Agree on the leaf always looked like a line at the bottom of the pool.
For what it's worth, here's the Blur cover shot. Pretty much no manipulation that I can see other than upping the saturation a bit for the album cover maybe. Can't find PL or TGE, though they must have been stock shots.
I've already seen this picture somewhere, but i don't remember where... I also thought the leaf was a line at the bottom of the pool. But I've never realised that the s/t cover is an image of a paramedic rushing a victim into emergency room, though now it seems obvious