The Daily Star article in question is at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/640497/madeleine-mccann-news-missing-found-parents-smith-sighting-2007 The article was penned by reporter Michael Havis.
The article is a photo essay about the view seen by the Smith family as they encountered a man carrying a child at around 10 pm on 3rd May 2007, in Primary School Street and 25th April Street, as they made their way home from Kelly’s bar to their apartment in the Estrela da Luz complex.
It is not meant to be a comprehensive examination of the Smith sighting. It is intended to give a flavour of the difficulties faced by the Smiths, and to evaluate the worth of the Smithman e-fits. Please bear in mind that Paulo Ribeiro, one of the four men made arguidos in July 2014, was given this status at least partly on the basis that he allegedly resembled one of these e-fits, so it is not a trivial matter.
Here is the photo of the encounter, taken from the PJ Files.
The person in the lead was Peter Smith. He describes a man seen face-on, not in side profile. To emulate this our ‘Smithman’ took 2 or 3 steps back from the crossing point, as did Mr Havis. The result is face-on.
‘Smithman’s’ face is probably too dark, but it illustrates the issue. There is a single light source some way distant, to the man’s rear and left, thus putting the man’s face in shadows.
The next person to pass Smithman was Martin Smith, beside LuzDoc. Martin’s view was face-on, not profile, so again the 2-3 paces technique was used to emulate this.
This is a more accurate depiction of what the human eyeball can see. However, it is plain that picking up accurate facial details is difficult.
The third person to pass Smithman was Aoife Smith. The third photo emulates what Aoife would have seen, if Smithman had turned to his left and headed along 25 April Street.
She would have seen Smithman in profile, or possibly even from behind. She would have been in no doubt that the man was heading along 25th April Street. But that is not what happened. Aoife looked to her left, and saw the man full-face, coming towards her on 25 April Street. She did not know if he continued in the same direction, or went down the Lane of Little Stairs, the one she had just come up.
Mr Havis then covered the difficulty of constructing e-fits many months after the event, even if the Smiths got a good view of something significant. In reality, they got a poor view of something that seemed quite insignificant at the time.
There is a 4th photo in the sequence, depicting what Aoife actually saw, as opposed to what Aoife did not see. Daily Star articles are not noted for being lengthy. Perhaps Mr Havis is keeping that for a second article on the Smithman sighting.
In the past, I have tried to emulate a what-the-Smiths-saw photo-set before, without much success. It requires that one can turn the flash off on one’s camera, a technique I mastered only a few moths ago. It also requires that one can rustle up a model to play the part of Smithman. You just don’t get the proper flavour otherwise. The Madeleine McCann story is pretty much toxic in Luz, so there is little chance of someone role-playing Smithman.
Mr Havis’ photos were taken at around 10.15 pm to 10.20 pm on 3 May 2017. Mr Havis finished his interview with Father Haynes Hubbard at the 10th anniversary vigil in Luz at around 10.10 pm outside St Vincent’s, then a quick scuttle was required to get to the Smithman site,
The photos are not perfect. Perfection would require a professional photographer, which Mr Havis is not. He is a reporter who takes his own photographs. I am not aware of any better photos to illustrate the lighting issues.
There is a quote in the article to the effect that a local source believes Smithman is Portuguese and innocent.
(but that is not how he is depicted). That local source is me. I am not going to explain why in this article, as it would divert from Mr Havis’ photo essay.