Two photos are making the rounds on the internet: side by side, they illustrate how easy it is for documentary photographers to manipulate the severity of a situation. From the Paris riots, one image shows what looks like a large fire, while the other, a wider shot, reveals the size of the fire pales in comparison to what viewers had been led to believe. However, they’ve now been proved to have been taken at different locations.
The photos in question have now been shared tens of thousands of times across social media, with many criticizing those involved in taking the pictures for the manipulation involved in making the street fires in Paris look even worse than they are. The matter escalated as far as to catch the attention of Agence France-Presse (AFP), a French news agency, who have now taken to Twitter themselves to dispel the two images.
“Perspective matters,” they wrote, “and so do dates and places… because these two photos were taken on two different days in two different places.”
The agency researched the location of both photos, locating their respective photographers and concluding that no scooter (as per the second picture) was on fire near the Arc de Triomphe. In this case, AFP remain an independent party, as neither their photographers or editors were involved in taking or handling the distribution of the images.
Katerine Pierre took the first photo on December 1, while the second was taken a week later on December 8 by a staff photographer from Le Point magazine.
Lead image credit: Tookapic via Pexels.