Photographic staging and covering up goes hand in hand with the misdirection of staging a crime scene.
When it comes to doctored photos, there are two basic aspects to look at.
1. Is the image definitely altered? If so what has been altered, and how has it been altered? What hasn’t been altered?
2. The second aspect to figure out is why.
The image above has been doctored. There are a few obvious telltale clues that reveal these changes, as well as less obvious objects in the original that are the same in both photos. Look closely and carefully. Can you identify all the “mistakes” – the giveaways – in the doctored photo? Answer by leaving a comment below.
Why would this climber go to lengths to doctor this particular image in the first place? Think about it without context. What is the climber trying to prove? Where is he/she? Who is he/she? Why is it important to know the context? More context here.
Throughout history, photos have been doctored as a form of politics and propaganda.
Why is it historically so important to mislead the masses in these instances? More context here.
Which high-profile true crimes involve photo manipulation, or photos and video simply not being provided to law enforcement, or both? Which high-profile criminals are known to “play to the cameras”, or to be more accurate, paid for PR to “restore” their image?
A classic example of all of these is O.J. Simpson. Remember the ugly ass shoes that were supposedly worn at the crime scene by Nicole Brown’s killer, but not by O.J.? It’s through photos that they were linked to O.J. Remember how O.J.’s defense made his home appear blacker, for example by putting a painting of Rosa Park prominently in O.J.’s home for the benefit of the mostly black jury, when they visited his Rockingham home.
Meanwhile the media – TIME in particular – were rapped on the knuckles for deliberately trying to make OJ appear blacker than he really was. And then there was O.J. himself explaining away things like bloodied gloves and photos of bruises Nicole Brown had recorded of herself.
Listen to the clip below.
Probably the most elaborate cases of staging and misdirection are the Ramsey and McCann cases, and both also include the selective release and censoring of certain family photos.
There’s also a relationship, just as we see in the O.J. Simpson case, between the staging and pageantry we see in court, and the staging of the home/crime scene. In this the media, lawyers, PR folks and invariably the suspects themselves are active players and co-conspirators.
When all work together, the shadowy veil tends to distort reality. But when one area of the pageantry doesn’t fit, the whole veil can turn to dust.
More: Defense attacks prosecution’s case; says Simpson was framed
Barbara Walters discusses staging O.J.’s home for the jury
O.J. Simpson’s Motive revealed
How the O.J. Simpson Case Explains Reality in 2016
New “Last Photo” of JonBenet Ramsey has just been released – and there’s a problem…
5 thoughts on “Are you a True Crime Rocket Scientist? Test Your Observation Skills on this Everest Summit Photo”
Before I take a stab at your question regarding the Everest photos I wanted to make mention of how staging a photograph was used in the feud between Dina and Jonah Shacknai – the photos she submitted to the Paradise police department. She’s holding up her arm as an indication that Jonah’s dog bit or scratched her and her face appears to be swollen and red, covered in scratches. However, although it paints a picture of physical cruelty at the hand of Jonah, in truth the red face is due to dermabraision plastic surgery – a technique that burns off skin defects and leaves a person with smoother skin or so I’ve heard. And the swollen lips might be due to lip enhancement treatments but together the effect makes her look more pitiful for the camera, and the police department.
Also during the Civil trial O.J.’s defense tried to say the picture of Simpson in the Bruno Mali shoes on the cover of some gossip rag, was doctored. Yet as you mentioned, the same thing was done to Rockingham for the jurors on the home tour that never should have been allowed to happen.
Okay – the Everest photos. If these two individuals want to give an impression they have made it to the top there would be more of those colored ribbons or flags or pieces of cloth as one gets to the top. I only see a little of it in picture one. None of it in picture two. In fact there have been comments that there is alot of shit up there on Everest – backpacks, pieces of tent, cloth, left behind and I don’t see any of it really in either picture. Both pictures are including the orange black and white flag, but only one has a few of those flags strung on a string and the other does not. Your Everest books are on my list to tackle at some point in the future, until then I know very little about it other than the movie I saw with James Brolin.
Sylvester the one summit photo is derived from the other.
“staging a photograph”
There was a recent example in the US news of this sort of thing:
“While at the Shawnee Police Department, officers said they saw video footage of one of the men who had been arrested punching himself in the face multiple times, “in attempt to redden his face for the photographs,” the police report stated.” – from here: https://www.koco.com/article/men-caught-on-camera-punching-victims-shouting-racial-slur-in-shawnee/28173469
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Hi there Nick!
Oh my, oh my! lol! Where to start with this. I’m assuming this is an actual photograph used in the commission of a real crime or something non-criminal. (I’m not sure if falsifying a photo to gain a climbing accolade is a crime, but if it isn’t it should be, and in any case, the horrendously bad PhotoShop job should be.) Unbelievable that someone actually thought this was a good enough job and sent it in like that. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
OK, so I’m surmising that it was produced in order to fake getting to the top of Everest in order to receive an accolade for that when the person in question couldn’t do it. At this point, it doesn’t seem that the person even set foot on the mountain, given that it isn’t even a different person sitting there posing for the photo. You would think that if they really were on Everest they would take a photo of themselves to copy and paste onto another photo. I mean, they wouldn’t even need to be on Everest, a photo taken anywhere could be put there. In which case, if they didn’t even go to the mountain at all, it could be possible that they did this fraud in order to receive the financial sponsorship from the sponsors listed on the sign being held. It’s a bit of a stretch, but this could also have been done in order to provide a person with an alibi to excuse them from a crime they perpetrated, although you would have thought they would have done a better job if they wanted it for that reason, such as inserting a photo of themselves or at least a different person onto the photo. I mean, they have completely covered the face to hopefully avoid detection, but used the same figure which is just hilarious. But… stranger and more idiotic things have definitely happened! It’s hardly ever that we see bright criminals – I guess that’s because the bright ones don’t get caught.
So this was either done in order to:
1. Establish an alibi for a crime the person committed. (unlikely but possible).
2. Fraudulently receive an accolade for successfully climbing Mount Everest.
3. Fraudulently receive financial gain in the form of sponsorship from the companies listed on the sign.
4. Prove that they have climbing skills they don’t have in order to secure some kind of benefit such as employment or to pass some kind of exam requiring such a climb for accreditation.
I cant think of anything else at the moment, I’ll make another comment if I think of something.
What HASN’T changed:
The entire thing lmao. All that has been done is it has been zoomed in, the quality has been messed with a little to make it look more pixelated and the colour of the outfit has been changed badly. Other than that it is pretty much the same apart from a couple of very small things.
1. The flag has the exact same creases and marks in the exact same places in both photos.
2. Can still see part of the green item (not sure what it is) underneath the flag, in the second photo.
3. Sun is in exactly the same place.
3. Snow is formed in the exact same way in both photos.
4. The person is the same person in both photos… same position of legs, hands, everything.
5. Sign is creased in the exact same way, plus exactly the same fold in the corner.
6. The face is completely covered in the second photo. One would suppose that any successful climber would want to remove that mask for a minute for comfort and also in order to pose with a huge grin for their photo opportunity, yet they haven’t even removed their goggles… hmm.
7. Lower right corner – a remnant from the original photo of yellow fabric with black webbing with white print attached.
8. Black part of the bag left visible in bottom left area.
I know there are hundreds of tiny things that could be pointed out individually but I think my observations cover everything that has been changed in a general way.
I enjoy things like this. I have a couple of books called Five Minute Mysteries by Weber, which is a book containing hundreds of short stories from which the reader is supposed to find out who committed the crime or to answer to a specific question. It is a really fun, challenging activity for those of us who don’t have careers involving true crime or anything that satisfies our true crime addictions!
I’m not going to look at the link you provide until after you respond but I’m pretty certain I got it mostly right. Did I? Did I? haha!
Thank you Nick for all you do. While I’m here, is your membership via YouTube memberships or via a Patreon subscription? I want to join asap. Have been waiting for weeks until my payday to join.
Thanks again, look forward to your response.