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NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

NVIDIA has unveiled a new AI algorithm called FastPhotoStyle that can transfer the style from any photo to another photo, producing impressive, photo-realistic results seemingly by magic.

The algorithm was developed by a team of scientists at NVIDIA and the University of California, Merced. It was published last month in a paper titled “A Closed-form Solution to Photorealistic Image Stylization.”

While there are several methods that already exist for this type of style transfer between photos, they require several minutes to run on a low-resolution image, and the results are inconsistent and contain noticeable artifacts.

A comparison of the results created by various leading algorithms.

FastPhotoStyle’s results are both faster to generate and more realistic: results can be generated 60 times faster than traditional methods, and they were found to be twice as preferred by human subjects compared to what existing algorithms could produce.

The big breakthrough in NVIDIA’s algorithm is splitting the task in two separate steps. During the stylization step, the style of a reference photo is transferred to the content photo. Next, a smoothing step helps make things photorealistic by encouraging “spacially consistent stylizations.”

Here are some examples of what FastPhotoStyle can do:

“For a faithful stylization, the content in the output photo should remain the same, while the style of the output photo should resemble the one of the reference photo,” the paper states. “Furthermore, the output photo should look like a real photo captured by a camera.”

If you’re savvy with software, you can grab the source code of the algorithm and run it yourself on photos through the Github repository.

(via NVIDIA via Retouchist)

Source: PetaPixel

NVIDIA’s AI Can Magically Transfer One Photo’s Style to Another

The $399 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the $1,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

The 9 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the ,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

In January 2018, I had the opportunity to test a pre-production version of Laowa’s first lens in 2018, the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x. It is a niche high magnification macro lens touted to be the answer or alternative to the Canon MP-E 65mm for non-Canon users (especially Nikon macro photographers).

After a few rounds of testing both handheld in the field as well as on a tripod, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of the Laowa 25mm vs the Canon MP-E 65mm.

At the end of the review, I will also show sample shots of how I stacked 104mm of extension tubes behind this lens to push it to 9.1X magnification.

All test shots in this review were made with the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x on Nikon D800, lighted with Meike MK-MT24 twin flash mounted on FotoPro DMM-903s Flash Arms. Automated deep stacking shots were done using Cognisys StackShot.

The Laowa’s Competitors

The Laowa 25mm’s obvious competitor would be the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x. Of course, there are many ways to get this magnification range through the use of reversed lenses and bellows but in this post, I will just focus on these lenses and highlight the factors important to a macro photographer in the field.

There is a lesser-known Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4-4.5x but it is not included in this review as I have not used it before. Based on the specifications, it has a much narrower magnification range of 4-4.5x, only 3 aperture blades and a short working distance of only 20mm, half that of the other 2 lenses in this review.


The Laowa 25mm is priced at less than 40% of the Canon MPE65’s current retail price, making it a really affordable and portable option for high magnification photography.

Laowa 25mm: $399 (plus $30 for a tripod collar)
Canon MPE-65: $1,049 (tripod collar included)


The Laowa 25mm is available in most major camera mounts, while the Canon MPE65 is designed exclusively for the Canon EF mount. It is worth noting that with Nikon and Canon mounts, adapters are easily available to use the lenses on mirrorless systems which would have a shorter distance from the sensor. Hence to answer many who asked, all of the lenses can technically be mounted onto M4/3, Sony FE and Fuji X mounts with the correct adapters.

Laowa 25mm: Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony FE
Canon MPE-65: Canon MPE-65

Magnification Range

The magnification range determines the usability of each lens in the field. In this case, the Canon MPE65 is the clear winner as it covers a wider 1x-5x range. The Laowa 25mm has a more restrictive magnification range from 2.5x to 5x. It appears to compliment the Raynox DCR-250 on a 1:1 macro lens (approx 2.5x magnification) and the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro (2x magnification) lens.

Laowa 25mm: 2.5-5x
Canon MPE-65: 1-5x

Working Distance

The working distance of both lenses at 5x are comparable, differing by only 1mm. But at 2.5x, the Canon MPE65 has a working distance of 58mm, while the Laowa 25mm is shorter at 45mm. While some photographers prefer longer working distances, I prefer the working distance to have a narrower range so that the lighting set-up and results would be consistent. Having a consistent working distance also helps for those who use their left hand to control the distance between camera and subject. So no clear winner in this, as it depends on individual preferences.

Laowa 25mm: 40mm (5x) – 45mm (2.5x)
Canon MPE-65: 41mm (5x) – 101mm (1x)


The Laowa 25mm looks like a baby when placed beside the Canon MPE65. A smaller lens is definitely much easier to handle. It also allows for more consistent results for flash systems that are not mounted at the tip of the lens.

Laowa 25mm: 82mm (2.5x) – 137mm (5x)
Canon MPE-65: 98mm (1x) – 228mm (5x)


The Canon MPE65 had been known to be like a brick, weighing a hefty 730g. Despite the small appearance of the Laowa 25mm, it actually weighs more than it looks at 400g due to its full metal construction. Nevertheless, it is still 45% lighter than the Canon MPE65 and imposes less strain on the arm.

Laowa 25mm: 400g
Canon MPE-65: 730g

Diameter (Front)

A small diameter of the frontal tip of a macro lens has a huge advantage of allowing lower angles on a flat surface, such as on the ground or on a tree trunk. It also blocks out less light, allowing for better lighting coverage. For this, the Laowa 25mm is the clear winner with a frontal diameter of just 43mm, even smaller than that of a Raynox DCR-250 (49mm).

Laowa 25mm: 43mm
Canon MPE-65: 58mm

Aperture Blades

The number of aperture blades determines the shape of out of focus highlights. In general, more blades will result in rounder apertures and more pleasing results.

Laowa 25mm: 8 Blades
Canon MPE-65: 6 Blades

The Canon MPE65 tends to produce hexagonal bokeh highlights, while those produced by the Laowa 25mm are rounder.

Tripod Collar

Some may ask why a tripod collar is important for such a small lens. On tripod setups, having a tripod collar allows the frame to be rotated without adjusting the tripod. It is a great advantage for high magnification set-ups. For handheld situations, the tripod collar can also be rotated upwards to mount a flash or focusing light.

Laowa 25mm: Optional Arca Swiss Mount
Canon MPE-65: Included Screw Mount

Interestingly, the Laowa 25mm’s tripod mount comes ready with an Arca-Swiss mount. That reduces the need to screw a base plate to the tripod collar, but that also rules out usage on other mount types. Plus point if you use Arca-Swiss mounts.

Auto Aperture Control

The Laowa 25mm is a completely manual lens and lacks auto aperture control, or aperture coupling. This means that when composing, the image that you are seeing is already stepped down (i.e. dark) and viewed at the actual aperture setting of your shot. This is probably its biggest disadvantage over the Canon MPE65.

Focusing will be more challenging due to the deeper depth-of-field in handheld situations. The only advantage of manual aperture control is that it would be much easier to locate your subject in the viewfinder. Even when the subject was 1cm out of focus, it was possible to see where the subject was when the aperture was stepped down.

Lack of aperture control does not affect tripod set-ups as the aperture ring can be adjusted after focus and composition are set.

Laowa 25mm: Manual
Canon MPE-65: Auto

Depth of Field (DoF)

Although the depth of field (DOF) of each lens is the same at the same magnification and aperture setting, the DOF characters of each lens are different. Due to the wider angle of view of the Laowa 25mm as compared to the MPE65, it has a deeper “perceived DOF”. Areas in the frame that are out of focus would appear clearer on the Laowa 25mm when compared with the Canon MPE65. Because the DOF fall-off of the Laowa 25mm is not as steep as in the MPE65, it is easier to locate the subject in the viewfinder when the subject is slightly out of focus.

The examples above were tested on the Sony A7 with respective adapters to Canon and Nikon mounts. They are not conclusive as I did not use precision equipment to position the lens for the test. However, the Laowa 25mm does show slightly more detail for out of focus objects.

Image Quality

The optical qualities of both lenses are on par, with the Laowa 25mm slightly sharper at f/2.8 and 5x magnification. Many others had already done detailed side-by-side reviews on image quality and I do not own a Canon body for a more accurate test, so I would not go into too much detail here. Instead, I will focus on recommendations to optimize the image quality of your shots with this lens.

Diffraction & Light Loss

Those who are new to high magnification photography must know about the effects of diffraction and light loss. The effective f-stop is (Magnification+1) x f-Stop. So if one were to try 5x magnification at f/16, the effective aperture would be (5+1)x16, or a mind-boggling f/96. To minimize diffraction and light loss, I would recommend using f/4 or f/5.6 at 5x magnification when shooting handheld, or f/2.8 when on a tripod. At lower magnifications like 2.5x, it is fine to use f/11 or f/16. To minimise diffraction, the settings listed in red below should be avoided while those in blue are borderline acceptable.

Lens Flare

Another important factor for better image quality when using these 2 lenses is the presence of a lens hood. I find that images from the Canon MPE65 tend to be washed out, especially with protruding diffusers. The same can happen on the Laowa 25mm as well. This can easily be addressed with a little lens hood. There is a lens hood available for the Canon MPE65, but some DIY is required for the Laowa 25mm. Alternatively, shift the diffuser a little further behind the front of the lens to avoid stray light from entering the lens.

Ease of Locating Subjects in Viewfinder

Locating the subject in the viewfinder is made easier when the lens diameter is smaller, when the DOF fall-off is less, and when the working distance range is consistent. In these aspects, it was definitely easier to get the subject into the frame when using the Laowa 25mm. It was challenging on the MPE65 but it can be overcome with sufficient practice.

Focusing Light

Due to the unique lens design with the aperture ring at its frontal tip, auto aperture control is not possible with this lens, leading to darker images on the viewfinder. This problem can be addressed by attaching a focusing light to the setup.

I like to use T6 bike lights as they can be easily mounted onto the lens without any DIY work, with an external battery pack (not in pic) latched onto my belt to offload the weight off my hands. With this, I could see easily at 5x magnification stepped down to f/5.6 and even f/8. The bike light usually functions as a headlamp, so I just had to tie the elastic bands 2 or 3 times around the lens.

Lighting and Diffusion with a Single Flash

The small diameter of the Laowa 25mm allows for better light diffusion as the surface area of the diffuser increases. Here’s a simple light diffusion system that can be used with a single flash. In fact, the same can also be used for dual flash systems.

I used 2 layers of diffusion material made from translucent plastic (get from flexible chopping boards or plastic folios) layered with packing foam. It is lightweight, portable and easy to set up. To improve on this further, reflective materials can be wrapped around the diffusers to create a softbox.

Handheld Field Test Shots

I’ve tried the Laowa 25mm handheld in the field, as well as for deep stacks on some cooperative live subjects. Here are some of the results.

Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.). 3-shot handheld stack at 2.5x f/11. I was surprised to find the subject easily with a focusing light despite having a stepped down aperture of f/11.
Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.). 100% crop from the earlier shot to show the details up close.
Longhorn beetle (Epepeotes luscus). Single handheld shot at 5x f/5.6. The DOF was expectedly thin at 5x — I took several shots before getting a decent focus.
Nursery web spider (Pisauridae). Single shot at 2.5x f/11. Found a beautiful pisaurid clasping onto her egg sac. 2.5x was barely enough to keep her completely in the frame.
Nursery web spider (Pisauridae). 2-shot handheld stack at 5x f/5.6. Closer view of her eyes and egg sac.

Deep Stacking Test Shots on Tripod

I decided to test the lens at higher magnifications by adding 104mm of extension tubes to reach a magnification of 9.1x and photograph some of the spiders that we found. The following shots were taken using StackShot on a tripod and cropped as there was vignetting. A 12V battery was brought along to power the StackShot.

As all the spiders were very much alive when I did the stacks, some micro-movements were recorded which resulted in less-than-ideal stacks.

Tree-stump orb weaver (Poltys elevatus). 37-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. I actually took 211 shots, but the spider moved midway through the stack and I didn’t notice it.
Tree-stump orb weaver (Poltys elevatus). 86-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. View from the side shows the ocular region on an elevated tubercle.
Wrap-around orb weaver (Talthybia sp.). 318-shot tripod stack using StackShot at 9.1x, f/2.8. 300+ shots sounds crazy and an overkill, but I probably overdid it.



The Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x shines in most categories with the exception of its lack of aperture coupling. Without aperture coupling, handheld shooting would lose its focusing precision and the viewfinder’s image would be much darker when stepped down. However, these shortfalls can be minimized with sufficient practice or use of a tripod.

So the big question is: should you get it? This lens is definitely a worthy purchase for fans of high-magnification macro photography, but one should be aware that nailing good shots at 5x magnification is no easy task for any beginner.

Shipping is expected to start from the end of March 2018. You can pre-order now at or (it helps me if you order from here).

A special thanks to Victor for loaning me the MPE65 for tests, and Andrew for loaning me the Metabones Sony-Canon adapter so that I could test both lenses on the same camera body.

About the author: Nicky Bay is a macro photographer based in Singapore. You can find more of his work and follow along with his adventures through his website and Flickr photostream. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

The 9 Laowa 25mm Macro Lens vs the ,050 Canon MP-E 65mm

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion
This article appears in the pages of V112, on newsstands now. Order your copy now at

Vaquera’s narrative feels like a coming-of-age story. Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, Claire Sully, and David Moses launched what’s now gone from a small, Brooklyn-based label to a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in under four years. Like a creative teenager, they’re working their way through an often humorous and nonsensical identity crisis, a dilemma they experienced as a rapidly …

Keep on reading: Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion
Source: V Magazine

Vaquera Is Challenging the Rules of Fashion

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

Instagram has been accused of “shadowbanning” users and posts starting about a year ago, preventing tagged content from properly appearing in searches for those tags. After photographers and others complained last year, someone made a tool for checking to see if you’ve been shadowbanned. Now there’s a new and improved one: Triberr’s Instagram Shadowban Test.

Triberr, a company that develops a content marketing automation suite, created the tool to provide Instagram users with a more comprehensive look at whether their photos and posts are showing up correctly for other Instagram users.

While the original tester has seemingly been neglected — the username search no longer functions — Triberr’s version will be maintained by the company’s team of developers.

Instead of just looking up the visibility of an account’s most recent post, Triberr’s checker checks the last 10 posts, verifying that the post does indeed appear in the search results for each hashtag.

“The shadowban applies to individual posts and may occur for various reasons,” Triberr writes. “For example, overuse of a hashtag or a banned hashtag can trigger this occurrence. Therefore, we provide an analysis of your latest 10 posts so that you can easily identify culprits in your posts.”

If a hashtag is found to contain the photo, it shows up as green in the results. If a hashtag was not found associated with the photo, it shows up as red and the post failed the test (i.e. it was shadowbanned).

To avoid getting shadowbanned, make sure you’re posting high-quality content, not buying followers, avoiding bot programs, and not spamming your posts with hashtags. If you find that you’ve already been shadowbanned, here are some things Triberr suggests you try:

  1. Delete hashtags from the shadowbanned post(s). Avoid the use of too many hashtags, repetitive hashtag sets, or banned hashtags.
  2. Disconnect third-party apps that may have resulted in the shadowban, especially bots or automation software that violate Instagram’s terms of service.
  3. Correct any post images or captions, or remove anything that can be perceived as spam or flagged by others.
  4. Refrain from any Instagram activity for the next 2 – 3 days. This includes posting, commenting, and liking. Just take a break and go outside!

Triberr’s tool also shows you at a glance how much reach each of the posts had in terms of likes and comments. And to see how much reach your account typically has, Triberr has also created an Instagram Engagement Calculator, which calculates the percentage of an account’s followers that engage with content based on the last 10 posts.

Source: PetaPixel

This New Instagram Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video
Today, Tommy Genesis gifted the world with a visual for her recently released jammer “Lucky”. In the video, the rising songstress transports us out to the Wild West in full glam, accompanied with a no-fucks-given swagger. “Lucky” is the first single from her highly anticipated album Genesis, and if this is any clue of what’s to come, it’s very clear that Tommy Genesis is ready to rage in a major way. Giddy on up and watch the video below now.…

Keep on reading: Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video
Source: V Magazine

Tommy Genesis Goes Full On Wild West in “Lucky” Video

This Photographer Got Run Over by a 2.5-Ton Truck and Bounced Back

This Photographer Got Run Over by a 2.5-Ton Truck and Bounced Back

Kaleb White is an outdoor photographer who has had to overcome a difficult challenge that most people will never face. Two years ago, while shooting in New Zealand, White was run over and crushed by a 2.5-ton truck.

White had been spending a week in the great outdoors, shooting photos of wild stag and hunters pursuing them. One of his big goals that trip was to capture a photo of a stag roaring.

After getting dropped off by a guide to photograph one stag, White got low to the ground and attempted to approach it stealthily with his camouflage outfit.

Kaleb White (left) and the camo outfit he was wearing that day (right).

He managed to capture several photos of the stag, including this one before it ran away:

The guide then drove back to the spot to pick White up, but White’s camouflage worked a little too well — the guide didn’t see the photographer and ended up running right over him. Here’s his account of what happened next, as shared in an article for Modern Huntsman:

I should’ve bled out ten different ways within minutes. I remember the smallest details; the weight of the tire running over my legs, stomach, chest, and over my shoulder, inches from crushing my head, balling my body up like a ragdoll, and stopping on top of my body.

Instincts kicked in, and I attempted to yell for help, but my left lung was lacerated and collapsed and had started to fill with blood. The weight of the truck expelled the remaining air out of my lungs, and I kicked and punched the tires until I passed out from suffocation.

Just before I lost consciousness, I remember seeing the faces of my wife and our two boys…then nothing. I didn’t feel pain, didn’t know where I was, and didn’t know if I was alive or dead. Just blackness. I became calm, content, happy. Eventually I woke, gasping for air.

Photographer Kaleb White with his wife and two sons.

White was airlifted to the emergency room, where doctors found 10 broken ribs, 2 lacerated lungs, a fractured collarbone, and a herniated diaphragm. Thankfully, he escaped with his life.

The road to recovery was difficult, but eventually Kaleb’s body had healed up enough for him to resume his passion for photography. Not only that, but White even returned to the same location in New Zealand to capture that elusive photo of a roaring stag.

“”I knew I still wanted to capture the image I was after,” Kaleb tells 1011 NOW. “I was still in pain… I was still on opioids trying to get through all of this.”

He did manage to capture beautiful photos of stags roaring, and this year he entered several of his images in the prestigious 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, where he has so far made it to the Professional Shortlist.

The series, titled “The Roar,” was chosen for the short list as 1 of 10 selections in the Wildlife category from over 320,000 photos entered from around the world. The winners of this year’s contest will be announced in April 2018.

You can find more of White’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Image credits: Photographs © Kaleb White and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

This Photographer Got Run Over by a 2.5-Ton Truck and Bounced Back

This Robot is Made of Canon DSLR Gear

This Robot is Made of Canon DSLR Gear

If you ever completely total a pricey collection of camera equipment, perhaps you should consider turning it into a one-of-a-kind robot sculpture for your home or office.

Craig of Canon Rumors was visiting the Canon Canada customer service center earlier this month when he came across the strange sight above: a robot made of high-end Canon DSLR equipment.

It features a prime lens head, a 1D Mark III DSLR and lens for the torso, two flashes for arms, and two 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lenses for extendable legs.

It turns out the equipment was brought in by a couple of photographers who were in a canoe when it tipped over and send them and their camera equipment into the water. The gear got completely submerged and was damaged beyond repair, so the duo had to replace everything.

After bringing the dead equipment to the Canon Canada center for disposal — there’s an electronic waste program set up there — an employee named Samantha decided to create this “Canonbot” instead of having the parts trashed.

Image credits: Photographs by Craig Blair/Canon Rumors and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

This Robot is Made of Canon DSLR Gear

$10 eBay Photo Turns Out to be Picture of Jesse James Worth $2,000,000+

eBay Photo Turns Out to be Picture of Jesse James Worth ,000,000+

How’s this for a lucky photo find: a 19th-century tintype photo purchased from eBay for just $10 has been identified as an extremely rare portrait of the infamous outlaw Jesse James… worth an estimated $2 million+.

Fox News reports that Justin Whiting of Spalding, U.K., was browsing eBay in July 2017 when he came across a photo that looked remarkably like the photo of outlaw Jesse James that he had seen in a book.

The original eBay listing. Screenshot by Justin Whiting/SWNS.

Having been obsessed with American outlaws for years, Whiting purchased the tintype for its Buy It Now price of $10 in July 2017.

“I noticed the picture for sale — it was $10. It was a bit blurry on the site but when I got it, it was a lot clearer,” Whiting tells SWNS. “I thought to myself: ‘Gee wizz, this could be a real photo!’ I’ve been obsessed with American outlaws for years and read lots of books and study their faces.”

The 45-year-old then took the photo to forensic experts in the United States, including California-based 19th-century photo expert Will Dunniway, who concluded that the photo is a genuine photo of Jesse James at around age 14.

“It was an easy match since it was compared to a longtime known image of the young Jesse James at 14,” Dunniway tells Fox News. “Justin’s image, however, was the same pose taken the same day by the same photographer […] [It’s a] one-of-a-kind original that most likely was handled by the teenaged Jesse James himself.”

Whiting has been told that the photo could fetch at least $2 million.

Born in 1847, Jesse James was a famous American outlaw who was known for violent robberies of banks, trains, and stagecoaches across the Midwest. Since his death at the hands of a new recruit to his gang in 1882 at age 34, James has gone down in history as one of the legendary outlaws of the Wild West.

Here are some known photos of James at different points in his life:

There have been other famous finds of American outlaw photos in recent years. Perhaps most notably, a $2 junk shop photo turned out to be a $5 million picture of Billy the Kid in 2015.

Source: PetaPixel

eBay Photo Turns Out to be Picture of Jesse James Worth ,000,000+

If This Magazine Picks Your Photo for Its Cover, YOU Pay $430

If This Magazine Picks Your Photo for Its Cover, YOU Pay 0

If you’ve always dreamed of having your photo grace the front cover of a fashion magazine, guess what? It ‘only’ costs $430.

The U.S.-based Sheeba Magazine is currently inviting photographers to apply to be selected for its magazine cover. Here’s the graphic that’s being used to advertise this opportunity:

Sheeba Magazine “can make your dream come true.”

The Front Cover Application page provides a low-down on the process, and a Rules & Conditions page provides some more detail.

Submitted photos can’t already be published in your portfolio or social media. If Sheeba Magazine chooses to honor your image by using it for their cover photo, you agree to pay the magazine (yup, not the other way around) a fee of $430 through PayPal. You’re also saving 50% off that fee, because apparently the regular price charged to photographers is $860.

And after you send your exclusive high-resolution file along with a signed “Release and Publication Agreement,” the magazine will even send you high-resolution tear-sheet(s) and a copy of the printed magazine that has your cover photo.

Sounds like a good deal… right?

Source: PetaPixel

If This Magazine Picks Your Photo for Its Cover, YOU Pay 0

BBC Accused of Photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat to Look More ‘Russian’

BBC Accused of Photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat to Look More ‘Russian’

The BBC is at the center of a controversy in the UK after its news program Newsnight was accused of Photoshopping politician Jeremy Corbyn‘s hat in a photo to make the opposition leader look more “Russian.”

During a discussion about escalating tensions with Russian that aired last Thursday, the BBC Two program displayed a background image showing the Kremlin and a stylized photo of Corbyn.

Critics were quick to point out that Corbyn looked like he was wearing a Soviet-style hat in graphic, and a comparison with the original photo showed that the hat seems to be noticeably different (including in its shape). Here’s a comparison that has been circulating:

Redditor LeftWingScot made a GIF that compares the two images above:

When left-wing writer Owen Jones appeared on Newsnight the following day, he criticized the BBC for the edited photo, saying: “What sort of country do we live in where the media constantly tries to portray the leader of the opposition, who was the only one who stood up in solidarity with Russia’s opposition… as an agent of foreign powers?”

“The media framing has been a disgrace and I have to say that includes your own program,” Jones said during his appearance. Yesterday the background of your program you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up against the Kremlin skyline, dressed up as a Soviet stooge.

“You even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian. People should complain to the BBC about that kind of thing.”

BBC journalist John Sweeney was also questioned about the photo by Alex Salmond on Salmond’s show yesterday.

“Let’s try to work out if the BBC did or did not photoshop the Jeremy Corbyn image,” Salmond says.

“No it didn’t, no it didn’t,” replies Sweeney.

“I’m looking at this image, there’s no doubt that in the picture of Jeremy Corbyn of a perfectly respectable hat with a peak, seems to have been transformed into red picture of Jeremy Corbyn against the Kremlin and the peak of the hat seems to have disappeared,” Salmond says.

Sweeney continues to defend the photo, saying: “It wasn’t Photoshopped.”

BBC acting editor Jess Brammar also denied that the photo had been materially altered this weekend through a series of Tweets.

Brammar touches on one fact that doesn’t seem to be receiving too much attention: the fact that the controversial photo is being displayed on a large, curved screen, which introduces distortions.

The BBC actually shared the same edited photo of Corbyn in a Tweet published hours before the program aired:

And when you compare the source photo to this static image, the hat no longer looks like it was stretched vertically (though the change in contrast, which makes the shadow look like part of the hat, is still there):

So if the teaser graphic posted by the BBC is indeed the exact same graphic that ran in the background of the program, then it seems that the curved screen may actually be responsible for stretching the hat out.

Do you think Corbyn was intentionally Photoshopped to look more “Russian”?

But Jones isn’t satisfied with Brammar’s explanation.

“The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear,” Jones writes. “There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.”

Source: PetaPixel

BBC Accused of Photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat to Look More ‘Russian’