Should Photo Journalists Photoshop the News?

With the advent of digital photography, news has become closer and more instant. A combat photographer embedded with troops in Iraq can shoot a hundred images while out with the soldiers, and have them on his editor’s server minutes after he gets back, thanks to the magic of the Internet.

Aug1989-OprahWith digital photography comes digital photo editing, and the possibility of a photo that does not mirror the truth. One technique for faking information images is cloning. This could be utilized in humorous means, like putting Oprah Winfrey’s head on Ann Margaret’s body, as done by TV Guide in 1989. A number of publications have actually utilized this technique to make a point, and they generally record it in the credits (as in, image by one person, and head shot by another).

Cloning is likewise used to produce photo montages– which can give the impression of things that didn’t actually take place. New york city Newsday merged images of Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan into one shot that appeared to reveal them skating together. Again, the publication admitted to it, by calling it a “composite image.”.

Montages can be misleading, though. L.A Times veteran photographer Brian Walski used montage techniques to integrate 2 different images, making it look like a soldier in Iraq was threatening civilians. Walski was fired for “enhancing” on his photo.

Even a simple modification in brightness can alter the meaning of a photo. Both Time and Newsweek put OJ Simpson’s mug shot on their covers, however Time darkened the picture. This made Simpson appear far more threatening on the cover of Time than Newsweek, since Newsweek didn’t readjust the image. Likewise, UNITED STATE Today released an inadequately modified photo of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The eyes of the picture had been sharpened or brightened far past the proper level, and the result provided her a fiendish glare.