After making a few calls, Reuters decided to investigate. Laube writes on his blog,
Reuters had made contact with the photographer, an Icelandic local, and sought access to the original. It transpired that before being acquired by the wire service, the photograph had been in the possession of an Icelandic newspaper and it was there that some fairly liberal digital dodging and burning took place. When a comparison was made with the original, it became obvious that post production had been applied to sufficient extent that it violated Reuters’ very firm position on digital enhancement. So they retracted the picture and supplied the original in its place, and we dropped that image into the Herald for later editions.
Looking at the before and after photographs shown above, you can see that post-processing was done in order to make the plume of ash look extremely dramatic.
What are your thoughts on how far post-processing can go before it becomes too much?
Image credits: Photographs by Reuters