Figures 2 and 3 show light shining from the rear right area (indicated by mark K). That explains the highlighting on figure 2's lower lip and the outline light on his forehead (indicated by B), and also the outline light on the top and back of figure 3's head. Under the light from a same light source (K), the left part of figure 4's face and his left shoulder should be as bright as figure 2, but what is shown on the photo is just to the contrary. The faces of figures 4, 5, 6 indicate light from the front left (J), proven by the bright area on the right chest of figure 4.
Taking the premise that the photo was taken outdoors under natural light, if the light source J is supposed to be sunlight, then K is not tenable as it's impossible to make an artificial sunlight source with a color temperature of around 5,400 k.
Furthermore, it's impossible for a photo taken under natural light to have two sunlight sources located in opposite positions, thus the photo can be deemed a composite.
Traces left by Photoshop
Firstly, figure 4's left collar is evidently overlaid with figure 2's head as mark C indicates. Using the Photoshop tool rubber stamp or putting the tool in the status of feathered semi-transparence, which the person who merged photos used when cutting out figure 2, figure 4's collar appears to be semi-transparently overlaid after it was merged with figure 2.
Secondly, the red robe on the back of figure 2's right shoulder lies in a straight-line (indicated by E). Even if the image is zoomed in 800 percent, it remains non-mosaic, because the person when cutting out the images to merge used the straight-line tool. But there is evident difference in the mosaic size in the part (see D) with 800 percent zoom-in and its surrounding areas. Four pieces of mosaic (see D), having covered the folding shadow in the original picture, are greatly enlarged than the mosaics in its surrounding areas.
Thirdly, the overlapped part of the back of the head of figure 1 with the right coat pocket and stitched line of right sleeve of figure 4 is very blurred. Since human skin and hair belong to a kind of texture totally different from that of the materials the police uniform was made of, and furthermore, the focus of the figure 1's head and figure 4 are both within an established depth of field, this overlapped part should not be that blurred (indicated by F).
Fourthly, the depth of focus at the area pointed by H is apparently different from the area pointed by I. The pattern on the wall pointed by I is clear while the H area is so blurred that its texture is hard to tell, and the iron frame and the figure behind are comparatively clear. It is unreasonable to have parts with different depths of focus in a single plane.
Conclusion: To sum up, the photo published by N24 website is pieced together by two or more pictures.
Currently, the photo and the report cannot be found at the N24 website, but can be found via Google.
Such acts of falsifying photos and news to deceive readers should be condemned.
(China.org.cn May 27, 2008)