Is the photograph of Kristen Lindsey, a veterinarian, holding up a ginger tabby-and-white cat that she allegedly shot with an arrow photo-edited or not? I think this is a very important question and worth exploring, which I do here.
If it is Photoshopped (photo-edited or fabricated) then it is a very silly stunt because it has cost her her job and we know that for a fact at this stage. However, the police investigating the matter referred to the possibility of the photograph being Photoshopped. Incidentally, the police spokesperson said that they have now washed their hands of the investigation and passed the matter on to animal control in a different area because they say the matter is outside of their jurisdiction which doesn’t sound very good to me.
We can look at the question of photo-editing from two points of view, I believe. Firstly, we can look at the picture itself and inspect it for signs of Photoshopping. Secondly, we can discuss why she might post on Facebook such an image together with, in her own words, a statement which supports the fact that she has shot the cat with a bow and arrow.
Looking at the image in detail – a blown up part of it illustrates this page – personally I cannot see anything which indicates to me that it is a fabricated image. It is a rather blurred image which is surprising. It indicates that the photograph was taken with a cheap camera. It may even be a cheap film camera with small format film (110 format) as opposed to a digital camera. The colours are very saturated. In fact, they are overly saturated while the face of Lindsey is washed out. There is little detail and it is unsharp. I don’t think these points are particularly relevant but they are rather strange because modern digital cameras, however cheap, produce high-quality images. I suspect that this is an image from mobile phone (cell phone) or film camera.
If the photograph has been created using software then the creator would have two pose Lindsey holding an arrow in the position shown in the photograph and then he/she would have to place a separate photograph of the cat over that background image in the correct position. The cat is clearly dead. In order for Lindsey to place a picture of a dead cat in the exact position she would have to had acquired a dead cat somehow or other. She would then have photo-edit it to remove the background around the cat and then placed it with precision on the background photograph of herself to give the impression that she is holding up the dead cat with the arrow embedded in the cat’s head.
The obvious barrier is finding a dead cat which is in such a position which gives the impression that it is hanging from an arrow embedded into the base of his skull. I think it is almost impossible to find such a picture which fits in so neatly. Also the cat is very much like the neighbour’s cat, Tiger.
There are no lines or indications around Lindsey’s right arm where it makes contact with the cat which gives the impression to me that an image of the cat has been added to the background image. Although I will give way to somebody who is better at photo-editing than me if they can provide a good argument.
Importantly and lastly, the arrow is bowed (bent) slightly due to the pressure from the weight of the dead cat. This indicates the photo is real. If it was fabricated the creator of the picture would probably not have thought about bending the arrow to make it look real.
Turning then to the mentality behind fabricating such a picture, it is difficult to find a good reason to do it when you bear in mind that Kirsten Lindsey is a veterinarian and posing in such a provocative picture and posting it on Facebook is bound to be highly damaging to her career and social standing at least. Why should she want to do that as some sort of stunt? It doesn’t make sense. It is not rational. It would have taken quite a lot of effort to fabricate such a picture to make it as convincing as it is. Why spent all that time trying to destroy your career?
However, if she genuinely believes that feral cats are pests and creatures to be shot at and killed (many people do) and if people in her social circle think likewise she is likely to believe it is acceptable and perhaps in her confidence (some might say arrogance) she thought she could post the photo on Facebook. She is bragging. This scenario indicates that the photograph is genuine so from a mentality point of view one comes to the conclusion that the photograph is genuine and not fabricated.
The comments from Facebook “friends” or social media contacts in response to the photo and her words are quite mild and supportive of her. They are amused. This supports the idea that her associates don’t find the photo offensive which then supports the view that she might want to show off to them.
Has anyone got any ideas about this? Please comment if you have.
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