Malaysia suffered yet another blow in the recent World Badminton Championships when top-ranked Malaysian shuttler, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei was being stretchered out from the badminton court during the men’s singles final match against long-term rival, Lin Dan.
There was plenty of coverage by our local media and also sports enthusiasts. Photos of injury-stricken Dato’ Lee was all over the Internet and printed media the next day. Malaysians were left with yet another great disappointed after the 2012 London Olympics defeat.
There is one particular photo that really caught my attention. It’s a photo of our Dato’ Lee being assisted onto the stretcher by medical officials and his opponent, Lin Dan. It’s a great shot and I love it a lot – shows great emotion, sportsmanship and compassion in one single photo. However, I stumbled upon yet another similar photo but of slight difference. I would assume that these photos are probably taken by two different photographers from the same direction.
Below is the photo that caught my attention and it was from Bernama, our national news agency.
The photo clearly shows Dato’ Lee being assisted onto the stretcher by medical officials and Lin Dan. Now check out the next photo that was taken from The Star. It’s the exact photo at almost the exact same moment but now there’s a big ‘Guangzhou’ word on the background. The photo was extracted from PressDisplay ePaper.
So I did a little further digging on this and came up with my own experiment. If you look at the photo from The Star, there’s a white gap (and two people standing) far right behind of Lin Dan. When compare side by side, there is a different between two photos, and assuming both photographers are using a 70-200mm lens (which is a common lens used by sports photographers especially for indoor events), even with the slightest shift of angle, there is a chance you can still see the white gap behind Lin Dan. Just take a look at the graphic below.
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However, the first photo does not show any of the white gap nor the two people standing behind. The word ‘Guangzhou’ too is clearly not visible. Then of course, there’s an inconsistency with the blue background from both the photos that is raising more questions in my mind.
Now Photomanipulation is quite common nowadays with the help of advanced editing tool such as Photoshop but such practice is strictly forbidden for mainstream media news. Now, I’m not suggesting that these photos are being edited or manipulated in any way, but the differences we see in these photos are definitely questionable.