A staff photographer has been fired for compositing two image to change the story of the original photographs. This is a story we have seen before and one we will see again. I have posted in the past about image manipulation and while I am sorry for the photographer losing his job, I totally get it when it comes to journalism and the editorial markets.
They report the news through words, images, and video these days and when authenticity is often suspect, the guidelines have to be rigid. Unfortunately the photographers Photoshop work was poor and brought attention to the image pretty quickly. He composited two images of a snowy egret and a great heron, one stealing a forg from the other. The poor PS work is related to repeating bushes in the background. The newspaper ran an apology and explanation and the photographer was shown the door.
This whole issue has me wondering these days regarding what is truth and what is a lie, especially during our ugly political campaigns chock full of lies, innuendo, and propaganda. Tell some obvious lies in WORDS and not much happens, but tell a lie with a PHOTO and there is an uproar. Is there a difference?
I am not a photo journalist and do not report the news. I refer to myself instead and a ‘photographer who creates images for the markets’ and that means ‘no holds barred’ when creating conceptual imagery. I do include in my metadata the word ‘composite’ so those who buy and download can find that info.
If you would like to read the rest of the story as well as a lot of comments check it out here on PDN.
Your opinion is valued so please leave a comment.
Books on Photoshop: