View Full Version : Award-winning photographer dumped for altering single Syria image

01-23-2014, 10:30 AM
Award-winning photographer dumped for altering single Syria image | Media | theguardian.com (http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jan/23/photographer-dumped-altering-syria-image)

Did the photographer go too far?
Did the Associated Press go too far?

Yeah I got opinions...do you?

01-23-2014, 01:17 PM
The photographer went too far (IMO). The AP set a standard for images and the photographer broke the rules. The video camera in the frame does hurt the image, making the scene not as powerful as without the camera in frame.

The photographer should have just bypassed this image, and not manipulating it into a more powerful image.

01-23-2014, 06:30 PM
As it is represented "photojournalism" and is held out as such, then yes he went too far and the AP were justified IMO.

Just like journalism shouldn't be about altering or manipulating the facts to embellish a story, likewise altering an image in this way is taboo. But I acknowledge I am perhaps just naive and idealistic.

If it isn't being represented as photojournalism or a factual recording of the actual scene, then manipulate the bejeezers out of it and in it in any way you like.

01-24-2014, 02:43 AM
Mmmm! couldn't tell exactly. The video camera doesn't seem to be destructing the image overall. In fact, it could be overlooked very easily. :shrug:

IMHO, as long as the manipulation of the image doesn't involve directly the main characters, removing distracting elements and cleaning up the image should be fine.
I have to say AP got to far as the manipulation didn't damage the news or tell the wrong story.

01-24-2014, 09:40 AM
Here's my take - People can manipulate how ever they want when it's personal work....but when it's commercial work and you sign a contract you have to live by the contract.

"AP's reputation is paramount and we react decisively and vigorously when it is tarnished by actions in violation of our ethics code," Lyon said. "Deliberately removing elements from our photographs is completely unacceptable."

Now I'm a curious dude and often meticulous about the language I use when i write anything....so I'd like to see the contract or the clause he broke, but I have no doubt it exists. And because he deliberately broke the contract....yup he should be sacked.

Something else that's curious from the story is this:

That revelation led editors to examine all the 494 photos by Contreras that AP had transmitted during his tenure and, when possible, to compare them to the original data file held by the photographer.

Why wouldn't it be possible to examine ALL the original data....or did some of the data go missing? This of course is speculation.
Buuuuut in this world where so many people are liars.... often when liars get caught they continue lying. This guy says it's the only photo of 500 that he cloned stuff out of.... Maybe - maybe not.

The temptation to make better and better photos through software is very very high these days and this photographer made a terrible decision when he broke the contract he signed.

01-24-2014, 11:02 AM
I completely agree with yisehaq. camera was in that scene just for a few seconds which i dont think changed any of the events unless ofcourse u r into chaos theory and butterfly effect than u can counter argue. that being said, a contract is a contract and is legally binding. one may argue on penalties though?


01-25-2014, 02:48 AM
Part of it might be a bit of paranoia on the part of the news agencies, and I can't blame them. The loudest comments these days are the most extreme ones (frequently misinformed, as well, but that's whole 'nother topic). There doesn't seem to be any middle ground or nuanced conversations on just about anything anymore. So a change of something, even if it's irrelevent or distracting, gets blown into, "SEE?!!!!! THEY CHANGED THAT!!!! WE ****CANNOT TRUST**** ANYTHING THEY PUT OUT, BECAUSE THEY'VE JUST PROVED EVERY SINGLE THING THEY PUBLISH IS A COMPLETE, TOTAL LIE!!! CONSPIRACY BY THE BIG EVIL CORPORATE NEWS COMPANIES THAT WANT TO KEEP THE TRUTH FROM US FEW WHO KNOW WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON!!!!"

And it goes viral, with the broad public paying attention to that tiny detail and not bothering to look at the original incident. The PR people end up making sure a few heads roll and don the sackcloth and ashes, just to quiet things down enough to get back to work.

(Sorry for the lack of misspelling, the generally good grammar, and too few exclamation points. It's too hard for me to get the exact tone of what I so often see)

01-31-2014, 11:01 PM
While I agree things get blown out of proportion there is a strong element of truth to those feelings. If he changed that and didn't tell us, what else did he change and not mention? Once the trust is broken it's hard to trust again. I know someone who is supposed to be impartial make a company purchase from someone who was a friend. How can I trust any future "impartial" purchase? I will always believe there is a strong chance that the purchase motivation is not impartial.

In the field of photo journalism the photo journalist has one main thing going for them. They have to be trustworthy.

02-02-2014, 03:32 AM
That, yes, Iggy. What I'm talking about is going to the extreme of somehow it proves that the moon landings were a hoax, and the "big banksters" are all secretly members of the Illuminati, rather than greedy or well-connected. Questioning other photos makes sense, questioning the purchases when one hasn't been impartial makes sense. But any more, it seems like the organizations are trying to ward off the loudest voices claiming it proves things so far removed from what happened you need a strong pair of binoculars to see 'em.