Composite photos During Gulf War II in 2003, the Los Angeles Times ran the photo on top on its front page. Photographer Brian Walski was dismissed two days later.
Moving objects The pyramids were moved closer together to accommodate this vertical National Geographic cover. - February 1982
Photoshopping someone in In an effort to show what a diverse campus UW-Madison is, UW officials doctored a photo that appears on the cover of the Wisconsin 2001-'02 admissions application to include a black student in it. Not only was the photo added, but the photo was reversed to make it work with the other photo.
Adding material Veteran news photographer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Allan Detrich resigned from his post at the Toledo Blade in April, 2007 after it was discovered that at least 79 of his photos had been Photoshopped beyond the standards of the paper.
Subtracting material Pulitzer Prize-winning photo by John Filo shows Mary Ann Vecchio screaming as she kneels over the body of student Jeffrey Miller at Kent State University -- after being fired upon by National Guardsmen. - May 1970 Valley Daily News, 1970 (bottom) Life Magazine, May 1995 (top)
Adding and subtracting August 26, 1989 - TV Guide pastes Oprah's head onto Ann Margaret's body.
Misleading Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush did not debate, but appeared to in this cover shot. - February 2003
Color correction After submitting his stunning photos of Haiti to a Danish photo contest, Klavs Bo Christensen was asked to submit the original RAW files as well. The difference was remarkable and the contest judges disqualified the photos, calling them “extreme” and “unacceptable.” Christensen admitted that he had heavily processed the photos, but maintained that the result was within his limits. - April 2009
Color correction An Associate Press photo that appeared on the USA Today website in October, 2005 showed then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with unusually menacing eyes, a result of too much retouching. Some questioned whether the effect had been created deliberately as it was difficult to easily replicate. The offending photo was quickly removed and replaced with a version much closer to the original and an apology from the paper’s photo editor.
So how much is too much? Does your photo represent as closely as possible what it actually looked like when you took the photo? Imagine printing your original photo next to your edited one. Would your viewers feel deceived?
Even a real photo may not be ethical The Vietnam war presented many tough ethical situations. Nick Ut’s “Napalm Girl” photograph, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972, is not only a shocking indictment of America’s war effort, it contains full frontal nudity of a minor. The ultimate decision to print the photo on the front page of The New York Times must not have been easy. Editors at The Times chose to sacrifice the girl’s privacy, and perhaps to offend their readers, in order to present an unflinching picture of the conflict and ultimately to serve the greater good.
Sources Media Bistro - 10,000 Words MIT’s Daniel Bersak Sree Sreenivasan This PowerPoint presentation can be reproduced as long as credit is given to Karen McIntyre.