One For The Cynics…

Had this (so called) “optical illusion” laying around for quite some time now. Originally titled “Even God has a sense of humor”, this photo shows a horrible aftermath of a location devastated by heavy floods. Cynics among you will spot it immediately, while for the rest it will take few moments before they can see it. My feelings are still mixed about today’s feature, specially when I tell you (this is the truth) how I originally planned to post this couple of years ago, but then Hurricane Katrina happened, and I felt it would be in bad taste. After a while I have revisited the idea, yet then this horrible Tahiti Haiti earthquake happened, leaving the island in ruins. Once again I decided against it. Hope you won’t find this offensive and mean in any way. Consider it dark humor, something that can’t hurt if properly dosed!

111 Replies to “One For The Cynics…”

  1. Everything in life depends on our perception: what we see, and how we see it.

    I wouldn’t relate this to ‘God’, myself, simply to the laws of cause and effect. Conditions came together to produce this, those are completely out of our control, and only our state of mind as we view the result counts.

    If we mock tragedy, that’s not so good. If we see a kind of dark humour in our human condition, that might be OK. If we perceive contradiction and irreality, that’s pretty good.

    Whatever, you shouldn’t beat yourself up for posting it! :-)

  2. funny pic but i dont see how it is suitable for this site. id probably expect this from failblog or something, but your other feeds are really good Vurdlak.

  3. it would be interesting to see a st view satellite image say from Google maps of this location before the floods… the sense of humor maybe visible there before as well without giving away the image

  4. Although I know this is in seeming poor taste, it is what it is. It is more of a brain teaser. When thought of in that vain, it does not feel grotesque in nature to feel proud of one’s self for finding the “God’s Humor” if you will. I feel more relieved that today, you can finally post it. You had to be shocked when you realized what else you were seeing in the photo. Try looking into drinks with ice cubes from the ’70s. I had a teacher, perverse but worked ad agencies prior to teaching job, who was correct in showing our class strategically hidden messages in ice cubes. When we seek, we shall find. (?) Andrea

  5. Do you mean “LOL” in the midlle of the photo? If so, not all the people know what it means, only whose language is English. I can’t call it an optical illusion.

    1. Well done, Anna. Skepticism is crucial these days, and not enough folks are. They’ll take anything, no matter how suspect, at face value.

    2. How would you even find this?! Well done.

      If you look hard enough, you will find someone to be offended by anything. I like this one, even though it is photoshopped.

      What an impressive website.

    3. If it wasn’t photoshopped then I’d say it isn’t offensive, but considering that it has been, then it is extremely so.

      Shame on whoever wasted their time doing it.

    1. To Steve,

      In case you have not yet been able to find the Optical Illusion in this picture, here are the directions to help you see it.

      Look a little bit up and a little to the right of the middle of picture. You should see what appears to be the letters “LOL” spelled out among the Flood Damage. Although the Flood and the Damage are all too real, the letters “LOL” do not appear in the original picture. The picture was edited (Photoshopped) after it was taken and the letters “LOL” were added at that time.

      I hope this has helped you Steve, and I hope it will help anyone else that may have trouble finding the Optical Illusion!

      Thank You for taking the time to read my reply!

      David E. Blair

    2. Steve,

      Here is the “ORIGINAL” picture that was “NOT PHOTOSHOPPED” OR “EDITED”!!!

      [img]http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/assets/img/katrina-research/image-01-large.jpg[/img]

  6. none of you is able to see the corpses behind the roofs?? I may consider myself the worst of cynics, but even so I can’t smile at the death of hundreds of people…

    If it were brilliant I could consider the artistic side of the photo, but something so stupid as that geek LOL thing chatters spit everyday…

    It’s not offensive nor mean, it’s simply unnecessary. I can’t imagine why you have been thinking about this rubbish during years.

  7. Sorry.I was checking this out on the mobile.It shows it zoomed out.Now I checked on my pc.Turns out it becomes way more obvious when the picture is smaller.It is live.This just goes to show that a picture can percieved in many different ways.It just depends on the mind of the viewer.[img]http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/6622/61185f.jpg[/img]

  8. Its Photoshopped.. Rather obvious. There is program that will analyze it and tell you it is photochopped…

    Delete it please, its highly disrespectfull..

  9. How is it any more disrespectful than a swimming pool or a car…. if you don’t like something turn away.

    I don’t know I think 4 trailers put together with a yard in the middle is a good idea, would look nicer than them stacked on top of each other.

  10. As the photographer whose original image was lifted, digitally manipulated, then subsequently misused on this site, I feel compelled to set the record straight about this post.

    The image posted here is without question a photoshopped forgery based on a photograph taken on the morning of August 30, 2005 showing the flooded Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

    The original image has been widely circulated and was part of a portfolio that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2006 — http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/5547.

    Many words have been tossed about here, notably “cynic” and “offensive”. Count me among the cynics.

    We live in a world saturated with falsified imagery. A world where anyone with easy-to-use digital tools, too much time on their hands and an internet connection can easily and quickly create a visual lie and send it around the world. It is a shame that a site purporting to celebrate optical illusion, with nearly 22,000 Facebook followers no less, so willingly disseminates such a fraud — and then goes on to unabashedly lie about the image in the text.

    “When I tell you (this is the truth) how I originally planned to post this couple of years ago, but then Hurricane Katrina happened,” is a shameless lie. That would be impossible since the the original image was shot after the hurricane struck land. What did the author think? That saying “this is the truth” would somehow strengthen the credibility of the lie?

    This sort of deceit is deplorable.

    Even if we overlook the poor taste in creating a childish prank with an image of a disaster where thousands died and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed, the damage caused by this sort of misguided attempt at humor runs even deeper.

    A few years later I photographed destruction in Texas caused by Hurricane Ike. One surprising image from that disaster shows a single house left standing in rubble of a neighborhood flattened by the storm: http://bop.nppa.org/2009/still_photography/winners/?cat=EPS&place=2nd

    In the days that followed the image appearing on the news wires, numerous allegations surfaced around the internet that the image was fake. It took the owner of the house jumping into the fray to quash those allegations.

    That is the problem with willfully disseminating easily falsified imagery as has been done here. The recipients of the imagery have already become so cynical they easily conclude any hard-to-believe photo must be fake.

    Yet our natural world is filled with wonder, and horror, and illusions. It is filled with amazing visuals. Celebrating this wonderment, and the its sometimes illusory nature – as this site purports to do – is laudable.

    Willingly disseminating visual forgery under the guise of truthful imagery is despicable and serves only to further undermine the power of photography (and particularly photojournalism) to capture the incredibly rich visual world in which we live.

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