Red Panda
Topic Author
Posts: 1433
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:58 pm

This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 4:32 pm

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Markus Herzig

I don't know if you guys have noticed this picture, but this picture is fake.


1. Sunlight shining from the back of the "spotters", see their shadows. However, the snow and the trees on the hill in the background do not show any shadows or sunlight reflection. Therefore, the background and the people can't be in the same picture. The background is an add-on.

2. Take a look at the lady on the left-most side. She is in her SHORT SLEEVES! If she is on a mountain covered with snow, it should be damn cold and windy. It would not make sense to take her snow coat off. Don't forget the windchill factor!

3. Where is the plane going to land?! On top of those "spotters"?

4. Those two man are not in snow coat. And, how come they don't wear snow boots if they are really on the mountain? That doesn't make sense either.

5. The guy on the right-most is bald! Does he feel cold without a hat?!

6. Are those two ladies Saints?! How come there are lights around their heads!!

you make your own judgement.
I have made mine.
Red Panda
Posts: 2503
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am


Sun Feb 25, 2001 4:45 pm

This airport is infamous for it's bizarre geographic composition. To comment on your criticisms:
1: The mountain in the background may well be fifty miles away - go to a mountain top sometime and see if the sun is the same on all of them. There is absolutely no way of telling based on lighting.
2: The lady's attire isn't entirely remarkable. She does have a coat, she seems to have removed it for the time though I can't see any reason for which this is unusual. In Alaska I walked in shortsleeves right next to large patches of snow at high elevation.
3: The plane is going to land on the runway. If you've never seen that runway I can understand. However I promise it's there. It has a rather substantial bend downhill in it.
4: The men are doing what the photographer was doing, watching the plane land. Don't think those men went mountain climbing. They are probably not more than a few hundred yards from the end of the runway, notice that the plane is pointed at them. Who cares what kind of coat they're wearing?
5: The guy isn't quite bald, and really - if you're walking by and stop to watch a plane land you're not going to don special equipment.
6: The lights around their heads are merely patches of snow on the opposing ill-lit mountain face.
7: Why, of all the pictures to fake, would someone compose this?!

I have made my judgement indeed. Looks real to me. None of the typically visible merging seems from cut'n'paste operations and no unacountable alterations in lighting (i.e. a pink tint to one half while a blue to the other). Looks genuine.
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 4:59 pm

This is a great photo!  Big thumbs up

Do larger jets fly into this airport?
Bring back the Concorde
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 5:08 pm

This picture is real, the runway is on the side of a mountain and slopes up hill. Its quite amazing looking to see the entire airport.

As far as I know, those DHC-7s are the only airliners flying in there.
Posts: 714
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2000 8:34 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 5:24 pm

Would you guys (Red panda) stop accusing every great shot as "fake". I really think that is up to Johan to decide. How do you know it is fake, that the sunlight doesnt look perfect for you, are you crazy!!! Why cant you people just accept a great picture for what it is!! This really does get tiring after a while. Its sadens me to see people say such harsh comments about another's great artistic capapbilitys.  Sad As the other replys suggest, this photo is fantastic and congratulations to Markus herzig for taking such a brilliant photo and sharing it with us, I appreciate it very much. Big grin

Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 5:36 pm

Johan is pretty strict about what pictures makes it into the database. I had 18 pictures rejected by Johan! Some were OK and some I thought were great. I doubt Johan would let a fake picture make it into the database.

That is a great picture indeed!  Smokin cool
Bring back the Concorde
Red Panda
Topic Author
Posts: 1433
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:58 pm


Sun Feb 25, 2001 5:49 pm

Qantas 737:

If it is a true photo as you guys say, I would appreciate it. But there were some fake pix got their way into the database before. I just wanna know others' comments on this photo cuz it looks fake to me. I appreciate many great photos here in the DB, like those best shots in a week, 2 weeks, 1 months, last 365 days and ever. I especially like those nearly crashed pix, such as landing in crosswind.

red panda

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 8:33 pm

I know by fact this photo is a real one. However I understand why Red Panda would say it's fake because this airport (Courchevel, France) is really an odd one. I can't even believe somebody would actually build an airport in such a place.

I knew this airport from this URL. This is the website of a commercial Courchevel scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator and might help you understand the shot.

Also see: (More screenshots of the virtual scenery) (Scroll to middle of page to see photos of Courchevel)
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 2:07 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 8:45 pm

That sure is a nice photo, and that is real of course. Great Shot!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

KLM747 Big grin
Victor Hotel
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 8:29 pm

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 9:41 pm

This is an excellent photo indeed, and obviously not fake. The what semes to be light around one of the ladies head(the one on the left) looks to me like its juts wispy hair coming out. The lady next to the one with her coat in her arms has a ski lift ticket on her arm suggesting they are somewhere near a ski field and it looks as if the lady on the left has ski boots on. Anyway this is truely a great pic.
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RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 10:36 pm

great pic  Big thumbs up
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: This Picture Is Not A Fake!

Sun Feb 25, 2001 11:22 pm

Taken with a fairly long lens, i.e. a telephoto, the compression caused as a result is stunning.

Mr. Panda's comment #1 does not take into account the distance to the background mountain slope, probably in the area of 6 or more miles: detail such as individual shadows will be lost; comments #2 - 5 don't reflect much experience in mountainous areas in summer time; comment #6 is easily explained by the bare patch of trees on the distant mountain slope coincidentally in line with her head!

All in all, perhaps Mr. Panda could use a course in photographic technique!

What a great picture of a great airplane.

Best Regards,

Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Mon Feb 26, 2001 12:07 am

Mountain and snow in background with no sun but sun on people.

Ever hear of a cloud?

People in short sleeves on mountains?

You know there could be three feet of snow under those people and the temperature could be 60-70 degrees that day. One day of warm temperatures won't melt snow all the way.

We had a foot of snow last December in Detroit, but we had a 60 degree day in January and there was snow on the ground.

Haven't you heard of people skiing in Colorado in the spring and summer? They do, if they had a good snowy winter with several feet of snow on the ground it lasts until spring and people do occassionally ski in 70 degree weather as long as it wasn't a week of warm temperatures.
Posts: 567
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 3:18 am

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Mon Feb 26, 2001 1:18 am

A great picture of the Altiport of Conrchevel

Copyright : Jean-Martin Feisthauer.

Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: This Picture Is Fake!

Mon Feb 26, 2001 1:51 am

Being on the mountains doesnt necesarily mean its cold-I was at 10,000 ft. on Mt. Rainier and it was warm enough to wear t-shirts-I was also at 12,000 ft. in the Rockies and we were wearing shorts and t-shirts...

Also, many mountain airports have sloped landing areas, go to Nepal, a lot of them are sloped...

High altitude affects your distance judging ability as well, for all you know that mountain in the background could be 30 miles away...
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