Is a picture worth more or less than a thousand words if it's digitally altered?
John Aravosis of AMERICAblog made an interesting find Monday night: A high-resolution image on BP's website of the troubled company's Houston-based Deepwater Horizon response command center had been altered.
The altered image was later removed by BP and replaced with what they say is the original (the altered image is above and the original is below). You'll notice that three underwater images were inserted onto screens to the right on a wall of video feeds in the altered image, where blank images exist on the screens in the original.
The photo flap inspired the usually staid Washington Post to quip, "Apparently BP is no more adept at doctoring photos than it is at plugging deep-sea oil leaks."
BP spokesman Scott Dean told the Post's Steven Mufson that there was no diabolical plot to photographically beef up the company's command center. Rather, he said, a BP photographer with completely benign intentions just slipped the images in.
"Normally we only use Photoshop for the typical purposes of color correction and cropping," Dean told the paper. "In this case they copied and pasted three ROV screen images in the original photo over three screens that were not running video feeds at the time."
He added, "We've instructed our post-production team to refrain from doing this in the future."