The now-famous photo of a soldier being followed by a maid carrying his field pack has sparked much debate online. It is no wonder that a doctored picture without the maid has also surfaced. Could this be a move to save the honour of NSmen?
In a report in The Straits Times today (Mar 31), the two pictures were analysed The Straits Times' by Photo Editor Michael Sargent. Here are five tell-tale signs why the picture of the NSman carrying his own fieldpack is a fake.
1) The person did a shoddy job of taking out the maid's outline. There are signs of discolouration on the walkway and grass.
2) The size of the pack has been reduced and placed on the NSF. As a result, the resolution of the pack on the doctored photo looks sharper than the rest of his body.
3) Adding to the original picture's authenticity is the weight of the pack on the maid's shoulder. Her T-shirt is creased and her hand is clearly seen on the front strap. On the other photo, the pack does not seem to fit the NSF.
4) A cloning technique, which allows the user to copy pixels to a different location, was used. When done poorly, it results in a different resolution or a blurred effect compared to the rest of the photo. This is seen on the drain and walkway.
5) In the original picture, there is a stone in the middle of the walkway while there are about three in the doctored one. Two of the rocks are almost translucent, and this form of 'ghosting' is a side effect of the poor cloning technique used here too.
In addition, The New Paper also carried an analysis of the picture, spotting additional flaws.
A STOMPer first wrote in with the doctored picture (Mar 29) and said:
"Saving SAF's reputation, the truth abt the NSF incident.
"I think it will be best to email you this before this turns into a national debacle.
"The image of the NS men and his maid carrying his bag is doctored. I found this on Facebook, so apparently someone went to photoshop (the maid into) the picture and it has spread like wild fire.
"Please publish it so that the SAF’s image will not be tarnished any further."
STOMPer AK47 also wrote in with the same picture:
"This picture has been making the rounds on the Internet.
"Some people have been claiming that the picture without the maid is actually the original one.
"Either they don't know better or they want to save the honour of NSmen.
"I mean, look at it, it's so obviously fake. I can even see the outline of the maid there as the ground has a darker patch."
Netizens have also been exercising their creative muscle by making quirky and humourous parodies derived from the original picture.