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Photomanip1

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Photomanip1

  1. 1. http://www.acm.ndsu.nodak.edu/%7Ehklefsta/website/othercase.htm Photojournalism Manipulation We examined several examples of photo manipulation from a variety of publications. Many articles contributed evidence of photo manipulation in the news circuit. These articles pertaining to image altering pose many points. Does the perfection in entertainment media justify perfection for news as well? OJ Covers: In 1994 Time magazine ran a cover mug shot of O.J. Simpson. The magazine had altered the image of Simpson into a dark and threatening image. That same week Newsweek ran the unaltered version of the police mug shot. This started an ethical debate about the use and misuse of photos. Time referred to the picture as a photo illustration and did not see what the big deal was because they do photo illustrations all the time. Others argued that this was not photo illustration but photo manipulation. This brought about questions as to when photo illustration could be used. Many said Time’s alteration of Simpson was wrong because it was a breaking news story – not a sociological or economic trend. The story needed real photojournalism not a concept photo. The techniques used for hard news photography and that of the entertainment industry should not be the same. To qualify for the term photo illustration, the image must not mimic reality. The Moving Pyramids: Another case of photo manipulation appeared in the February 1982 issue of National Geographic when editors altered the appearance of a pyramid so that it would fit its cover. This incident has since been referred to as the “moving pyramid.” The editors of National Geographic scrunched the images of the pyramids together so that they would better fit its cover. They were immediately caught on their alteration. Shortly after the incident they implemented a policy against photo manipulation. War Photo manipulation: LA Times photographer Brian Walski altered a war photo in Iraq. Walski blended two photos together using the right half of one picture and the left half of another. The Times along with a few other publications ran the photo on the front page. Editors didn’t see that the same people appeared twice in the photo due to the overlap. Walski was fired a few days after the incident. In this article, photojournalists commented that digitally altering images has become very easy thanks to sophisticated technology. Photograph manipulation can also go virtually unnoticed if done properly. This makes several professionals in the field wonder if more image altering occurs without anyone knowing. Walski realizes his actions were clearly unethical. “After a long and difficult day, I put my altered image ahead of the integrity of the newspaper and the integrity of my craft,” he said. “These other photographers are there [in Iraq] risking their lives and I’ve just tarnished their reputation.” Other professional photographers also stated that pressure within the industry may attribute to ethical issues in photojournalism. Associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism David Rees says that competition from other media may lead to the tampering of photos. Rees feels that the entertainment industry may have caused temptation for photojournalists to doctrine images. Rees says, “Movies are perfect, so we have the expectation that journalism should be perfect as well.” http://www.sree.net/teaching/lateditors.html
  2. 2. Editor's Note On Monday, March 31, the Los Angeles Times published a front-page photograph that had been altered in violation of Times policy. The primary subject of the photo was a British soldier directing Iraqi civilians to take cover from Iraqi fire on the outskirts of Basra. After publication, it was noticed that several civilians in the background appear twice. The photographer, Brian Walski, reached by telephone in southern Iraq, acknowledged that he had used his computer to combine elements of two photographs, taken moments apart, in order to improve the composition. Times policy forbids altering the content of news photographs. Because of the violation, Walski, a Times photographer since 1998, has been dismissed from the staff. The altered photo, along with the two photos that were used to produce it, are below: Photographer Brian Walski used his computer to combine elements of the two photographs. The left side of the altered photo is taken from the top left photo, and the right side of the altered photo is from the top right one. Some residents on the left side of the blended photo are visible twice. The altered photo ran on the front page of the Los Angeles Times Monday. http://www.camerairaq.com/2003/03/the_los_angeles.html The Los Angeles Times fires photographer Brian Walski: March 31, 2003 walski-smallWalski combined two photographs taken moments apart to create a more dramatic composition, a practice in violation of the paper's policy. Walski: "When I saw it, I probably just said, no one is going to know. I don’t know. I’ve tweaked pictures before—taken out a phone pole. It’s not a common practice, but you can do it. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I imagine they’ve done it here and there. This was going overboard—taking pictures and putting them together. I think it’s just that I wanted a better image. Then when I did it, I didn’t even think about it." http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=28082 L.A. Times Photographer Fired Over Altered Image By Kenneth F. Irby (more by author) E-mail this item Print this Page Add/View Comments on this Article (34) Contributors: Larry Larsen More in this series April 1 may forever haunt Colin Crawford, Los Angeles Times Director of Photography, and Brian Walski, a staff photographer covering the war in Iraq for the paper. That was the day Walski was fired, after it was revealed that a photo he submitted on Sunday was actually a composite of two images he had captured. The photo was shared primarily with other Tribune properties via Newscom, the company's internal
  3. 3. picture distribution service. Both the Hartford Courant and The Chicago Tribune used the photograph prominently on Monday. Thom McGuire, the Courant's Assistant Managing Editor for Photography & Graphics, says he is still "sick to my stomach over the whole episode," and has been since Monday night. On Sunday night, McGuire had edited about 500 pictures from various services when he saw the picture from Walski. He liked the image so much that he called the Times for additional caption information, then published the image across six columns on the front page. RELATED RESOURCES Flash picture comparisonFlash picture comparison L.A. Times correction <i>Hartford Courant</i> correctionHartford Courant correction <i>LA Times</i> front pageLA Times front page <i>Hartford Courant</i> front pageHartford Courant front page "It was a great image," McGuire says, "and I missed the manipulation, and I feel bad for everyone involved." Others did not miss it. A Courant employee was looking through images for a friend and noticed what appeared to be duplication in the picture. The employee brought it to the attention of the copy desk, which then immediately alerted McGuire. "After about a 600 percent magnification in Photoshop, I called Colin to ask for an investigation," McGuire says. Across the country, Crawford's immediate reaction was one of "shock and disbelief." "I said out loud, 'No way! There must be a technical, digital… satellite glitch explanation.'" "He sent us 13 very good images Sunday," recalls Crawford, "We had to get information and give him the benefit of the doubt. And it took a day to raise him." Walski, by telephone in southern Iraq, acknowledged that he had used his computer to combine elements of two photographs, taken moments apart, in order to improve the composition. In an e-mail to the entire photography staff of the Times, Walski admitted his lapse in judgment and accepted responsibility for it. In his 214-word apology, he writes, in part: This was after an extremely long, hot and stressful day but I offer no excuses here. I deeply regret that I have tarnished the reputation of the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper with the highest standards of journalism, the Tribune Company, all the people at the Times and especially the very talented and extremely dedicated photographers and picture editors and friends that have made my 4 and a half years at the Times a true quality experience. I have always maintained the highest ethical standards throughout my career and cannot truly explain my complete breakdown in judgment at this time. That will only come in the many sleepless nights that are ahead. Interviewed by Poynter Online via sat phone from Kuwait City, LA Times staff photographer Don Bartletti recounts seeing his colleague and former co-worker Wednesday afternoon, after Walski returned from the desert.
  4. 4. "He is my friend and I respect the heroic images that he made and the tremendous effort that he has contributed," Bartletti said. "When I saw him, I really did not recognize him. He was sunburned, had not eaten in days, nor slept in 36 hours, his clothes were filthy, his beard -- all over the place. And he smelled like a goat." Bartletti recalls asking him, "How could you do this?" Walski said: "I f---ed up, and now no one will touch me. I went from the front line for the greatest newspaper in the world, and now I have nothing. No cameras, no car, nothing." Bartletti thinks he understands what happened. "He got into a zone. He was on a head roll, making fantastic images, and it got out of hand. He told me that he did not plan to send the image and was just messing around. He sent it anyway… didn't know what he was doing, but he did it. With all that he was facing, how did he have the presence of mind? It just got out of hand." Fatigue and horrific conditions are only part of why crazy things can happen in war zones, and Crawford admits that he "really worried about him, but was confident that he was stable after several conversations (via sat phone)." He contends the firing was "the right thing." Animation Los Angeles Times "What Brian did is totally unacceptable and he violated our trust with our readers," Crawford says. "We do not for a moment underestimate what he has witnessed and experienced. We don't feel good about doing this, but the integrity of our organization is essential. If our readers can't count on honesty from us, I don't know what we have left." Chicago Tribune Associate Managing Editor for Photography Bill Parker agrees, adding that he is "profoundly saddened by this incident." The Tribune planned to publish a correction in Thursday's paper. On Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the Los Angeles Times posted an editors note on its website notifying readers about the breach of its photographic ethics policy, the investigation and the subsequent firing of Walski for altering the photo of a British soldier and a group of Iraqi civilians. All three photos -- the two originals and the altered composite -- were published by the Times and the Courant on Wednesday. "Unfortunately the stain of this photograph will harm journalists collectively," said Betty Udesen, a Seattle Times staff photographer. Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, in the Persian Gulf, embedded New York Times photographer Vincent LaForet agrees, and feels that as part of the world media, "There is not ever a good time for such manipulation, but this is the worst time. What really differentiates us from other photographers and media is our credibility. We have a history of getting it right, accurately… Our credibility is all that we have." Nevertheless, LaForet is sympathetic. "I have a good idea of what he went through," he says, having been assigned to Islamabad during the Afghanistan conflict. Currently going into day 27 of being embedded, he says, "I know about sleep deprivation. I can speculate that he has been working day in and day out and may have experienced mental exhaustion, and this may
  5. 5. have been just a lapse of judgment. But when I look at the level of detail, the intricacy shows that this was reflected upon. I must ask myself why he broke the standard. For me there is no acceptable explanation." "Being in the desert away from your readers does not mean you have free license to deceive them," agrees Maria Mann, former AFP, North American Photo Director and now the principal of The Creative Eye Consulting. "The Los Angeles Times acted swiftly and decisively in dealing with a photographer who felt that altering the truth was a viable option," she says. We may never know what led Walski, a 25-year veteran who had been with the Times since 1998, to deceive the viewing world. But we do know that to best serve our profession and our readers, we can be ever vigilant and aware of the temptation that modern technology offers. "I am going to be more cautious," the Courant's McGuire says. "Really, it is not about me, it is about will people trust us to tell the truth?" http://www.insightmag.com/news/2000/10/16/Nation/Media MEDIA - When Your Eyes Tell You Lies By Timothy W. Maier A picture may be worth a thousand words, but doctoring a photo sometimes says a lot more. Hollywood certainly has played doctor more than once. Remember the movie Capricorn One - in which the plot centers around a mission to Mars, faked in a movie studio, that convinced the whole world we had landed a team of astronauts on the Red Planet? Such a conspiracy might seem hard to pull off in real life, but don't bet your mortgage on it. During the last 150 years, photographs repeatedly have been manipulated for propaganda, fraud, humor, profit and just to rewrite history. In the mid-1800s, supernatural spirits sometimes were "photographed" by unscrupulous photographers through the expediency of overexposing pictures and superimposing an old photo of a deceased husband or wife. "Historically people have done it for years with simply scissors and paste, but modern technology has made it much easier," says Larry Nighswander, director of Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. A former photo editor at National Geographic, Nighswander recalls the famous "moving-pyramid" shot in which editors before his time appeared to have moved the pyramids for a cover shot. "Immediately after they did it, they were caught," he says. "They rotated the image; they didn't move the pyramids. They moved the photographer to make it appear he shot it from a different angle." But after critics cried foul, Nighswander says, National Geographic immediately implemented a policy against photo manipulation. Today, he says, advances in technology have created a monster. "The danger is that we can mislead anybody - a reader, a family member. In our attempt to deceive we have crossed an ethical barrier." While the technical advances assuredly have had a positive impact, with law-enforcement agencies using computer simulation to project the ages of lost children, to reconstruct crime scenes and to catch criminals, the downside to this evolving technology has left the public wondering if it can trust what it sees. John Long, ethics chairman of the National Press Photographer's Association, warns: "You can't believe anything you see. It's been an epidemic. It has threatened the credibility of visual news reporting." Indeed, photographs are being manipulated at an alarming rate. Each year, 38 million pictures are taken in the United States and, according to the Rochester Institute of Technology, 10 percent of those photos are altered.
  6. 6. have been just a lapse of judgment. But when I look at the level of detail, the intricacy shows that this was reflected upon. I must ask myself why he broke the standard. For me there is no acceptable explanation." "Being in the desert away from your readers does not mean you have free license to deceive them," agrees Maria Mann, former AFP, North American Photo Director and now the principal of The Creative Eye Consulting. "The Los Angeles Times acted swiftly and decisively in dealing with a photographer who felt that altering the truth was a viable option," she says. We may never know what led Walski, a 25-year veteran who had been with the Times since 1998, to deceive the viewing world. But we do know that to best serve our profession and our readers, we can be ever vigilant and aware of the temptation that modern technology offers. "I am going to be more cautious," the Courant's McGuire says. "Really, it is not about me, it is about will people trust us to tell the truth?" http://www.insightmag.com/news/2000/10/16/Nation/Media MEDIA - When Your Eyes Tell You Lies By Timothy W. Maier A picture may be worth a thousand words, but doctoring a photo sometimes says a lot more. Hollywood certainly has played doctor more than once. Remember the movie Capricorn One - in which the plot centers around a mission to Mars, faked in a movie studio, that convinced the whole world we had landed a team of astronauts on the Red Planet? Such a conspiracy might seem hard to pull off in real life, but don't bet your mortgage on it. During the last 150 years, photographs repeatedly have been manipulated for propaganda, fraud, humor, profit and just to rewrite history. In the mid-1800s, supernatural spirits sometimes were "photographed" by unscrupulous photographers through the expediency of overexposing pictures and superimposing an old photo of a deceased husband or wife. "Historically people have done it for years with simply scissors and paste, but modern technology has made it much easier," says Larry Nighswander, director of Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. A former photo editor at National Geographic, Nighswander recalls the famous "moving-pyramid" shot in which editors before his time appeared to have moved the pyramids for a cover shot. "Immediately after they did it, they were caught," he says. "They rotated the image; they didn't move the pyramids. They moved the photographer to make it appear he shot it from a different angle." But after critics cried foul, Nighswander says, National Geographic immediately implemented a policy against photo manipulation. Today, he says, advances in technology have created a monster. "The danger is that we can mislead anybody - a reader, a family member. In our attempt to deceive we have crossed an ethical barrier." While the technical advances assuredly have had a positive impact, with law-enforcement agencies using computer simulation to project the ages of lost children, to reconstruct crime scenes and to catch criminals, the downside to this evolving technology has left the public wondering if it can trust what it sees. John Long, ethics chairman of the National Press Photographer's Association, warns: "You can't believe anything you see. It's been an epidemic. It has threatened the credibility of visual news reporting." Indeed, photographs are being manipulated at an alarming rate. Each year, 38 million pictures are taken in the United States and, according to the Rochester Institute of Technology, 10 percent of those photos are altered.

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