head from ONE single photograph.


    If you look hard you can see that the facial muscles don’t look quite right, but it is pretty damn good. I predict that 2024 election is going to be bristling with videos of Trump saying that “Hitler really didn’t go far enough”, and Biden saying “Sure I took money from the ChiComs, I deserve it, and you peons can can go to hell.”

  • bobby b

    “Also, no shadows.”

    Here’s the danger (to me) of AI-gen photos and vids: we’ll never again know what’s real in any photo or vid.

    Shadows? Look at the building to the upper right, and work out the sun angle from the shadows there. Now figure that the line of buildings on the right extends backwards. The soldiers are IN shadow. They would cast none themselves there. You can see a shadow line on the buildings to the left – above the heads of the soldiers.

    An overly long finger? I see a guy with good trigger discipline. That’s where my finger lies when holding a gun.

    I look at interfaces. Look at how their feet align with the ground slope and composition. Seems to match well. No hint of mismatch.

    The pic is weirdly intense in its lighting. I’d guess a filter of some sort.

    I’ve gone through several presentations designed for judges – who are going to end up as the most affected by AI fakery – to help sort out real evidence from fake – and there’s no bright-line test. The conclusion coming out in legal sources is, we must now begin to discount almost all photo evidence that fails to contain the maker’s certification and personal attestation. And even then it’s only as valuable to you as is their word.

    (Think of a criminal trial. Can we ever again determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when photo evidence is predominate in the case?)

  • Roué le Jour

    It looks like a still from a video game to me, the lighting is too even, there is no depth of field and the fire is unconvincing.

    From a legal perspective a photo is indeed worthless without the photographer in the witness box to attest to its veracity, but that was inevitable since the dawn of Photoshop.

  • Ferox

    The building to the left, the shape and position of its windows, and the fire bursting from it, somehow reminded me of a cheap print of “The Persistence of Memory” that hung in our garage when I was a boy.

    I too instantly felt a sort of internal mental tingle when seeing the picture that made me think “fake”. Our brains are complicated mechanisms, very hard to fool.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    (Think of a criminal trial. Can we ever again determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when photo evidence is predominate in the case?)

    Forget photos, videos are on their way to being useless. Having said that, from what I know eye witness testimony is held in pretty high regard by juries despite the fact that it is clearly unbelievably unreliable in practice.

    That doesn’t leave much beyond forensic evidence.Just a techie thought though.

    It would be possible for photographs to be signed cryptographically establishing the camera, gps location, time and exact form of the image. I’m not sure how that would work exactly, but it is an interesting thought.

  • Runcie Balspune

    As with this post, the problem here is the self proclaimed intellectual assumption that the soldiers were “taking pride”, because, you know, that’s what ‘they’ are like.

    If the picture is genuine, I’d put those smiles down to relief they are surviving in an incredibly hostile environment doing a very difficult job under extremely restrictive conditions.

    Even if the picture is not genuine, the soldier images were probably taken from another picture, maybe from another conflict or even another army, as “AI” just recompiles existing images rather than make them up, the best way to debunk this is to find that original picture

  • Ferox

    Look at the section of the flaming window that is facing toward the camera.

    AI occasionally does some things well, but replicating patterns like window frames or blades of grass or fence boards are not among them. That window frame is just silly. If you had any momentary doubt about the authenticity of this photo, a close look at that section of window would dispel it.

  • Simon Jester

    @bobby b:

    The position of the finger may indicate good trigger discipline; the length of the finger looks unrealistic.

    It’s not as weird as the middle(?) finger on that figure’s other hand, which is even longer and bent at a really strange angle; it also appears to have another middle finger directly behind it.

    The rifle arm of the figure on the right of the picture is also off; you can see the figure’s shoulder level with the top of the buttstock, but you can see sky where its upper arm should extend to its elbow; it’s as though the elbow is sprouting directly out of its lower back.

    The figure kneeling at the front seems to have particular problems with its knees: one knee appears to have a kneepad that looks completely wrong, while the other lag has a strap for a kneepad – but no actual pad.

    But it’s the figure on the far left that looks the worst; everything about it looks wrong, from the clownshoes, to the weird discrepancy between the widths of the thighs and the knees, the length of the thighs in relation to the rest of the legs, the way that the trousers bulge around the upper thighs (almost as though there’s a bunch of crowbars stuffed in there), the way that each of the pouches around the waist appears to be the size of a fully-packed rucksack, and then you get to the rifle(?)… where the AI appears to have just given up.

    Seriously, it appears to have a monopod where there should be a bipod, a magazine level with the monopod, a belt-fed box magazine lower down the rifle, a pistol grip where the hand holding the rifle appears to have merged with the strap on the rifle, and then the buttstock (if that’s what it’s meant to be) bends off at a weird angle, with another projection emerging from it that could be … just about anything – for example, another magazine. The arm holding the rifle appears to have been rendered by a 1990s PS1 game (eg. the original Syphon Filter).

    A lot of these issues only become obvious if you look at the full-size version of the image, rather than the shrunk-down image that appears on X/Twitter.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Natalie, I think we’re all suspicious of photos these days. And why are they all using sunglasses on a cloudy day?

  • NickM

    AI is apparently poor at fire…

    Mainlu HotpotAI and Nightcafe. I have dabbled a bit with Midjourney. I’m seriously considering the Corel AI upgrade.

    A lot of what I know is from getting back into gaming and having to spec-up and build a gaming machine. There hIas been a lot to learn there because it’s been a while. I’ve got DLSS on my machine. It’s only available for nVidea GPUs.

  • Mary Contrary

    Perry wrote:

    So even if it was real, so what? Soldiers celebrate achieving objectives and surviving.

    jgh wrote:

    Everybody’s going on about the marginal oddness of the picture, but nobody’s noticed the outright lies screaming from the text. Are people really this dumbed down?

    JJM wrote:

    What’s more interesting is that, despite the plethora of bodycam and mobile phone images and videos taken by Hamas on 7 October, the Double Down News site has posted the sum total of none of them.

    These takes are, I think, the relevant and appropriate response to that posting.

    But to engage with Nathalie’s musings about AI for a moment, I think this also demonstrates that a lot of the angst about AI is overblown. Yes, fake pictures, if believed, will be a problem, but hardly an entirely novel or insurmountable one. But as the above comments show, it’s not necessarily what’s in the picture that drives the “discourse”, it’s your reaction to it. We (at least, the three posters above and I), and Double Down News, plainly have directly opposing takes on that pic even if it were entirely legitimate.

  • john in cheshire

    Paul Marks, well said.
    There are lots of reports doing the rounds about the Israeli forces in the vicinity of Gaza and they all sound like Pallywood propaganda to me.
    Mark Regev is having to refute them. Yair Pinto, a Christian, in the IDF is reporting from where the IDF is operating.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – Gaza is not Ukraine.

    If pop music stars or Mr Biden and-so-on started wandering about in the Gaza Salient, as they do on their visits to Ukraine, they would not live very long. Anyone, on either side, who behaved like this photograph – would be dead.

    I remember, years ago, writing comments on Economist magazine articles (articles which were utterly insane – talking about “peace” and so on) pointing out, correctly, that the Gaza Salient is not a suitable place for civilians to be – and that they should be evacuated to Egypt and other Muslim countries – the Economist magazine delated my comments, because it is not just Hamas (and their rivals the “Palestinian Authority” – yes them to) who want civilian casualties – the “International Community” wants civilian casualties as well.

    You see – if there were no Muslim civilians in these areas, the accursed International Community would have nothing to pressure Israel with – no more pressure for their “peace deal” delusion. The International Community want, yes want, Muslim civilians to be killed in the Gaza Salient and the so called “West Bank” (much of which is closer to the sea than to the Jordan river – it almost cuts Israel in two) they do NOT want the Muslim civilians evacuated to Muslim countries, they (the International Community as well as the Islamic groups) want Muslim civilians to be killed and maimed in a war zone.

    Otherwise they, the International Community, would have to give up the “peace deal” delusion – and their delusions about living in peace in Western European nations as well. Remember they tell Hungarians to forget about the history of Hungary from the 15th century to the 18th century – and they tell southern Europeans to forget about the Islamic raiding from the 7th century to the 19th century – 12 centuries, more than a thousand years and forget-about-it, and if you do not forget you are a “racist” or an “Islamophobe” (the old trick of “medicalising dissent”).

    When the Gaza Salient was made “Jew Free” some years ago, the idea of the International Community “if the Palestinians had their own state there would be peace” was put to the test – their idea failed totally (as “Bibi”, then Finance Minister, said it would fail – he resigned in protest) – but they will never admit that, they will never give up their delusions, they would rather there were massive civilian casualties on both sides than admit reality.

    And, in case anyone does not know, the children in the “West Bank” under the “Palestinian Authority” are taught the same doctrines as the children in the Gaza Salient under Hamas. The same doctrines their brothers and sisters are taught in Western European nations and elsewhere.

    How could it be otherwise? Islam is a great civilization – these doctrines have been taught for 14 centuries and have led to many conquests. Why would people give up ancient doctrines that have led to so many victories – for the “Woke” post 1960s degeneracy of the West? As Islamic scholars, who are often highly intelligent and learned men, point out – the modern Westerners have mostly given up their own traditional beliefs and are not even having enough children to replace themselves.

  • Paul Marks

    john in cheshire – thank you for the names Sir.

    I will never see your county again – but I remember it as excellent place.

    I remember the walls of Chester itself -and the circular racecourse, and the Victorian shopping streets, two stories of them at least – yes Victorian streets in the sky, in a style that reminded me of the Tudors.

  • Jolly Jack

    After the Gulf war, in the photo-labs in Dubai , they had copies of lots of squaddies photos they’d taken in theatre on display for a you to buy. The one that made the most impact on me (as a 19 year old Jolly Jack Tar) was a picture of two squaddies, sat on top of a pyramidal pile of rubble, that was once the roof of the Iraqi airbase hardened shelter. The two squaddies had their arms around each other’s shoulders, to aid them in holding up the dead Iraqi sat between then. The kicker was the dead Iraqi had a lit cigarette in his mouth. I didn’t buy a copy.

    In this day and age of iPhone and instagram such a photo would, I am sure, have caused much outrage and I’m sure disciplinary action. Men being sent in to battle do need to somewhat dehumanise their opponents, otherwise they couldn’t emotionally survive their experiences (of course many still do not).

  • jgh

    Talking of Victoria streets in the sky, I’ve recently been reading about the pre-Victorian coaching and post routes, and a lot of the sketches of coaching inns look a lot like post-WW2 council-built multi-storey slum flats! eg this.

  • X Trapnel

    Graffiti on the left-hand side encroaches over the torso of the person far-left, when it should be concealed by said torso.

    Oh, and how everything – foreground, background, and in between – is perfectly in focus.

    And the open windows directly above the door on the left hand side are open the wrong way – if the wall housing the doorway is set at 45° to the length of the street, then the open windows should expose the interior of the rooms behind them at the bottom-left, rather than the bottom-right, of the open windows. It’s like a Maurits Escher drawing.

    But I suppose there is a Wider Truth to this obvious fakery.

  • B&WPhotog

    The photo has an unnatural exposure range – looks like a HDR composition of multiple exposures. Sky is FUBAR, indeed.

  • Kirk

    Image screams “fake”, to me.

    The background looks too much like a matte image you’d throw together in a studio, and the varied details of things like pocket/pouch organization on the individual soldier images don’t jibe with things.

    There’s also all the grins on the faces, most of which are borderline caricature. Those are not natural expressions of soldiers you would find in that sort of situation.

    That said, this is just the latest in a long line of “combat photographs” purporting to be real, which weren’t. They’ve been doing this as far back as the Spanish Civil War, and will continue to do it on into the infinite future. You can’t get really good imagery out of combat; the guys who would be in position to take such photos wind up dead. So, things get posed, faked… All in the name of selling the war.

    The use of enemy dead and so forth as props in these things can be disturbing, but I’d judge that they’re part of a natural coping mechanism, if only basing that on their prevalence and the durability of the habit. Doesn’t matter who, or what cause they fought in, the average soldier wants something to document it all. Helped a friend of the family clear out her father’s footlocker from Vietnam, and there were rolls and rolls of Kodachrome that had never been developed. I’m like “Uhhhmmm… There might be a reason he never had these processed, ya know…?” Since he’d never talked about “his war”, and the family barely knew he’d served, she wanted to have them developed in order to try to figure out what the hell he’d gone through.

    I ain’t going to say that was a mistake, but I will say that I was really glad that much of the film was ruined, judging from one of the rolls that wasn’t. Hell of it was, we could never work out if he’d preserved film from someone else, as he wasn’t in the pictures on that roll, and it didn’t even look like the unit he’d been in based on the other rolls we could develop.

    I honestly don’t know why people feel the need to do these things, but it was a constant source of OPerational SECurity nightmares for me. It’s even worse, now with all the GPS and metadata that most phone cameras include…

    I gotta be honest with you: I think the various military forces of the world are waaaaaaaaay behind on this crap. And, I believe that one of the things they need to do about getting it under control is to ban all personally-owned cellphones on base and deployment, develop a secure software system and phone, buy one for every servicemen, and then integrate that tool into daily operations while also locking down all the “features” of the phones. I’ve been hearing some really screwed-up stories about how some units are forcing troops to buy phones and then basically hijacking them for military purposes… Which is wrong.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Don’t lose sight of what this photo is being used to represent.

    I recall a lecture that talked of how leftists excuse one side and dehumanise the other to bring them up to the same standard, this is clearly what is happening.

    The underlying implication is that this photo is somehow equivalent to the proto-barbarianism displayed by Hamas videos, therefore each side is “as bad as the other”.

  • Paul Marks

    Runcie Balspune – yes that is their idea.

  • Fraser Orr

    Above I mentioned the idea of cryptographically signing images within a camera to allow them to be more readily validated. Apparently someone a Nikon reads this blog and implemented the idea over the Christmas holidays. I am going to bet that they will not be the last to do this, and that this will become a ubiquitous technology.


    I’m waiting for my royalty check. 😀

  • bobby b

    Fraser Orr: I was reading about that earlier, and it reminded me of metadata on digital images. IIRC, those metadata were originally designed to be unalterable – until they became alterable.

    Why couldn’t AI simply sub in the proper-but-faked signature/watermark data, much like we could simply alter metadata? If the answer is, they can’t do that YET, that seems like a brittle solution.

    (If I’m simply misunderstanding the composition of the AI watermarking process, it’s okay to just laugh. Luddite here.)

  • SteveD

    Everything about it looks fake. Although maybe it’s a real photograph staged to look fake. This AI guy is going to have to do a lot better than that to fool people.

  • Colli

    bobby b,
    The digital signature is not meant to make sure that you can tell whether the image is AI-generated or not. All it does is require that you have one of these cameras and means that any image which is signed using some camera is able to be traced back to that camera, i.e. to a person. So, it raises the barrier to creating believable AI images, and makes sure that someone has responsibility for those which are created.
    The AI can’t simply make up the digital signature. It isn’t like a watermark. It is designed so that it cannot be made without one of these cameras without an enormous amount of computing power. If AIs could make up the signature, it would be a huge problem which you would hear about. It would also be very interesting. It isn’t just “not yet” in the sense that e.g. AIs can’t really get text right yet.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Digital images are manipulated all the time, resizing, cropping, changing brightness or contrast, even changing the format or compressing it, and in some cases just posting it on a webpage, will cause the original cryptographic signature to be invalidated.

    You could attach a one-way cryptographic key to an image that can only be verified by the imaging device, the problem is it would be easy to copy that key and fake it coming from the same device.

    The best method of validation is similar to the methods used by the images of the aftermath of the Al-Ahli hospital explosion, the backgrounds of the images could be compared to Google Maps and other historic images.

  • Martin

    That said, this is just the latest in a long line of “combat photographs” purporting to be real, which weren’t. They’ve been doing this as far back as the Spanish Civil War, and will continue to do it on into the infinite future

    You change that to as far as back as the Crimean War and American Civil War (happy to be corrected if anyone knows of even earlier examples of staged and/or otherwise manipulated ‘war’ photography).

  • bobby b

    Colli: Thanks.

  • Kirk

    @Martin, who said:

    You change that to as far as back as the Crimean War and American Civil War (happy to be corrected if anyone knows of even earlier examples of staged and/or otherwise manipulated ‘war’ photography).

    I didn’t go back that far because the nature of the game when it came to photography in those times more-or-less meant everything had to be staged, and everyone knew it. Between the development of photography and the Spanish Civil War there was a lot of development going on, but the sheer sophistication of the efforts required state-sponsored help. Casual photographers couldn’t do this easily, until the advent of things like the 35mm camera, which was easily portable enough to accompany the troops as they fought. If Capa’s famous series of “Militia” photos were to have been created during WWI, and he’d tried to sell them as genuine action shots, taken in combat? Ain’t nobody believing that BS, because they’d know you weren’t hauling around a box camera and plates to do that with. And, if you did, you’d likely have the fires of hell rain down on you while you tried to get the shot…

    The point I was making was more about the expectations and the credibility of the images. WWI action pictures? Everyone with a bit of awareness knew those were posed fakes; authentic candid shots simply didn’t happen all that often, and the official censors were able to maintain control of the imagery of the war. By the late 1930s, that had all changed; it was about like today, where everyone has a damn camera in their phone, compared to thirty years ago when you’d have to dig out a specialized tool to take pictures, and were unlikely to have that with you at all times. Same sort of shift in ubiquity and availability.

    Christ, look how long it took for the truth about a lot of Capa’s iconic images to come out.

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