“Sometimes when things seem too unbelievable to
be true, they are just that: not worthy of belief.”
The Grand Punk Part 11: More Joining a Weird Trip,
New Evidence, and Life in the Rabbit Hole
In Part 10, I began reporting on the findings of a trip I made to Los Angeles in early October concerning some newly discovered evidence and confirming and expanding upon some previous observations I have made in this case. Significant findings included establishing that the probable location of PopSugar #33 is roughly 2800 Colorado Avenue; conclusively establishing that PopSugar #26/37 was taken at 2272 S. Centinela Avenue; establishing that the rest of the Car Make Out photos were in all likelihood taken at that same location and that all of them show evidence of obvious digital manipulation; establishing the location of two of the Rupert Walking Photos, PopSugar #34,38/42, as being near his house at 2000 Larmar Road in LA; and debunking a critical photo and story that Rob had moved out of the Los Feliz estate following the “scandal” going public.
Before I continue to Part 11, I should correct some misunderstandings that appeared in some of the reader comments to Part 10. Some have interpreted my previous comments to suggest that I was arguing that all of the photos at the 2272 S. Centilena Ave. parking lot were entirely faked. I have always been careful with my words (sorry a bad lawyer habit) but perhaps being a bit more specific definitionally may help to avoid some confusion as to what I have said and will say.
First, when I say a photograph is photoshopped or digitally altered, I am talking about the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of that word—
to alter (a digital image) with Photoshop software or other image-editing software especially in a way that distorts reality (as for deliberately deceptive purposes).
Thus, to photoshop, you have to have an image to begin with. If you digitally alter it, you are changing the realistic portrayal of that image. Such changes can be subtle, such as lightening or darkening areas or objects within the photo, removing a person’s “red eye”, or using tools to remove a freckle, a mole, or a stray hair. Or they can be more drastic, such as adding or removing a person or object from a scene, significantly slimming a model or “enhancing” her bust line, or adding a giant troll or Hogwart’s Castle.
When I say a photograph is manufactured or entirely faked, I am referring to it being created entirely by artificial means. Modern advanced software allows you to literally create worlds and events that never happened. A lot of the magic of Hollywood is just that, creating images and scenes out of pixels. All with the magic of green screens, digital layering, and editing. Obviously, the more a photograph is digitally altered, the more it begins to approach being entirely faked.
When I say a photographed is staged, I am referring to a scene where the subjects and the scene actually exists, but they are like actors on a stage. They “perform” or posed in a fashion to make it appear that what is portrayed in the image actually occurred. And in case it isn’t obvious, a picture can be both staged and digitally altered at the same time, these terms address different things all together.
In Part 10, I did not argue that any of the images were entirely faked, nor did I even argue that Kristen or Rupert were photoshopped into a scene they were not in. I did comment on the relative ease with which they could be photoshopped in and commented on the scant evidence of Kristen’s presence in the inculpatory photos in the parking lot as she is only clearly identifiable in one, in PopSugar #31, and only marginally identifiable in two others, PopSugar #4 and #32.
What I did argue is that the elements of the images (such as the car door reflection, side view mirror image, etc) were digitally added to or altered in these images, and that these alterations were intentional (caused by a human) and were done so that they could be obviously seen. More on the significance of this latter. This is quite different from arguing that Kristen and Rupert were photoshopped in.
In Part 11, I will continue my LA report including an extended discussion concerning the first half of the Guardrail Make Out photos. As usual, it will take far longer to try to find a little truth and call out the lies than it did to spread them in the first place. So buckle up, we are in for a long discussion.
There have been many prior attacks on the validity of Guard Rail Make Out photographs starting even shortly after the alleged incident and particularly with the original youtube video assault, The Camera Never Lies, that went viral on the internet in September. It, and many other attacks like it, have suffered from a variety of problems due mostly to trying to over-state the evidence, by making claims that are not supportable from the evidence (such as that Liberty Ross was the “model” for Kristen in those photos), and by claiming that every aspect of all of the photos were entirely faked or manufactured. Some have also made claims that are simply false, such as Kristen is wearing two different colored tennis shoes, or is obviously missing an ear, or that the guardrail itself only comes to Rupert’s knees. These inaccuracies only further inflame people’s passions and do not contribute to a dispassionate search for the truth.
It this review I will re-examine elements of the Guard Rail Make Out photos primarily from the standpoint of how they comport with the law of physics, concentrating on the relative size of the picture’s subjects and objects in relation to each other and how light is cast, reflected, and shadowed through the image. The Camera Never Lies started down this path, but stayed solely focused on the overall heights of Rupert and Kristen without considering the whole picture of the relative heights across their respective bodies and an erroneous assumption about the height of the guardrail. Irrespective of how these photographs were taken, if these photographs are an accurate depiction of an actual scene that occurred, these relative heights will not change in relation to each other. People and objects cannot shrink or grow in relation to each other.
Other great work on the lighting issue has been done by seymourblogger occupytabloids.blogspot.com and others, although I think they did not properly account for the probability that in many cases, artificial lighting rather than photoshopping was used at this scene to “enhance” the photos and create the “second” sun. But they are correct that the sun itself does not shine from two different directions at one time, and when it does, adequate explanations must exist to defeat a claim of photoshopping . I intend to finish going down both these paths and irrefutably prove that many of these images were once again digitally altered and actually staged. In the process I will also identify other elements within these photos which call into question their authenticity in terms of accurately portraying an actual event.
As a final introductory note, I would caution the reader that we should examine these photos both in isolation and as they may relate to each other. We should not jump to the conclusion that they are all completely staged, manufactured, photoshopped in part, or not at all, unless the evidence shows it or the photograph’s elements supports that conclusion. The same goes for assertions that the photo are staged.
“More New Evidence”
7267 Pacific View Drive, Los Angeles
It was a little eerie during my October visit to turn the corner off of Mulholland Drive onto Pacific View Trail, and then make the immediate left turn onto Pacific View Drive. I had already been to S. Centinela and Colorado Avenue & Stewart Street and was still dumbfounded from what I found there. And this new scene didn’t disappoint either.
Almost immediately I recognized the scene of the Guardrail Make Out photos, one of the epicenters of the Kristen Stewart “cheating scandal”, located just up the road on the right beyond 7267 Pacific View Drive. And just as quickly, I immediately confirmed that this space was indeed nothing like how it was portrayed in the PopSugar photographs and the US Magazine account. This is a quiet narrow residential street in the Hollywood Hills bounded on the right by a wooden guardrail that provides a partial nondescript view towards Universal City in the San Fernando Valley to the north. Just as we suspected from an earlier examination of Goggle Earth images, there is no overlook per se, no trails, no view of downtown LA, no view of the Hollywood sign, and very little cover for a paparazzi to secrete themselves behind.
The other thing that you immediately realize is that the area is a lot less secluded than the pictures make it out to be because those photos were carefully cropped to make it look different than it actually is. But otherwise, it appears as it does in the PopSugar photos with some changes in the growth of the vegetation. For a general view of the area to get oriented, see the Google Earth aerial image below, followed by three photographs I took in the area, the first viewing in a westerly direction up the street towards the area of the guardrail (which is on your right), the second viewing easterly in the opposite direction (with the guardrail on the left), and the final one from the guardrail showing you the “view” to the north. My rental car appears in the first photo roughly where the Mini Cooper was “parked”.
Another thing that we should note is that, despite the deceptive photo cropping in the PopSugar photos, this is clearly the setting for these pictures for all of the reasons I previously argued in The Grand Punk Part 5. This is the place. But just because this is the setting and we have discovered the place doesn’t mean everything else about the PopSugar pictures is true. To the contrary, the plot only thickens further from there.
Before we delve into the photographic “evidence” of the scandal from this location, it might be helpful for me to elaborate on some of the terminology that I use and describe some of the types of errors that can occur in a photograph that can call into question its authenticity.
The first and most serious type is what I’ll call a Class A error, a warping of the size relationships between two things that we know bear a known size relationship between them. For example if we know that Kristen is 5’6” tall (66 inches) and we know that Rupert Sanders is roughly 6’2-6′ 3″ tall (74-75 inches), all things being equal and both of them standing fully erect, Kristen should be approximately 8-9 inches shorter than Rupert and the top her head should come to approximately the bottom of his chin.
Why do we know this to be case? First, Kristen height per her bio is 5’6” and she has said as much in an interview. She may be a shade shorter than that as she also referenced herself as a 5’5″ woman wearing armor going into battle during SWATH promotions. There are some who have tried to claim that she is much shorter, such as 5’3” but there is no provable evidence that that is her current height. People have also been guessing her height for years as she was an actress since the age of nine. (Without conceding the point, even if Kristen were shorter than this, the differences noted herein would be even more dramatic. In others any error in her height downward only means that this assessment is conservative in terms of its assumptions.) Similarly, Chris Hemworth is 6’4” tall. Again via his bio. In a promotional photo for SWATH in Australia, Kristen, Rupert, and Chris were upright against a door wall and Kristen was in flats as opposed to heels.
This photograph from that event provided an excellent opportunity to measure their relative heights and “map” where different portions of their bodies coincide. Using Kristen and Chris as reference points and carefully counting pixels, I was to construct a measuring tool showing their relative heights and where known heights on their bodies would fall . I then tested the accuracy of that tool against other know photos of her and others to test and insure its accuracy.
I was also able to add the height of a Mini Cooper S to this tool, as confirmed through the vehicle’s specs and independently confirmed by measuring actual comparable vehicles, establishing the height to the bottom of the driver’s window, the height to the top of the window, and to the top of the car.
Finally I was able to establish the height of the guardrail, which was my most important reason for wanting to visit the Pacific View Drive site. The distance from the ground to the top of the rail in the area Kristen and Rupert purportedly stood is approximately 44 inches, +/- one inch. The area where they were standing is also level. It drops off slightly by about two inches when you get about three feet from the guard rail. Virtually all of the photographs at the guardrail have them both standing on this level area. The bottom side of the top of the guard rail is at approximately 41 inches, once again +/- one inch. Added to the measuring tool described, we now have an important objective tool to measure whether the relative heights that appear in the photographs squares with their known relative heights. See the measuring tool below.
From this tool, I estimated Rupert’s height at approximately 6 foot 2 inches tall.
Any significant deviation from these relative heights in the Guard Rail Make Out that cannot be explained by either their posture or otherwise would indicate that the photographic images have been tampered with, and that the photos were not a fully accurate depiction of reality. I’ll address the specifics of what a “significant difference” is as we continue but suffice to say, to stay on the conservative side, measurement error of 2″ should probably be factored into any assessment. However, a deviation in excess of 2″ could probably only occur through digital manipulation of the image or by stretching or warping the image or its elements in some way.
A second and equally serious type error is what I’ll call a Class B error, a natural lighting error. There is indeed only one sun in the sky and shadows within the scene must comport with how natural light is cast across it. Important work in this approach has been done by others as I noted earlier, but in this account I will pay particular attention to the issue of how naturally lite scenes can be augmented by the use of artificial sources of lighting. Such augmentation is a common technique in portrait photography.
Obviously the reflectivity of objects in the scene must also be accounted for, but as a general matter, the position of the sun will dictate in the scene what will be bright and what will be in the shadows, and how shadows will be cast. But in analyzing such purported error, we must keep in mind that photographers frequently supplement natural light with artificial sources through top lighting, back lighting, bounce or fill lighting, and side lighting to eliminate unwarranted shadows, create special effects, or reduce contrasting light situations. But in the absence of such supplementation as others have rightly argued, there can only be one such source of natural light, the sun. In the absence of such an alternative, a Class B error is present.
A third type error I will discuss is what I will call a Class C error, where elements of the photos do not otherwise make any logical sense or defy rational explanation. An example would be some other feature of the image that just doesn’t make sense, such as a missing foot or additional finger on a person, or car door with no handle.
Class A, B, and C errors are serious because they involve violations of the laws of physics and logic as people do not shrink or grow significantly from moment to moment, there are not multiple suns in the sky, and hands usually do not contain six figures.
A final error type I will discuss is what I’ll call a Class D or continuity error, something that is familiar to most people because of its role in movie blooper reels. That is where a person appears in a white shirt in one scene and the shirt is suddenly yellow moments later in the same scene, or when a watch is worn on the left wrist, and then suddenly appears to be on the right. Most movie making crews have a script supervisor on hand whose job it is to pay attention to and attempt to maintain continuity across the often chaotic and typically non-linear production shoot of a movie.
But if something is photographed or filmed in linear sequence, as would be the case if a paparazzi actually filmed this tryst as they claim, you would expect such things to remain consistent. Although it is possible to remove a watch and place it on the other wrist, you have to examine the logic of that happening in relation to the scene being depicted and the story being told. A Class D error by its nature is less serious as it does not violate the laws of physics, but may indicate a temporal distortion in the sequence of filming the events.
Another possible reason for a seeming continuity error is that the pictures were not presented in the sequence they were taken. There is little question that these pictures (the PopSugar 55 photos) are presented out of sequence, in that photos that were know were taken at Pacific View Drive were scrambled with those taken at S. Centilena Ave, on Stewart Street, and on Larmar Drive. The fact that they were scrambled does not prove they were shot out of sequence. But, as I have argued since the beginning, the fact that they were intentionally scrambled when presented should cause us to seriously question the motivations of the presenters, since the provided order does not further an easier and clearer understanding of what purportedly happened in this incident.
Where Was the Photographer Located
Now let get back to 7267 Pacific View Drive and examine the first issue, where the photographer was located. This location is critical as it may provide the best evidence that most of these photographs were staged. One possibility location would be from the cover of a tree that stands at the corner of Pacific View Drive and Pacific View Trail. A second possibility is from the hillside beyond the intersection behind some bushes. Both of these positions, which I will refer to as positions A. and B., track the notion of a hidden paparazzi.
See below a Google Earth aerial image showing these positions, their paths of view, and their distances to the location of Kristen and Rupert. Distances to the guard rail location were added using Google Earth’s ruler tool.
Now see below a Google Earth street view image of the approximate view for each of these paths of view shown from the west end of Pacific View Drive back towards the east where the photographers could have been.
See also below a Google Earth street view image of the rough path of view from the location behind the tree at position A.
Note how from this position you can clearly see the spaces between the guard rail posts. See also below a picture I took at the intersection looking east showing the tree at the right (Position A) and the bushes on the hill to the left (Position B).
Despite these possible locations, neither were likely locations of the photographers. Why? Because a photo from point A is at the wrong angle for the compression effects of a camera lens to “merge the guard rail posts together. If they were taken from that position you would be able to see the individual posts and the spaces between them as was noted above. Now lets take a look at PopSugar 55 below for example. Note how the guard rail posts “merge” and you can only see a very small space between the first and second post from the front of the picture. That’s because the photographer’s “point of view” was on the right side of the street looking west (same side as the guard rail) nearly aligned with the guard rail, not across the street from behind the tree.
From Position B, although the compression effects could come closer to merging the fence posts consistent with what appears in the photos, the photographer would be too far away to clear the house and garage and other foreground material (street signs, brick wall, and street side bushes) from the camera’s field of view. And photos taken from 250 feet, even when taken with a telephoto lens, would suffer from image disintegration that is not seen in these photos, would be significantly more difficult to hand hold because of the f stop/shutter speed combination that would be necessary to capture an image, and such a combination would tend to blur the background because of the depth of field effects of these lens.
I should probably elaborate on this point because of the technical nature of the subject. I assume everyone has seen those amazing sports photographs taken with telephoto lens that completely freeze the action and tend to blur the background creating the image. See some examples below.
Because the photographer is a significant distance away, any movement by the subject or any “camera shake” by the photographer is going to lead to a blurring of the image. You can actually distinguish these types of blurring. Camera shake causes the entire image to be blurred. Subject motion causes only that portion of the subject that moved to be blurred. Photographers stop the action and prevent camera shake by using relatively high shutter speeds and modern IS (image stabilization) lens to minimize these effects. Modern digital cameras are able to capture an image in natural light at shutter speeds as fast as 1/4000 of a second and above, assuming the scene is bright enough. But doing so comes at a cost, namely that in order to get enough light to make an image, the aperture of a camera needs to be “opened up”. Modern long focal length telephotos tend to have maximal lens openings of from f 4 to f 5.6 although a few super fast lens are available at a cost premium that are a stop faster at f 2.8. What is sacrificed is depth of field which results from the aperture used. When a 400mm or higher is used and is opened up, the depth of field (zone of clarity front to back) in an image is very narrow.
Take a look at the two images above. You can see how both the background and the foreground is thrown out of focus in both images. In the first, look at the turf and see how narrow the depth of field is. Nothing beyond the referee is recognizable at all and the players beyond the main subject is significantly blurred. In the second, look at the turf again and see how narrow a band of it is actually clear. The girl and the ball are absolutely frozen (fast shutter speed) and the range of sharpness is narrow (wide of aperture). Only her and the ball are clear and everything else is blurred beyond recognition. This is the compression effects of a long telephoto lens opened up and using a fast shutter speed. Photographers intentionally use these lens for these creative effects.
But now see PopSugar #55 just as an example.
As I have noted in previous editions of The Grand Punk, see how the image is remarkably clear from the start of the guardrail to well down the street in the pavement details well beyond Rupert and Kristen. Look at any of the PopSugar guard rail photos and note how none show evidence of subject motion (thus a high shutter speed was selected), all show good depth of field from front to back (thus smaller apertures were selected (ie. f11 or f16) and none show evidence of camera shake. These factors show that rather than a long length telephoto lens or telephoto zoom lens being used, it is much more likely that a shorter focal length lens was used, probably something on the order of a zoom lens with a maximal focal length of 150 to 200mm, a favorite of portrait photographers.
Other possible locations for the photographers are any where along either of these paths or somewhere between these paths. But any where along the path of Position A’s view would suffer from the same problem concerning the “merging” of the guard rail posts as the original position. . And furthermore, out from the cover of the tree to get closer, the photographer would be readily visible. A position in between would similarly not provide cover. A location along Path B near where Pacific View Trail cuts off is also not possible. See the Google Earth image below where this alternate position is marked as B2.
Although it is closer and it provides cover and comes closer to dealing with with the post “merger” issue, it suffers from the same foreground problem as the original B position, the brick wall and fence, street side bushes and potentially the street sign. Particularly problematic is the fence which is located down just short of the garage. Because of its height and position you can not get it out of the camera’s field of view. And this position still remains nearly 150′ from the subjects.
A third possibility for the location of the photographer at the scene, the correct one, is that the photos were taken from much closer, standing roughly at a point adjacent to the garage at 7267 Pacific View Drive or closer, aligned with the guardrail, identified as Point C in the Google Earth street view image below.
This clears the camera’s field of view of the foreground obstructions described earlier. See also below the Google Earth aerial view image of path of view of the camera and its maximal distance from the subjects which is 65′. The exact location of the photographer along this path could vary depending on how physically close he or she choose to be to his subjects, how much of the guard rail appears in the photo, and how far or close he or she zoomed in the lens.
Irrespective of where they were on along this axis, this position tracks with the notion that the photographs were staged. At a distance of no more than 65′ and with no cover, the photographer clearly would have been seen. It also tracks with the marginal blurring of the picket fence at the near end of the guardrail because the distance involved from the photographer to the picket fence was within the minimum focusing distance of that lens. See PopSugar #55 above. Note how the closest part of the picket fence in PopSugar #55 is not as clear as the first section of the guardrail which is quite clear. Anything closer than this minimum focusing distance will tend to be progressively more blurry.
Zoom lens with a maximum focal length of 200mm generally have a minimum focusing distance of between 3 to 5 feet which can explain this blurring and help establish the camera’s distance from it. A Canon 70-200mm f 2.8 IS lens for instance has a minimum focus distance of 3.94 ‘. Longer length telephotos have progressively longer minimum focusing distances. A Canon 400mm f2.8 IS lens for example has a minimum focusing distance of nearly 9 feet.
It is entirely possible that the photos that do not show the picket fence were actually taken much closer to the subjects (no more than 40 feet, the distance to the end of the guardrail) or less, or were taken at a greater distance and “cropped” with a zoom lens. More on the position of the photographer as I discuss the pictures later. But suffice to say, nearly all of these photos were taken from approximately the same place and its location shows that all were in all likelihood staged.
Breaking Down the Photos:
The Innocuous Photos
Now lets begin to breakdown these photos. The Guard Rail Make Out photos fall into a couple of natural groupings which simplify analysis including what I will call the Innocuous Photos, the Face to Face Hugs, the Front to Back Hugs, and the Dry Hump Photos. Let’s start with the five Innocuous Photos, PopSugar #3,13, 8, 23, and 55. I have intentionally swapped #13 and #8 to assist analysis.
The image below shows a thumbnail of these photos to help you get oriented.
The first thing that these photographs generally establish is the general time of day that the photos were taken. As you look to the west down Pacific View Drive towards the guardrail location you will notice a the hill that extends to the left side of that street in a westerly direction. That hill has a way of blocking direct sunlight early in the morning and later in the day and it is only when the sun is high in the sky does the sun directly penetrate the street. The second clue as to the time of them being taken comes from the sun shadows that are cast in PopSugar photos#8, 23, and even 55. As I have argued thoroughly before, these shadows establish that these photos were taken closer to 12-2 p.m. in the afternoon (based on the length and direction of these shadows) and not after 5:00 pm as US Magazine/FameFlyNet claims. That’s a astrophysical fact. See the Grand Punk Part 5 for that discussion.
Focusing on # 8, 23, and #55 first, what do they tell us and are there any elements contained within the pictures that cause us to question their authenticity. See PopSugar #8 below.
I have added two reference lines, the red line marks the base of Kristen’s feet, the red line the top of her head. There does not appear to be any significant distortions in the size relationships of any of this photo’s elements. Rupert and Kristen are appropriately proportioned to each other and the car. Thus, there is no Class A error.
But looking at Part B error is more problematic. Although the natural lighting appears to be high and from behind, Kristen’s face, neck, and left shoulder despite being in the shadows is remarkably well lite, consistent with the use of fill lighting. Evidence of the use of such lighting is present in the two reflections circled on the hood of the car. Otherwise, we would have had a Class B error. The brighter and more obvious single reflection to the left is likely a reflection of the sun. But what of the other two distinct but adjacent “lights” that appear above the headlight. You can see them more distinctly by going to the PopSugar website. There are not three suns in the sky and so the only other rational explanation is that these are two additional bright artificial light sources and they provide the fill lighting effect we see on Kristen. Suffice to say such lighting is inconsistent with paparazzi hiding in the bushes and is more consistent with this photo being staged.
What of Class C error? This is a closer question but two elements seem to be at least questionable and may defy logic. The first is the odd and somewhat extreme angle that Rubert is standing at. Although it’s probably possible to stand or walk at that angle, it is an highly unusual stance and would be difficult to maintain. Note the yellow reference line I’ve added to the photo above. The second problem is the curious position of the right rear tire of the car. On its left edge it seems to not make contact with the ground, whereas the front tire of the car flattens to the ground . This is highly unusual as the ground in that area was dirt and softer, not hard pavement. Some have argued that it is a sign that the entire car was photoshopped. However, photoshopping someone behind glass (Kristen), and wrapping their fingers around it, is a technically difficult task and highly unlikely. But the tire remains an odd anomaly.
As for Class D error, the fingernail polish of Kristen’s left hand at the edge of the car door window appears to be distinctively red if you look at the picture on PopSugar website. This is a Class D (continuity error). In most of the rest of the photos at this scene her nail polish appears to be a pale light blue.
As a final note, this photograph was also taken from Position C. It is impossible to see this much of the front of and sides of the car from position A, B, or B2 because of the indentation of the parking area into the hillside and the vegetation growing on that side of the street. Because it is far enough down the street, Position C enables this view of the car.
Let’s move on to PopSugar #23. There is very little in it that aids an analysis, but on the surface, there is not any apparent Class A error other than Kristen seems somehow heavier than normal. I think this may be an artifact of how the photo was formatted for printing.
For example, if you contract (compress) the entire image right to left, she loses what appears to be some additional heft and appears more as she actually does. See this compressed view below. Doing this in a entire photo does not effect the size relationships of things within a photo.
In terms of Part B error, the natural sun light once again appears to have been supplemented with fill light, this time with either a light with a diffuser or more likely a diffuse reflector. These are typical stock and trade items in the arsenal of portrait and fashion photographers. Notice the highlighting, even lighting, , and lack of distinct shadows on Kristen’s arm, her exposed waist, and the side of her face. This is a photo that is back lite in bright sunlit and it should be contrasty with these areas in her shadow. Yet it clearly isn’t. The reflector appears to have been held relatively low and angled upward.
For an example of a more extreme use of a reflector, see the photograph below.
The effects can be varied based on the size and reflectivity of the screen and the angle and distance to the subject. You can read more about the use of reflectors here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflector_%28photography%29. Suffice to say once again, such lighting is inconsistent with a paparazzi hiding in the bushes and is more consistent with the photo being staged. And anytime I mention that fill lighting has been used in a photograph that also suggests that the photo was staged. As a final note, the white “wash” on Kristen’s left inside elbow is reflected light from her white top.
In terms of Class C error, some have argued Kristen’s left foot is “floating” in midair. This is not evidence of poor photoshopping but rather evidence of the use of a high shutter speed: she is “frozen” in mid step by the camera’s high shutter speed. In terms of Class D or continuity error, although you will have to closely examine the PopSugar photos on their website to see it, Kristen’s right wrist appears to have two black bands on it in PopSugar #23. In PopSugar #8 it appears to be a single band.
Now let’s take a look at PopSugar #3. I have added two reference lines to that photograph, the red line marks the top of the guardrail where Rupert’s right arm intersects it. The blue line marks the roughly the top of Kristen’s head. To the right is the previously described measuring tool. What can we say about this picture in terms of Class A, B, C, D error? Starting with Class A error first, the first thing you should notice is that Kristen is farther way from the camera than Rupert. Thus her apparent height is reduced in relationship to him. This is a typical perspective effect, farther away objects look smaller than ones that are closer. Which means that in terms of the picture, if she were even with him her head would come somewhere higher than the blue line that runs roughly through his eyes, which appears to be too high. But the other thing you should notice is that she is somewhat slouched and Rupert is significantly leaning back into the rail reducing both of their apparent apparent heights. Per the measuring tool, the top of Kristen head should come to about Rupert’s chin.
Factoring in their postures in this photograph, it is difficult to establish a Class A error. They appear to be within the range of the relative heights and the guard rail. In terms of Class B error two things are going on. Once again, there is obvious fill lighting going on in the area of Kristen’s face and right arm. Rupert’s jacket does not provide a reflective surface to explain this. But there is also a significant lack of a shadow on the fence behind Rupert. With the light high and behind them, you would expect him to shadow the area on the top rail behind him. But instead a bright light is hitting that rail and it appears to be coming across the picture, not from behind Kristen. This is a clear Class B error and may be evidence of photoshopping unless it can be explained by the use of a strong artificial light source to their immediate left. Whether this is evidence of digital manipulation or the use of an artificial light source is probably unresolvable. But neither conclusion supports the notion that a paparazzi “captured” this photo during a tryst. There is no apparent Class C error but there is a clear Class D continuity error, as Kristen’s right wrist clearly has a single wristband, unlike in PopSugar #23 above where she is wearing two.
Now let’s take a look at PopSugar #13. This photo is remarkably similar to PopSugar #3 above and both are likely the result of a rapid fire of the camera shutter. The only difference is Kristen’s characteristic lip bite in #3 above which is missing in #13 below and Rupert’s left foot which has been lifted to guard rail crossbar and his right leg has straightened somewhat making him appear taller in relation to Kristen. All of the same comments from the above analysis apply here. The only other thing to note is that these two pictures obviously prove that the photographer was equipped with a camera capable of taking rapid fire photographs. Thus there is no excuse as to why many more photographs were not taken at this scene.
Here are the pictures side by side so that you can compare them easily. The second, #13, was obviously cropped more closely by cropping the print, the photographer moving closer, or zooming the lens closer.
Rounding out the Innocuous photos, let’s take a look at PopSugar #5, which I previously argued appears to have both Rupert and Kristen talking on cell phones. (See the Grand Punk Part ). I have again added two reference lines, a blue line at the top of Kristen’s head and the red line marking the top of the guard rail where it meets Rupert’s elbow.
This photograph shows obvious evidence of digital manipulation or photoshopping, Class A error. Note that Rupert is even farther away from the photographer than Kristen is and therefore his apparent height would be even greater than it appears here if he were even with Kristen because of the perspective effect described earlier. Despite this fact, if Rupert were fully upright in this photo his chin would be well above the blue reference line and Kristen’s right leg is straight indicating that she is at her full natural height. Counting pixels, Rupert’s chin would be anywhere from 10-12 inches above the blue reference line and thus 10-12 inches higher than it should be in relation to the top of Kristen’s head. This would make Rupert’s height in excess of 7 feet which is clearly impossible. This photograph was obviously digitally altered, probably by photoshopping Rupert in.
This conclusion is supported by the presence of multiple signs of Class B error in the photograph. Note below two areas along Rupert’s right leg that I have circled in yellow where long white lines of backlighting appear. You may have to see these pictures at the PopSugar website to see these details clearly. These areas should be in the shadows, yet both show strong backlighting effects from inexplicable light sources.
See also evidence of supplemental fill lighting on Kristen’s right shoulder (circled in red) and the same cross lighting problem described above in PopSugar #3 and #13 on the top of the guard rail directly behind Rupert.
In addition, three other Class C problem areas exist. Two are circled in blue and both involve shoes. Kristen’s right shoe particularly at the front appears to dive into the ground, and Rupert right shoe is inexplicable. It is either turned oddly inward to the left or is remarkably shorter than the left one. Both of these problems defy logic. The final Class C error is circled in magenta at Rupert’s left knee. Their is a discontinuity in the line of his leg that makes absolutely no sense. With all these errors, this photograph is by far the most problematic of the Innocuous Photos set.
Breaking Down the Photos:
The Front to Front Hugs
Let’s next take a look next at the ten Front to Front Hug photographs, PopSugar # 5,10,12,14,16,30,32,40,51, and 54. I have rearranged these photos from their presented order to assist our analysis. A thumb nail of them appears below to help get you oriented.
Let’s start by looking at Photos # 5, 16, 30, and 54 since they all share Kristen turning to her left towards the camera. What do these photos show in terms of Class A,B,C, and D error. To aid the analysis of Kristen’s height in relationship to the guard rail, I constructed a second measuring tool with a photo of Kristen with lighter clothing on. The photo is one of the late July photos of Kristen leaving the gym. She is wearing the same type red gym shoes, is on flat ground, her leg leg is fully extended and vertical and she appears at roughly her maximum height. Her elbow left elbow is bent significantly at a horizontal plane as she grasps the strap of a backpack. Again counting pixels, I approximated her height at various portions of her body. See that tool below.
Note that her arm is at an extreme backward angle, the forearm is horizontal with the bottom edge resting at 44″, the height equivalent to the guard rail, and her hand rests roughly over her left breast. Using this tool, any picture that shows Kristen’s forearm level, her elbow at a significantly more relax angled, and her hand significantly below her breast is evidence that the picture has been digitally altered from her actual appearance. Because this Class A error is so prevalent in many of the pictures that follow, I will call it a Kristen/guard rail Class A error to simplify the discussion.
And to cut to the chase, PopSugar #5,16, 30 all suffer this type of error. As a result, Kristen’s arm is any where from 3″ to 5″ taller than it should be in relationship to the guard rail, clear evidence that these images have been digitally manipulated. Note the blue reference line in both of them and where it falls on her. Compare that to the Measuring Tool 2 above. PopSugar # 30 is the clearest in this regard and only PopSugar #54 is equivocal. Let’s examine some additional issues with these photographs. Starting with PopSugar #5, there is an additional Class A error, Kristen is taller than she should be in relation to Rupert as well. He appears relatively upright although his head is angled downward. Her head is also nestled into her neck. There is no way that the top of her head is going to reach the bottom of his chin even correcting for this posture. A Class B lighting issue is also present in that Kristen’s forehead, hand and forearm (circled in yellow) all show evidence of the use of fill lighting, once again probably due to the use of photographic reflectors. There is also a Class C logic error present in an anomaly circled on Kristen’s left for leg. This appears to be some kind of odd light flare in a place where it should not be.
Let’s look at # 16 next which you’ll note is a very similar picture to the one above again evidencing the photographers ability to take rapid pulse pictures. In addition to the two Class A errors cited above, there is an additional Class B error circled right near where Kristen’s arm intersects with the guard rail. Note the back most panel of her t-shirt and even her right shirt strap. These areas should clearly be in the shadows, but both show evidence of highlighting. And a lighting error on Rupert’s right shoe. Finally note the Class C error oddity, the odd rippling on Rupert’s left pants leg (circled).
Let’s now go to PopSugar #30. Kristen’s height is even more pronounced in relation to Rupert in this photo as he is standing virtually fully upright. Though Kristen is somewhat crouched she comes up to at least his nose, not his chin, no less than 3″ taller than she should be. Clear evidence of fill lighting is present broadly across her face and left shoulder (circled). Note again the off light flare on her left foreleg (circled). And finally note the Class C logic error regarding where her elbow hits the guard rail. You may have to look at it at the PopSugar site to see it clearly, but her arm appears to be ominously “imbedded” into the guard rail.
An finally, PopSugar #54. In this photo Kristen’s entire shoulder is turned somewhat to the left towards the camera. Here we arguable have her correctly proportioned to Rupert in terms of height once you adjust for their postures (no Class A error). She is also arguably close to the proper relationship to the guard rail. The Class B cross lighting on the guard rail issue remains. Class C error is evidenced in the very off undulation of material at her left knee as well as the off light flare. And a major Class D continuity error appears on her left hand at Rupert’s waist. The ring face appears distinctly black and very much unlike the ring on that finger in earlier in PopSugar # 3 and #13 above.
Now let’s turn to PopSugar #10, 12, and 51, where Kristen is turned a little more directly into Rupert. As a starting point all three show a Class C error as Kristen’s height is elevated in relation to Rupert, the top of her head striking him at nearly eye level. She does so in all three photos despite the fact that she is slouched somewhat and he is standing fully upright. This is a distortion of 4″to 5″ in each photo. There is also a Kristen/guard rail Class C error of at least +3 ” in all three of the photos.
Now for the additional specifics. In PopSugar #10 their is a Class B lighting error in that fill lighting is present on the left side of Kristen’s face and her left shoulder. A Class B cross scene lighting errors also exist on the guardrail behind her and right above her left knee. The later is absolutely inexplicable. Finally the Class C light flare is also present.
Turning to # 12, all the same issues exist as above other than the left knee lighting issue has “disappeared. This picture reinforces the fact that Rupert was upright while Kristen was somewhat slouched.
And finally, PopSugar # 12, one of my favorites. The one I like to call “The Claw. All of the previously described Class A, B, and C errors are present here with the exception of the left knee lighting problem. It is entirely inexplicable why there is not a strong wash of sunlight on raised hand given the direct sunlight striking her chest on her chest and the direct sunlight that appears in relatively the same place through PopSugar #54 above.
Let’s move to the final three photos of this set, PopSugar #14,32, and 40. A Kristen/guard rail Class A error likely exists in #14 but is difficult to assess because of how Rupert’s body blocks her. The Class B cross lighting error continues in this photo and the left hand Class D ring continuity problem continues with this ring being similar to the ring in PopSugar #54 above but different from the one in PopSugar #3 and #13 above. Class C logic errors include the left foreleg light flare and very unusual undulations on left Rupert’s pant’s leg. Interestingly, little evidence of fill lighting effects on Kristen left arm appear in this photograph.
Similar difficulties in analysis appear in PopSugar #34 below again because of the position of Rupert blocking Kristen if that is indeed her. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it aside from the Class B cross lighting issue on the guard rail is the remarkable difference in the appearance of Kristen”s two arms. Compare her two arms and hands. The left arm (on your right) appears inexplicably thin and her hand small) compared to those on her right. Her head also appears to be displaced to the left. Despite what little this photo shows, this element is particularly problematic.
And finally, there is PopSugar #40. A Class B cross lighting error continues, but we have an additional light flare at Kristen’ waist at the guard rail as well as the one at her right foreleg, some fill lighting evidence on her upper arm, and a Class C logic error as her left tennis shoe appears buried in the earth. Note also the return of the Rupert’s leg pant’s leg.
A Temporary Timeout for New Year’s
Sorry to keep you in suspense, but we are hitting the limits of this document’s file size on this blog site, so I will stop here for a short while. We will continue and complete this discussion next year. In the meantime, have a great New Year’s! And don’t worry, the next edition is ready for the presses. It will not be a long wait.
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