I have my doubts about this picture

Hunter claims to have shot 500-pound wild hog. Pigs can grow that big, but the picture sure looks photo-shopped to me – like the dead pile of pork chops was superimposed on the background shot of a marsh. Hmm.

I had been thinking of escaping the winter and heading down to a friend’s ranch in Florida for my own porker hunting but real estate suddenly got busy, and making hay now may pay for an elk hunt in the fall, so I’ve stuck around. Usually, and in a great piece of timing, the market slows down in November just as the hunting picks up. God was a hunter.

Real, or Memorex?

Is it real, or is it Memorex? (Photo credit, Zapgruder)


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17 responses to “I have my doubts about this picture

  1. BigMike

    Yes, zoomed in behind the tail looks like they had to feather the edge a bit
    The image also loses some details/clarity in that area.
    Also the lighting and shadows of the man and background are very slightly different, which makes me also believe…it’s not real.

  2. pulled up in OG

    What’s the difference between a “rogue” buffalo and the broad side of a barn?

  3. Walt

    Dude –
    Of course it is real. Where do you think the expression “big fat pig” came from? And you should know this from your dating experience.
    You chubby lover.
    Your Pal,

  4. Hunter’s nose shadow is at a 1 pm angle – boar’s tusk shadow is at 5pm. The animal is typical of Michigan farm-raised Russian Boar. You pay about $5000 to hunt them within a fenced woodland. If some young ones swim to the federally owned Calf Island in Greenwich Harbor, don’t ask me how.

    A Greenwich Delegation will be pig hunting in Florida this weekend. Are these guys pals of FWIW?

    • Ha! Thank you Mike. As always, I defer to and count on your expertise.

    • Yos

      Nope. Shadow angles are the same correcting for angle of surface. So is the contrast and the tone and the noise. I’m sure the photo is real – but not the scale. Compare the gun (~40″) to hoggie – that’d put him at around 10 feet long. A 10 foot hog would come in closer to a thousand pounds. So how?

      The faked scale is simple – our hunter is well back from the hog. Every wedding photographer uses the same trick. (Did I just compare brides to porcines?)

  5. Anonymous

    posted at 308.

  6. Yos

    Chris, I think the photo is legit, and the critter is around 500 lbs – BUT – our cheating hero stepped a yard or two back to give Hamster the scale of a cow. A 500 pound porker would have the bulk of two big men – that’s not so huge. If he’d put his hand on the critter’s back for scale it would make sense.

    There was a piggy named Hogzilla (in East Texas?) if memory serves, at around 800 lbs.

  7. Anon58

    Haven’t seen this much analysis of a photo since that picture of Lee Harvey Oswald standing in his backyard holding the fateful Mannlicher-Carcano.

  8. Anonymous

    It looks like a rodent of unusual size from the Princess Bride

  9. AJ

    A good or subtle photoshop job is hard to spot. The first clue that this has NOT been photoshopped is that if it’s done well enough to leave you scratching your head, then it’s likely that the photo would have had the most basic fixes done to it, like exposure and color correction, and this one has not. See how washed out the photo is, particularly the foreground: that’s an easy fix, but it wasn’t done.

    Now let’s look at the size of the boar. First thing to consider is that this is an animal in the wild, so it won’t be carrying as much fat as your typical farm porker, Being a lean beast, it’s body structure would be bigger than that of a fat farm animal of the same weight. But I have no idea how big a 500 hundred pound boar would be, and in comparison to what? The guy in the picture could be of large or small physical stature; he could have a large or small head. There is the rifle to compare it to, but even so, it would depend on how far behind the beast the guy is sitting. Just like if you took a picture of yourself holding a fish that you just caught, the fish would look considerably larger if you held it in front of you with your arms extended straight forward than it would if you held the fish close to your body.

    What about the shadows as Earth Image suggested. At first glance what Earth Image says seems to be true, but take another look. While at first glance the nose shadow seems to be coming from one o’clock, this is an illusion caused by the shape of the mouth. Place your index finger on the front of your lips and your thumb on the corner of your lips where the upper and lower lips meet. Now take your hand away, and you’ll see that the front of your lips is a good inch forward of the corner of your mouth. So the shadow on the photo’s left side of the mouth is consistent with light coming from the side and slightly above, and not a one o’clock nose shadow. The fact that the shadow on the upper lip and under the lower lip begin with a vertical, not a one o’clock slant is consistent with this, as is the shadow on the ear of the boar; same thing with the neck shadow under the hunter’s chin: it’s vertical (coming from the side), and doesn’t have a one o’clock slant.

    What Earth Image calls a five o’clock shadow on the tusk of the boar is also consistent with the shadows on the hunter’s face if you take a closer look. If you take a close look at that five o’clock shadow (under the tusk), you’ll see a thin white line following along the upper right edge of it. This is the edge of the tusk which protrudes out to the side before curving upward. So the shadow is not a five o’clock shadow projected from the tusk, but the underside of the tusk, and consistent with all the other shadows in the picture. Notice how black the front leg of the boar is; this is not shadow but fur coloration, perhaps the actual color or perhaps from being wet, so not all dark spots on the fur are shadows. The subtle shadow on the front claw also seems consistent with the other shadows, and keep in mind there is not one light source but reflected and diffused light. And the light appears to be of around 8:00 AM or there about intensity, so the light coming more from the side and slightly above as seen with the shadow of the boar’s ear would fit that time frame.

    The feathering that Big Mike mentions matches the look of the water just slightly above that and to the right of the tree just above the boars back. And if it was feathered, the feathering would be to the boar’s back and not the background as it appears it might be, and that’s if it is feathering, that’s where it appears to be – on the background. But the fur where it meets the hunter’s arm looks natural, as it does above the boar’s eye in front of the background tree, and as it does under the boars chin under the tusk (a lot of work). And the leaves under the beast except for one hard edge under the belly also look natural. So if it were a fake, why do all that hard work to make the fur against the background look natural and leave one hard edge? That would not make sense.

    Bottom line: someone did all the hard stuff but didn’t bother with the easy fixes – I don’t thinks so. I say, not photoshopped. Or at least not photoshopped by a hack like some of those MLS house photos. And maybe the hard stuff was done and the easy stuff left undone by someone going the extra mile to fool people. A good photoshop job can be impossible to spot, but I think this picture is au naturel.

    • Hah! I guess we’re all spending more time on this than is merited. Maybe we should have a FWIW’s pig hunt of our own down there, and see what these guys look like ourselves – Cobra?

  10. Seems suspiciously close to the two other recent giant-pig stories: see
    Same story with the location changed, or are these piggies cropping up everywhere?

  11. CF-

    Come on down and bring the whole FWIW gang for the weekend: