The winning image of the 2013 World Press Photo was not faked, it has been confirmed.
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen’s image Gaza Burial came under scrutiny after it was suggested the picture was a composite of three different photos.
The claims, published by Extremetech.com, also alleged various limbs had been spliced together from each of the pictures, along with further manipulation of the mourner’s faces.
Hansen, who reportedly did not submit the RAW file of the photo in the first instance, vehemently denied the allegations and World Press Photo has since investigated the matter and confirmed the integrity of the image.
On Tuesday the organisation released a statement detailing the findings of a panel of experts.
“We have reviewed the RAW image, as supplied by the World Press Photo, and the resulting published JPEG image. It is clear that the published photo was retouched with respect to both global and local colour and tone. Beyond this, however, we find no evidence of significant photo manipulation or compositing. Furthermore, the analysis purporting photo manipulation is deeply flawed, as described… [click here for the full analysis]."
On Monday Extremetech.com wrote: “Basically, Hansen took a series of photos – and then later, realizing that his most dramatically situated photo was too dark and shadowy, decided to splice a bunch of images together and apply a liberal amount of dodging (brightening) to the shadowy regions.”
Hansen responded via News.com.au, asserting the “photograph is certainly not a composite or a fake.”
He added: “I have never had a photograph more thoroughly examined, by four experts and photo-juries all over the world.”
Contest rules regarding photo manipulation state: “The content of the image must not be altered. Only retouching which conforms to the currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed.”
Hansen continued: "In the post-process toning and balancing of the uneven light in the alleyway, I developed the raw file with different density to use the natural light instead of dodging and burning. In effect to recreate what the eye sees and get a larger dynamic range.
"To put it simply, it's the same file - developed over itself - the same thing you did with negatives when you scanned them."
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2013 World Press Photo of the year by Paul Hansen, Sweden, for Dagens Nyheter, shows two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad who were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouads brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Hansen, Dagens Nyheter)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Nature Stories by Paul Nicklen, Canada, for National Geographic magazine shows Emperor Penguins, even though they have evolved an incredibly advanced bubble physiology the greatest challenge they face is the loss of sea ice that supports their colonies and ecosystem. New science shows that Emperor Penguins are capable of tripling their swimming speed by releasing millions of bubbles from their feathers. These bubbles reduce the friction between their feathers and the icy seawater, allowing them to accelerate in the water. They use speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour to avoid leopard seals and to launch themselves up onto the ice, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Nov. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Nicklen, National Geographic magazine)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Nature Single by Christian Ziegler, Germany, shows the endangered Southern Cassowary feeds on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree. Cassowaries are a keystone species in northern Australian rainforests because of their ability to carry so many big seeds such long distances, Black Mountain Road, Australia, Nov. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Christian Ziegler)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Prize People Staged Portraits Single by Stefen Chow, Malaysia, for Smithsonian magazine, shows a portrait of Ai Wei Wei, Beijing, China, Feb. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Stefen Chow, Smithsonian magazine)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Daily Life Single by Soren Bidstrup, Denmark, for Berlingske, shows summer holiday camping. Someone is up a little too early in Jeselo, Italy, July 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Soren Bidstrup, Berlingske)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Daily Life Stories by Fausto Podavini, Italy, shows despite her husband's life-threatening disease, Mirella devoted her life to assisting Luigi, trying to be positive and reassuring, looking after him with intense love and respect. Everyday care, usually done in a few minutes, takes hours when it concerns someone with dementia. Mirella, 71, spent 43 years of her life with the only person she loved, with all of life's difficulties, laughter, and beautiful moments. But over the last six years things changed: Mirella lived with her husband Luigis illness, Alzheimers, and devoted her life to him as his caregiver, Rome, Italy, June1, 2010. (AP Photo/Fausto Podavini)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 3rd prize People Observed Portraits Single by lona Szwarc, Poland, for Redux Pictures, shows Kayla posing with her lookalike doll. American Girl is a popular line of dolls that can be customized to look exactly like their owners. Kayla poses in front of a portrait of her ancestors in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Feb 19, 2012. (AP Photo/lona Szwarc, Redux Pictures)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 3rd prize People Observed Portraits Stories by Ananda van der Pluijm, Netherlands, shows Martin, after living with his dad for 10 years and staying in a youth shelter, my half-brother Martin (18) returned home 2 years ago, to live with his mother again. He arrived with some clothes in a bag, no work or graduation. I'm following him during this period to get to know him again and record his developments, Tilburg, Netherlands, Feb. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Ananda van der Pluijm)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Sports Sports Features Stories by Jan Grarup, Denmark, for Laif, shows the Somali basketball association pays armed guards to watch over and protect Suweys and her team when they play. In Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives to play basketball. Suweys, the 19-year-old captain of a women's basketball team, and her friends defy radical Islamist views on womens rights. They have received many death threats from not only al-Shabaab militias and radical Islamists, but some male members of their own families. "I just want to dunk," said Suweys. It is on the basketball court she feels happiest. "Basketball makes me forget all my problems, Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Jan Grarup, Laif)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Contemporary Issues Single by Micah Albert, USA, for Redux Images, shows pausing in the rain, a woman working as a trash picker at the 30-acre dump, which literally spills into households of one million people living in nearby slums, wishes she had more time to look at the books she comes across. She even likes the industrial parts catalogs. It gives me something else to do in the day besides picking trash, she said in Nairobi, Kenya, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Micah Albert, Redux Images)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Contemporary Issues Stories by Maika Elan, Vietnam, for Most, shows Phan Thi Thuy Vy and Dang Thi Bich Bay, who have been together for one year, watch television to relax after studying at school. Vietnam has historically been unwelcoming to same-sex relationships. But its communist government is considering recognizing same-sex marriage, a move that would make it the first Asian country to do so, despite past human rights issues and a long-standing stigma. In August 2012, the countrys first public gay pride parade took place in Hanoi, Da Nang, Vietnam, June 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Maika Elan, Most)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Sports Sports Action Stories by Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, for European Pressphoto Agency, shows Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt (top) in action against Peter Joppich of Germany (C) during their Men's Foil Individual Round16 match for the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, European Pressphoto Agency)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 3rd prize General News Stories by Daniel Berehulak, Australia, for Getty Images, shows pine trees, uprooted during last year's tsunami, lay strewn over the beach. As the one year anniversary approaches, the areas most affected by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing according to Japan's National Police Agency continue to struggle. Thousands of people still remain without homes living in temporary dwellings. The Japanese government faces an uphill battle with the need to dispose of rubble as it works to rebuild economies and livelihoods in Rikuzentakata, Japan, March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Berehulak, Getty Images)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Sports Sports Action Single by Wei Seng Chen, Malaysia, a jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields. The Pacu Jawi (bull race) is a popular competition at the end of harvest season keenly contested between villages in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Wei Seng Chen)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize General News Single by Rodrigo Abd, Argentina, for The Associated Press, Aida cries while recovering from severe injuries she received when her house was shelled by the Syrian Army. Her husband and two children were fatally wounded during the shelling in Idib, north Syria, March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Spot News Stories by Fabio Bucciarelli, Italy, for Agence France-Presse, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter takes position during the clashes against Syrian government forces in Sulemain Halabi district in Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli, Agence France-Presse)
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 15, 2013 by World Press Photo, the 2nd prize Spot News Single by Emin Ozmen, Turkey, shows opposition fighters regularly launched operations to seize government informants after dark. Two informants were captured, declared guilty under interrogation, and tortured throughout the night; tired soldiers had to be replaced so the torture could continue. After 48 hours, the captives were released in Aleppo, Syria, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Emin Ozmen)
Santiago Lyon, Michiel Munneke
Chairman of the jury of the 2013 World Press Photo contest, Vice President and Director of Photography of The Associated Press, Santiago Lyon, far left, and director of World Press Photo Michiel Munneke, second left, listen to questions during a press conference as the winning picture by Paul Hansen, Sweden, for Dagens Nyheter, is projected on a screen in Amsterdam, Friday Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)