Thursday, January 28, 2010

How a knowledge of printing could have prevented major embarrassment and a retraction.

Recently the TMZ.com website announced the discovery of a never-before published photograph which appeared to show John F. Kennedy on a boat filled with naked women.
TMZ had multiple experts examine the photo - and all said there was no evidence that the picture had been Photoshopped. The original print was scanned and examined for evidence of inconsistent lighting, photo composition and other forms of manipulation. The experts all concluded that the photo appeared authentic.

Professor Jeff Sedlik, a forensic photo expert, said the photo is printed on paper consistent with what was used in the 1950s. The emulsion on the surface of the print has numerous cracks - the result of aging and handling.

Forensic analyst Sedlik superimposed an image of Kennedy taken at the Democratic National Convention in August 1956, just days before Kennedy went on a Mediterranean cruise.Sedlik says the features from the two pics almost precisely sync up. TMZ also had two Kennedy biographers examine the photo - they also believed JFK is in the picture.

Unfortunately it appears that everyone, including Sedlik, may have missed the importance of a distinctive pattern seen around "JFK's" face and clearly visible in this closeup of one of the young (now a pensioner) lady's legs:
Oooops! Those aren't Suzettes - they're Rosettes!

It's now confirmed that the photo was part of a Playboy magazine story published in 1967. The JFK doppelgänger was just a male model. Below is the original image that was published in the magazine:
Hopefully, in the future, TMZ.com will consult with a printer in matters related to print.

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