Friday night was another devastating night for severe weather in Oklahoma. A single super cell centered right over the OKC metro area spawned at least 3 tornadoes, caused massive flooding, and has taken as many as 16 more lives as a result. On Saturday, I began seeing the above photo pop up on my Facebook news feed of twin tornadoes that happened to be illuminated and caught at just the right time by a photographer covering the storms in Oklahoma City.
Does anyone else remember seeing this sight on Friday night?
That's right. You didn't. No one did, because the photo above isn't real. When I first started seeing the photo something immediately felt off. My Photoshop alarm started buzzing, as I've seen a lot of photos and video of tornadoes and something about these two tornadoes didn't feel real. I couldn't place my finger on exactly what it was, but it just felt like these tornadoes were drawn or layered in and were not part of the original photo. After doing some research and a TinEye.com backwards image search, I came across this photo:
This photo is undoubtedly the original and was shot by a gentleman named Daniel Loretto. I cannot find the actual date of publication on the photo (it's not listed on the photographer's page), but I have seen the doctored photo show up in articles as far back as April 18, 2012. As you can see, it is an amazing shot of lightning over an unknown city, but there are no tornadoes in the storm.
Hopefully this illustrates the ridiculousness that ensues on Facebook when photos are shared unchecked. There are plenty of amazing photos and videos floating around from the storms of the past two weeks that there's no reason to pass around a faked image and claim that it's the real deal. I personally get frustrated when I see out-of-context photos and quotes and similar floating around the social media sphere and perhaps the above post will give you a reason to stop for a moment and consider just what you're passing around and claiming to be real before hitting that SHARE button under the Facebook post.