Monday, February 6, 2012

Sacramento Bee Fires photographer for photo manipulation

I usually wouldn't post about photographers that are going through a rough patch in their career or spotlight bad decisions made by them, but in this case I think its important to share this information and discuss it.

Photo manipulation in documentary work, journalism, sports, nature or any situation where the viewer can reasonable assume that what he/she is seeing is a representation of actual events is completely unacceptable and unforgivable. We walk a very fine line these days in the realm of digital photography and the all the toys that come with it from like Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.

If you couldn't have done it in the darkroom then, you shouldn't be doing it digitally now.


Photo manipulation, whether you like it or not, has become a part of photography. Make sure you know when to draw the line, if you are unsure, ask a superior or a colleague and if that fails add a disclaimer to your series or photo. Be smart and ethically aware.



Excerpt:
"...reader raised questions about his published photo that showed a great egret catching a frog, with a snowy egret reaching to grab it. The Bee told readers late Wednesday night that the photo was a composite of two images, one in which the frog was clearly visible and another in which the snowy egret was reaching to grab it.



In one image published in a photo gallery at sacbee.com in September of a lone person in a sunflower field, [photographer] removed the shadow of his camera and arm from the photograph, inserting sunflowers in its place.
In a 2009 photograph of the Auburn wildfire that was published unaltered in the newspaper, [photographer] subtly enlarged the flames in the photograph submitted for a winning entry to the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association annual contest. An anonymous email to The Bee late Thursday cast suspicion on that photograph.
The Bee’s ethics policy and style guide prohibit such alteration, saying, “To maintain the credibility of The Sacramento Bee, documentary photographs will not be manipulated in any way that alters the reality of the image.”


Read the article here



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