An Associated Press photo of last Wednesday's Middle East peace talks in Washington D. C. was enhanced for publication in Al-Ahram, Egypt's state-run and largest newspaper. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak was electronically moved to a more central position.
Charlotte Observer photographer Patrick Schneider has been fired. After a 2003 incident in which the North Carolina Press Association stripped him of his awards for three pictures (before and after can be seen here) the Observer has fired Schneider over the alteration of this image. The question remains among photojournalists: is it unethical to alter a photo in such a way that it more closely resembles what the eye saw and the camera is unable to capture, or is this a deceptive practice that damages the public's trust?
Is The Blood Red Water For Real? A discussion on egullet, of all places, suggests at least one of these shocking pictures (inside) has been retouched. A more interesting question is: is it OK to "enhance" real evidence, if the salient facts are true? Or even, more radically, if the cause is just and dedicated to save lives or relieve suffering?
Press photographer stripped of award; accused of overly darkening some portions in the digital editing process. Nothing was added or moved. Explains N.C. Press Photographers Assoc. president Chuck Liddy: You might say, "Gosh, I don't like the way this background looks I can get rid of this with a couple of keystrokes". No contortions in the darkroom with your hands and a dodging wand. No making ten or fifteen prints over a two hour period to get that print just right. Nope, just go and use the lasso tool, yank those levels to the max and VIOLA! the background disappears. Burning has always been an acceptable action. Burning to "de-emphasize" a background is something all of us do. But deleting the background by using some of the powerful tools Photoshop offers is totally unacceptable and violates the ethics code we adhere to. Schneider, the photographer, responds in an NPR interview (scroll down to audio link). In this allegedly unethical photo, Schneider says he corrected for overexposure. Is this a backlash against digital manipulation, which rankles the old school because it is simply too easy?
This lengthy Los Angeles Times photo correction addresses the manipulation of a front page photo and the subsequent firing of its photographer. Working from two source photos, Brian Walski combined them in Photoshop to create a more compelling image, but was caught when someone noticed that some people appeared twice in the background of the modified photo. (via Fimoculous and others)