BP alters image of Gulf oil spill center

Posted by Mark Raby

Right after it was finally starting to earn some good headlines for hopefully putting a real cap on the oil spill, BP is back to doing damage control after one of its official images related to the incident turned out to be Photoshopped.

One of the many photos on BP's official Gulf oil spill Web site shows the company's operations center in Houston. In the image, there are 10 giant video screens each with live feeds of underwater activity in the Gulf.

However, it turns out only 8 of those screens were being used. A BP photographer manipulated the image in Photoshop to make it appear as though all 10 screens were displaying active content.

An astute blogger at Americablog.com noticed that something was not quite right about the picture, and enlarged portions of it that show where images were obviously added in to the original picture. "I guess if you're doing fake crisis response, you might as well fake a photo of the crisis response center," wrote the blogger, adding that it was "painfully clear that they faked the photo (poorly, at that)."

Americablog also uncovered a photo on BP's site that appears to be of the operations center from 2001, which was altered to make it look like it was a recent photo.

According to an Associated Press report, BP spokesperson Scott Dean said the photographer was just "showing off his Photoshop skills" and did not mean to deceive anyone. Dean did admit that the company occasionally uses Photoshop, but only for color correction, glare reduction, and other aesthetic changes.