The Guardian featured a gripping article yesterday that asked photographers to look back at some of their most powerful photos, and how they could have helped instead of standing by and taking pictures. On the one hand we’ve all felt that surge of indignation as we wonder “why didn’t they help!?” On the other, only a photographer that has been there could understand what it’s like to be under that kind of pressure: Read more…
Our goal in photojournalism is reality. The foundation of ethics in photojournalism is that our photographs of any situation should look the way our eyes saw it. Let’s use the human eye as our benchmark standard of reality. How the eye sees is our goal, and thus our reality. We forget that the human eye is not film or glass.
While a number of countries are taking steps to ban the unrealistic Photoshopping of models, Israel has gone a step further: the country has banned the use of underweight models themselves. Additionally, ads that are Photoshopped to make models look skinnier must also now carry a disclaimer. With the new law in place, all models appearing at photo shoots for ads geared toward the Israeli market must provide an up-to-date medical report proving that they aren’t malnourished by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards. WHO states that a body mass index below 18.5 indicates malnutrition. By these standards, a woman 5’8” tall must weigh at least 119 pounds.
(via AP via PDNPulse via The Click)
Image credit: IMG_7144 by dsearls
Shaofeng Xu’s photo of a protestor climbing a high-voltage electricity tower won Honorable Mention in the Contemporary Issues category of the World Press Photo 2012 contest. Read more…
Last week we reported that the Sacramento Bee had suspended one of its photographers for splicing together a photo of egrets. After some further investigation into Bryan Patrick’s body of work, the newspaper discovered two more photos that had been Photoshopped. It immediately fired Patrick and published a notice:
After The Bee published a correction and apology online Wednesday and in print Thursday, editors reviewed a selection of Patrick’s work and found two additional digital alterations that violate The Bee’s standards.
[...] In a 2009 photograph of the Auburn wildfire that was published unaltered in the newspaper, Patrick 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.
NPPA president Sean Elliot wasn’t surprised by the firing, saying, “If he’s willing to move a couple of egrets around, if he’s willing to jazz up flames to make a photo more exciting, how do we know there aren’t more?… How do we trust the work?”
(via SacBee via Poynter)
Update: We’ve updated the post to describe Patrick as a “photographer” rather than “photojournalist”.
Thanks for the tip, Jess!
The Washington Post raised some eyebrows last Friday after running an uber-saturated front page photo with the caption stating that it was “a composite created by taking several photos and combining them with computer software to transcend the visual limitations of standard photography.” After emailing the photo editor, Poynter learned that the image was simply an HDR photograph. While it’s a pretty common technique these days, some believe that it has no place in photojournalism,
Sean Elliot, president of the National Press Photographers Association, said, “HDR is not appropriate for documentary photojournalism.” The organization’s code of ethics say photographers should respect the integrity of the digital moment, “and in that light an HDR photo is no different from any other digital manipulation.”
“By using HDR,” he told me by email, “The Washington Post has combined different moments, and thereby created an image that does not exist. The aircraft visible in the final product was not there for all the other moments combined into the final, and that alone simply raises too many questions about the factual validity of the actual published image.” [#]
What complicates matters is that many new cameras (e.g. Nikon D4, Apple iPhone 4S) offer HDR features that create single images from multiple exposures in the camera. The Washington Post published a response to the controversy yesterday. Do you think HDR is an appropriate technique for photojournalists to use?
(via The Washington Post via Poynter)
Image credits: Screenshot from The Washington Post, and photograph by Bill O’Leary
The debate regarding what makes a photograph “truthful” or not is probably as old as the art of photography itself. By sheer coincidence, there were a couple interesting articles published today on this issue, and written from two different points-of-view.
Government officials have been caught in a number of Photoshop flubs recently, from the Egyptian president being edited to be walking at the head of a pack of world leaders to a badly Photoshopped photo of Chinese officials that went recently went viral. Now the Syrian government may be the latest culprit — the country just released an image of its president swearing in a newly appointed governor, and something doesn’t quite look right…
The Guardian’s imaging expert David McCoy believes two pictures have been merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room, with the one on the right positioned fractionally higher than the one on the left. This becomes clearer when you look closely at the floor, which is distorted. The right hand side of the picture has been stretched downwards into place to line up with the left side (which is not distorted). [#]
What’s your analysis? Is this this yet another government manipulated photo?
(via The Guardian)
The AP has sacked photographer Miguel Tovar for “deliberate and misleading photo manipulation” after Tovar cloned out his own shadow from a feature photograph. The Photoshopping came to light after an alert photo editor spotted a strange looking dust pattern in a photo of Argentinian children playing soccer.
The White House is ending its long-running practice of reenacting speeches for still photographs after the controversy was rekindled last week by President Obama’s Osama bin Laden speech.
After Obama’s live, late-evening address from the East Room of the White House on May 1, five photographers were ushered in to shoot pictures as the president stood at the podium and re-read a few lines of his speech – a practice that news organizations have protested for years.
Even though The Associated Press and other news outlets said in captions to the photos that they were taken after the president delivered his address, many people who saw them may have assumed they depicted the speech itself. That raised questions of whether news organizations were staging an event. [#]
Today a spokesperson for the President stated, “We have concluded that this arrangement is a bad idea,” and that the administration is working on a new method for photojournalists to make photographs of actual speeches.
White House Announces End To Re-Enactments For News Photographers (via Rob Galbraith)