so, what do you think this guy should have done?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Noons, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Noons

    Noons Guest

    it's the journo who accidentaly altered a photo for a
    newspaper article.

    having seen the photo, I don't think the change he made
    was that drastic.

    but where does one draw the line? after all, the media
    is supposed not to "doctor" images at all.

    aren't they? (cough)

    he just paid for the error with his job and career.
    basically: as a photo journalist he's finished.

    is that what should be doing, crucify someone at
    the first error?

    pretty raw deal for this guy. but then again
    who is guilty and what should the punishment be?
    Noons, Apr 11, 2007
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  2. Well, that's not quite true. From
    NPPA's Code of Ethics prohibits the digital manipulation of news
    photographs. "It is tempting to want to correct a flaw in an otherwise
    significant photograph, but whether it is done by photographer, editor, or
    lab tech, once a 'moment' has been captured on film or on digital media, we
    no longer have the right to change that image in any way except for minor
    dodging, burning, or cropping," NPPA's Ethics & Standards Committee
    chairperson John Long said today.

    So I'm going to make three arguments:

    1) Getting rid of those legs isn't far off from what might have been done by
    burning in earlier days.

    2) It would certainly have been acceptable to crop the legs out.

    3) The alteration is not material, and it was acknowledged as soon as it was

    So I think the guy got a raw deal.
    Andrew Koenig, Apr 11, 2007
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  3. Noons

    Scott W Guest

    I believe that cloning objects in or out of a new photo simply should
    not be done.

    The part I don't get is that it sounds like the photograph was altered
    while he was still out in the field and before he had send the photos
    in to the paper. This just does not make sense to me, if I have time
    critical photos that I need to send in I am going to get those all
    sent before I do any edit for my personal use.

    So if this was an isolated incident then I would say that the paper
    should not fire him over it, and nothing I have read says that they
    did. But if I were the people at the paper I would ask to see all the
    original photos for the last year of so and compare them to what was
    submitted for publication and check to see if this really was an
    isolated incident.

    I am not at all sure we are getting the full story from his blog. He
    suddenly resigns from the Blade and oddly the reasons he gives don't
    include at all the cloning incident, and he seems to really not want
    to talk about any more. I have to wonder if he was not given the
    opportunity to quietly resign.

    I am not trying to crucify Mr. Detrich, what I am trying to do is not
    jump to conclusions that the Blade overreacted. We will likely never
    know the full truth in this mattar.

    Scott W, Apr 11, 2007
  4. The legs being in or out could just as well be
    a matter of timing and perspective: irrelevant.

    There has never been an abundance of truth in
    journalism and there never will be. It's impossible.
    Can't even find the truth in what speed to
    expose Tri-X. What I read in the paper about
    incidents where I was present would lead me to
    believe the reporter and I were at different events.

    Judging by "is it relevant?" won't work because one
    doesn't even know what is relevant. Are those the
    legs of the man who assassinated the Prez one hour
    later. So, I suppose the rule has to be "The
    deceit goes so far and no further" and stick to it.

    A bit like the definition of an honest politician:
    One who when bribed stays bribed.

    Journalism is disinformation, but it has to be
    _honest_ disinformation.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 11, 2007
  5. Noons

    Tony Polson Guest

    A minor point, perhaps, but the two photos were either taken by
    different photographers, or by the same photographer at different
    times, because they were taken from different positions.

    PDN does not claim that they were different versions of the same
    photo, merely that they were "similar". Same event, same scene,
    different viewpoint.

    But that isn't the issue here. The issue is whether or not the
    photographer altered *his* image, which he admits he did. It is
    presumably against the journalistic code under which he operates,
    and/or the editorial policy of the newspaper, and/or his contract of
    employment. If so, he does not have a leg to stand on.

    Sorry about the pun. ;-)
    Tony Polson, Apr 11, 2007
  6. Noons

    TheDave© Guest

    I've had the same experience. Reporting can be slanted as much by
    what's NOT said as it is about what is said and how. Reporters are
    also still human beings and their words are the result of having gone
    through their bias and filter. There is no such thing as true
    objectivity, even in journalism.
    TheDave©, Apr 11, 2007
  7. Noons

    Beach Bum Guest

    Maybe someone took some unaltered photos of the truth in the matter. <g>


    Mostly photography...

    I was heavily armed and absent minded. You pay a high price for that in
    the Army.
    - Dom
    Beach Bum, Apr 11, 2007
  8. Noons

    Annika1980 Guest

    I would have kept the legs, but put some pants around the ankles.
    Annika1980, Apr 11, 2007
  9. It's a good rule....Newspaper photos are sometimes used in court....They
    should not be altered.....
    William Graham, Apr 11, 2007
  10. Noons

    Paul Guest

    I just love it when people rag on journalists. Hey, let's get rid of all of
    them. Then who will tell you how your government is screwing you over and
    how the giant corporations are ripping you off? Politicians on the take?
    You'll never know. Billions of YOUR tax dollars going to the president's
    buds by way of inflated contracts? Sorry, that's a secret. Can you trust the
    food you eat and the prescription drugs you take, when the multinationals
    are bribing the inspectors and there's no one to report on it? Will you feel
    safe going into the operating room for the surgery you need, or will you
    wonder whether your surgeon has a long record of killing his patients, a
    record that went unreported because there were no journalists?

    I used to be a journalist. I cared about truth and I cared about doing a
    good job, and I tried to do a good job every day. Along the way, I found out
    a few things that I thought people deserved to know about -- things that
    would have remained secret if I and people like myself had not been doing
    their jobs. I'd like to think my efforts made a difference, even a small
    one. The great majority of journalists I worked with felt and acted the same

    Was I perfect? No, of course not. Did I try hard to be fair to everyone and
    to get as close to the truth as I could? Yes, always.

    Think you're better off without journalists? Think you'll get all the truth
    you need from bloggers and talk-show hosts? Good luck with that. Ask the
    people in Russia and Iran and North Korea how much truth they get.

    Paul, Apr 11, 2007
  11. Noons

    Noons Guest

    I agree that the Blade did not overreact. My gut feel on this
    is that his position was just made untenable. Although not an
    explicit "you're fired", it was as near to that as it can get.
    And it worked. We all know that happens.

    Not 100% sure at the moment that what he did - by his
    own admission - is really that much of a "crime", though.

    I think in a way he might have wanted to go do something
    else, after 25 years as a journo. Nothing wrong with that.
    But leaving on such a sour note is not what pros like to do
    either and the guy was a pro without a doubt.

    Hmm, you're quite right: we'll never know the whole
    truth on this matter. It just strikes me as a somewhat
    "raw" deal for this guy.
    Noons, Apr 12, 2007
  12. It's how he altered it. He could have gotten rid
    of the legs cropping away the right side of the picture and
    no one would say a peep.

    I think the rule is you can remove but you can not add.

    I suppose that makes thing better, but sometimes removing
    can be as damaging as adding.

    When Tricky Dickey Nixon was in power an LP of edited Nixon
    speeches was released:

    Original: I am not a crook
    LP: I am [] a crook

    Nixon: I have not lied, I did not mislead ....
    LP: I have [] lied, I did [] mislead the American Public.
    I am [] ashamed of my behavior. ....

    Nixon having a habit of always denying and never affirming
    the editing was easy. He would put the emphasis on the
    'am', 'did', 'was' and not on the 'not', so when the
    negator was removed it sounded pretty authentic:

    "I _am_ a crook."
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 12, 2007
  13. Noons

    Scott W Guest

    If is truly was an accident then what he did was unfortunate but not
    all that bad. If on the other hand he knowingly doctored the photo to
    make it look better, then yes in my view it really is that bad. If
    you start to edit news photos for impact where do you stop?

    This gets to be somewhat like athletes taking performance enhancing
    drugs, if some photojournalist routinely get away with "fixing" their
    photos then pretty soon that level of perfection is expected from
    everyone. And once you start in on that what is going to stop the
    "fixes" from getting larger and larger. The only way I believe you
    can control this is to say that you simply can't do any of this kind
    of manipulation to a news photo.

    Scott W, Apr 12, 2007
  14. Noons

    uw wayne Guest

    Yup, he deserves it. Photojournalism means truth. or so it is supposed
    to be. If you shoot news worthy images expecting publication, provide
    honest images always, send...RAW...
    uw wayne, Apr 12, 2007
  15. Noons

    Noons Guest

    yeah, good point. hadn't thought of that.
    yes, of course: cropping is ok, it really is not an "addition".
    tampering with the image itself is not ok. makes sense.
    Noons, Apr 13, 2007
  16. Noons

    Scott W Guest

    Scott W, Apr 19, 2007
  17. Noons

    Noons Guest

    yeah, so much for a "first time", eh?

    Then again if the Toledo was after justifying
    giving him the cold shoulder, nothing would
    be easier than "finding" a heapfull of altered shots.

    The whole thing just basically highlights the bigger
    problem of uncontrolled image post-processing.
    Noons, Apr 20, 2007
  18. Excellent catch, Scott. When I first saw his 'first' transgression I
    too thought "gee, that's pretty rough for a minor bit of
    manipulation", but when you look at his other efforts, it is clear he
    has no problem with playing with the truth. And I believe you really
    do have to be firm with that line in the sand when it is PJ. Shots
    like the one where he added the basketball are a good example of the
    psyche involved.. He would have passed that off as real, and happily
    accepted the kudos for a remarkable image, when really it was a fairly
    ordinary image made remarkable with a five-minute PS job. And that
    would have led to doing it more often, and... next thing he's a
    hopeless addict!

    There are those who will say that the final image is the end result
    and all bets are off, but to me, there are two problems with that:

    - I still believe the *process* is important - an image that required
    great skills and patience to capture is worth much more than an
    equivalent scene that was photoshopped

    - When it is journalism, it *must* be the truth. Little lies lead to
    bigger ones, and next thing you know - it's 1984 and the Ministry of

    oh. damn. too late. We already have John Howard, George Bush,
    Tony Blair, manipulation of the press and science...

    Ah what the hell, give him his job back - he's the least of our
    worries. )O:
    mark.thomas.7, Apr 20, 2007
  19. Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 20, 2007
  20. Noons

    Scott W Guest

    Sure it has been done since the beginning of photography, but it had
    gotten so much easier to do.

    The question as I see it is do we encourage small amounts of doctoring
    of images or do we discourage it. I feel that if newspapers and
    magazines don't actively and strongly discourage doctoring that the
    incentive to do a bit of fixing here and there would be too great to
    resist. Even if you started out with personal ethics of not doctoring
    any image you would soon find yourself competing with photographers
    that did not share your ethics. And the problem then becomes one of
    where are the limits draw as to what is acceptable and what is not.
    If you start out by allowing the cloning out of distracting object
    from the photograph it is going to quickly evolve into changing the
    photograph to make it have more impact, to make the story look more
    dramatic then what the original photograph showed.

    Scott W, Apr 20, 2007
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