To get real technical about it after looking harder at this? If I was handed this photo at school to critique and not shown the byline for where it
came from? First of course would be the automatic fail given to the photo editor. One simply doesn't leave articulated appendages out where they
can't attach to something.
I looked real hard at this though....and the details are telling. The area would seem to 'imply' a line back to the fireman which is the focus of
the shot on the right...or perhaps one next to him and further into the scene for depth/size. Hard to say with the CS 6 tools for content aware (It
means you can move things in a photograph now and the computer will auto-fill what is open in the absence of what got moved..it's almost magic when
it works right).
However... like a bad TV show, I'd draw everyone's attention to the smoking photo detail. :
The truck and ground details between the arm and
it's owner. They're perfect. Not a line out of place or a smudge to the lighting reflections from the lower % of the area forward of the wheel well.
You can even see a line in place there which is unbroken and perfect in alignment to everything else around it. All...under
where the arm
should be covering.
So how the.... What the... How'd they do that?? Well... It's only one way, but I can very easily see everything here being done and screwed up by
simply overlaying and then aligning TWO photographs (Photoshop does it automatically and specifically for this purpose..one with the arm extended
which they WANT the rest of...and another of the same scene for reference of background detail) then using masking effects to remove the big arm that
takes up the left 'third' (a photo "rule" for layout of photos) of the picture here. Masking and the POOR use of it would explain perfectly how
you get a piece of an arm with no apparent owner nearby...yet ALL detail and imagery where the rest of the arm should be is perfectly in place and
where it should be. AP needs better photo editors.
Hope that helps! ..and remember, if you didn't take the photo yourself and it's modern? It's been photoshopped.