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Author Topic: Photojournalist Fired for Manipulating Photo  (Read 3889 times)

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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 04:34 »
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or at least they should learn how to doctor ;D

if he only replaced the beak/frog part without duplicating the plants, no one would probably have found out
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 04:39 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 05:30 »
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PS fail. Better work would have got him the win.

« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 06:12 »
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I can't believe this happened at the esteemed and mighty organ of truth, 'The Sacramento Bee'.

What was the headline for this 'news story'? "Birds Squabble Over Food Shock!".

Agree with the others, the photographer deserved to be fired not for manipulating the image but for possession of poor Photoshop skills.

« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 06:50 »
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It's also surprising that a manipulation like this with the duplicated background went unnoticed by everyone putting the paper together. Perhaps they need someone at the paper who knows something about image manipulation to check images before they're published.

« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 08:31 »
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It's also surprising that a manipulation like this with the duplicated background went unnoticed by everyone putting the paper together. Perhaps they need someone at the paper who knows something about image manipulation to check images before they're published.

Yeah. Why wouldn't the Bee ask for RAW files, so this wouldn't happen? I guess this photographer must have been desperate to get a good photo published.

I don't see anything wrong with the first photo. I might not be able to tell that it's a frog, but the copy would clear that up. The point is one egret is trying to steal food out of the mouth of another, not whether it's a frog.

edit: and duplicating or editing ANYTHING in photojournalism is forbidden and would still be cheating. So yes, I agree, fire him. Too many other photogs out there needing work who can get the job done without PS.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 08:34 by cclapper »

« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 08:53 »
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I didn't see much wrong with the original either. I suppose the temptation is always going to be there to make a shot "better" when it's so easy to make changes
Of course this example also shows that it ain't really as easy as popular perception might have it to be! :)
The guy ought to have stuck to the rules.

« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 09:05 »
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where are you guys finding poor cs skills? I am really not understanding..

p.s: just noticed it
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 09:12 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 10:47 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 10:51 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!
I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.

As a photojournalist it's a big no-no but apparently some always will keep trying to get away with it, to get this "shot of the year" picture and get some fame.

« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 11:03 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.

As a photojournalist it's a big no-no but apparently some always will keep trying to get away with it, to get this "shot of the year" picture and get some fame.

Just saw the link "To Our readers" off the top of the Sacremento Bee page
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/04/4238484/to-our-readers.html
According to that, part of the problem is that he's done it before.

« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 12:41 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.


Yes, I know. I meant, why risk your career by messing with a trivial bird image?

Curiously, I heard people talking about the winning photo of the annual Al Thani award recently and the universal wisdom was that "man bites wolf" was a photoshop job http://www.al-thaniaward.com/awards_2011/1.jpg but when I attended the talk by the winner it turned out that it was a straightforward snapshot of a man who runs a wolf reserve. The photographer had been getting ready to shoot the wolf greeting the man with a lick but the wolf decided to try to claim the "top-wolf" position by nipping the guy, who promptly replied by biting back and putting the wolf in its place. So the picture - which has won a lot of prizes - was the usual mixture of luck and preparation.

« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2012, 12:58 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.


Yes, I know. I meant, why risk your career by messing with a trivial bird image?

Curiously, I heard people talking about the winning photo of the annual Al Thani award recently and the universal wisdom was that "man bites wolf" was a photoshop job http://www.al-thaniaward.com/awards_2011/1.jpg but when I attended the talk by the winner it turned out that it was a straightforward snapshot of a man who runs a wolf reserve. The photographer had been getting ready to shoot the wolf greeting the man with a lick but the wolf decided to try to claim the "top-wolf" position by nipping the guy, who promptly replied by biting back and putting the wolf in its place. So the picture - which has won a lot of prizes - was the usual mixture of luck and preparation.

Yeah lucky shot, still quite heavy processing IMO.

I'm sure quite a percentage of journalistic shots are "altered" to some extent to get the extra attention. These days it does require absolute unique and crazy shots to receive some recognition.

« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2012, 14:01 »
0
What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.

As a photojournalist it's a big no-no but apparently some always will keep trying to get away with it, to get this "shot of the year" picture and get some fame.

Just saw the link "To Our readers" off the top of the Sacremento Bee page
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/04/4238484/to-our-readers.html
According to that, part of the problem is that he's done it before.


Yep...and he won an award for one of those photos.

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/161983/sacramento-bee-fires-bryan-patrick-for-photo-manipulation/

« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2012, 14:35 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.


Yes, I know. I meant, why risk your career by messing with a trivial bird image?

Curiously, I heard people talking about the winning photo of the annual Al Thani award recently and the universal wisdom was that "man bites wolf" was a photoshop job http://www.al-thaniaward.com/awards_2011/1.jpg but when I attended the talk by the winner it turned out that it was a straightforward snapshot of a man who runs a wolf reserve. The photographer had been getting ready to shoot the wolf greeting the man with a lick but the wolf decided to try to claim the "top-wolf" position by nipping the guy, who promptly replied by biting back and putting the wolf in its place. So the picture - which has won a lot of prizes - was the usual mixture of luck and preparation.

Yeah lucky shot, still quite heavy processing IMO.


I think he's run a heavy "tonal contrast" filter over it. I don't think he's a journalist so he's not bound by any rules (he's also closely involved with the same wolf pack) - even so, contrast filters, like dodging and burning, probably fall inside what a journal would consider acceptable since it doesn't alter the relationship of things in the image.

« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2012, 16:45 »
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It's also surprising that a manipulation like this with the duplicated background went unnoticed by everyone putting the paper together. Perhaps they need someone at the paper who knows something about image manipulation to check images before they're published.

Yeah. Why wouldn't the Bee ask for RAW files, so this wouldn't happen?


Most PJs I know shoot jpegs only so they can immediately be sent to the wire service etc. News agencies don't require anyone to shoot "raw" although it's becoming a good idea to do both if you can. Still most guys don't have the time now do they want to bother with archiving 2 file types for one image.

« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2012, 16:56 »
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Putting a newspaper together is not a leisurely job. Everything happens fast. There's no time to go over every picture with a fine-tooth comb looking for possible bad photoshopping. You have to trust staff photographers and reporters - that's why you hire them, to have reliable people processing the information. Material from external sources requires greater scrutiny but for internally sourced stories the question is where they should go on the page, not whether the reporter or photographer is trying to trick you into publishing something false.

« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2012, 20:24 »
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Putting a newspaper together is not a leisurely job. Everything happens fast. There's no time to go over every picture with a fine-tooth comb looking for possible bad photoshopping. You have to trust staff photographers and reporters - that's why you hire them, to have reliable people processing the information. Material from external sources requires greater scrutiny but for internally sourced stories the question is where they should go on the page, not whether the reporter or photographer is trying to trick you into publishing something false.

I've worked for a newspaper before. I know it happens fast. But I'm pretty sure there is an editor, I'm pretty sure there are proofreaders. Apparently this guy cheated once before. Seems to me he would have been on a short leash, but I guess not. We're not talking about some hometown podunk newspaper either, we're talking the SacBee.

« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2012, 21:44 »
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After reading the "to our readers" story, it seems that they only became aware of his previous alterations after someone noticed this one. I guess that this was the first time that he got caught!

« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2012, 01:36 »
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Putting a newspaper together is not a leisurely job. Everything happens fast. There's no time to go over every picture with a fine-tooth comb looking for possible bad photoshopping. You have to trust staff photographers and reporters - that's why you hire them, to have reliable people processing the information. Material from external sources requires greater scrutiny but for internally sourced stories the question is where they should go on the page, not whether the reporter or photographer is trying to trick you into publishing something false.

I've worked for a newspaper before. I know it happens fast. But I'm pretty sure there is an editor, I'm pretty sure there are proofreaders. Apparently this guy cheated once before. Seems to me he would have been on a short leash, but I guess not. We're not talking about some hometown podunk newspaper either, we're talking the SacBee.

Well, if you're pulling the "I worked on a newspaper" card .... I was a newspaper editor for most of my career, including 3 years editing a small-town weekly and 12 years editing an Arab national daily. I spent five years as a sub-editor (copy editor) on Scotland's largest daily and two years on one of England's most prestigious regional dailies, as well as doing some shifts on The Times in London. So, while things differ from paper to paper, I probably know what I am talking about.

Photos are looked over quickly to see which best illustrates a story and is roughly the right dimensions to fit the space. The proofreaders' duty is to read the edited copy against the galley proof - not to check photos - and while the stone sub, the night editor and the page sub may all see final page proofs, the concern at that stage is to ensure that the page numbering and header are correct, headlines are good and relate to the story, the photos are in the right place and that the text turns from one column to the next correctly.

As long as the image content passes the decency test, there is a presumption of innocence as far as photos go. You can see that in the quote from the photographers' professional group in one of these stories, where they talk about the culprit betraying them. The expectation underlying that comment is that the work will be done right, not that trickery will be detected by eagle-eyed news executives.

To most newspaper subs and editors, photos are perceived primarily as a graphical element in page design, allowing logical placement of stories and headlines and breaking up slabs of text to prevent pages looking boring. It's helpful if the photo content has the "wow" factor to excite reader interest, but if it doesn't then that picture of Obama standing at a lectern in front of a flag behind will serve the desired graphical purpose, anyway. Only infrequently is the photo the main element underpinning the report.

Not everybody is as obsessed with photos as we are. For newspapers, the words are far, far more problematic than the photos and, consequently, are the focus of attention during the checking process.

« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2012, 11:30 »
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Putting a newspaper together is not a leisurely job. Everything happens fast. There's no time to go over every picture with a fine-tooth comb looking for possible bad photoshopping. You have to trust staff photographers and reporters - that's why you hire them, to have reliable people processing the information. Material from external sources requires greater scrutiny but for internally sourced stories the question is where they should go on the page, not whether the reporter or photographer is trying to trick you into publishing something false.

I've worked for a newspaper before. I know it happens fast. But I'm pretty sure there is an editor, I'm pretty sure there are proofreaders. Apparently this guy cheated once before. Seems to me he would have been on a short leash, but I guess not. We're not talking about some hometown podunk newspaper either, we're talking the SacBee.

Well, if you're pulling the "I worked on a newspaper" card .... I was a newspaper editor for most of my career, including 3 years editing a small-town weekly and 12 years editing an Arab national daily. I spent five years as a sub-editor (copy editor) on Scotland's largest daily and two years on one of England's most prestigious regional dailies, as well as doing some shifts on The Times in London. So, while things differ from paper to paper, I probably know what I am talking about.

Photos are looked over quickly to see which best illustrates a story and is roughly the right dimensions to fit the space. The proofreaders' duty is to read the edited copy against the galley proof - not to check photos - and while the stone sub, the night editor and the page sub may all see final page proofs, the concern at that stage is to ensure that the page numbering and header are correct, headlines are good and relate to the story, the photos are in the right place and that the text turns from one column to the next correctly.

As long as the image content passes the decency test, there is a presumption of innocence as far as photos go. You can see that in the quote from the photographers' professional group in one of these stories, where they talk about the culprit betraying them. The expectation underlying that comment is that the work will be done right, not that trickery will be detected by eagle-eyed news executives.

To most newspaper subs and editors, photos are perceived primarily as a graphical element in page design, allowing logical placement of stories and headlines and breaking up slabs of text to prevent pages looking boring. It's helpful if the photo content has the "wow" factor to excite reader interest, but if it doesn't then that picture of Obama standing at a lectern in front of a flag behind will serve the desired graphical purpose, anyway. Only infrequently is the photo the main element underpinning the report.

Not everybody is as obsessed with photos as we are. For newspapers, the words are far, far more problematic than the photos and, consequently, are the focus of attention during the checking process.

You're right, you know more than me. You win.  ::)

« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2012, 13:07 »
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Well, if you're pulling the "I worked on a newspaper" card .... I was a newspaper editor for most of my career, including 3 years editing a small-town weekly and 12 years editing an Arab national daily. I spent five years as a sub-editor (copy editor) on Scotland's largest daily and two years on one of England's most prestigious regional dailies, as well as doing some shifts on The Times in London. So, while things differ from paper to paper, I probably know what I am talking about.

Photos are looked over quickly to see which best illustrates a story and is roughly the right dimensions to fit the space. The proofreaders' duty is to read the edited copy against the galley proof - not to check photos - and while the stone sub, the night editor and the page sub may all see final page proofs, the concern at that stage is to ensure that the page numbering and header are correct, headlines are good and relate to the story, the photos are in the right place and that the text turns from one column to the next correctly.

As long as the image content passes the decency test, there is a presumption of innocence as far as photos go. You can see that in the quote from the photographers' professional group in one of these stories, where they talk about the culprit betraying them. The expectation underlying that comment is that the work will be done right, not that trickery will be detected by eagle-eyed news executives.

To most newspaper subs and editors, photos are perceived primarily as a graphical element in page design, allowing logical placement of stories and headlines and breaking up slabs of text to prevent pages looking boring. It's helpful if the photo content has the "wow" factor to excite reader interest, but if it doesn't then that picture of Obama standing at a lectern in front of a flag behind will serve the desired graphical purpose, anyway. Only infrequently is the photo the main element underpinning the report.

Not everybody is as obsessed with photos as we are. For newspapers, the words are far, far more problematic than the photos and, consequently, are the focus of attention during the checking process.

Very interesting that. Good post.

« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2012, 13:23 »
0
Well, if you're pulling the "I worked on a newspaper" card .... I was a newspaper editor for most of my career, including 3 years editing a small-town weekly and 12 years editing an Arab national daily. I spent five years as a sub-editor (copy editor) on Scotland's largest daily and two years on one of England's most prestigious regional dailies, as well as doing some shifts on The Times in London. So, while things differ from paper to paper, I probably know what I am talking about.

Photos are looked over quickly to see which best illustrates a story and is roughly the right dimensions to fit the space. The proofreaders' duty is to read the edited copy against the galley proof - not to check photos - and while the stone sub, the night editor and the page sub may all see final page proofs, the concern at that stage is to ensure that the page numbering and header are correct, headlines are good and relate to the story, the photos are in the right place and that the text turns from one column to the next correctly.

As long as the image content passes the decency test, there is a presumption of innocence as far as photos go. You can see that in the quote from the photographers' professional group in one of these stories, where they talk about the culprit betraying them. The expectation underlying that comment is that the work will be done right, not that trickery will be detected by eagle-eyed news executives.

To most newspaper subs and editors, photos are perceived primarily as a graphical element in page design, allowing logical placement of stories and headlines and breaking up slabs of text to prevent pages looking boring. It's helpful if the photo content has the "wow" factor to excite reader interest, but if it doesn't then that picture of Obama standing at a lectern in front of a flag behind will serve the desired graphical purpose, anyway. Only infrequently is the photo the main element underpinning the report.

Not everybody is as obsessed with photos as we are. For newspapers, the words are far, far more problematic than the photos and, consequently, are the focus of attention during the checking process.

Very interesting that. Good post.

Yep, good post. Apparently in this case, though, the photo is problematic and not the words. Otherwise the guy wouldn't be getting fired.

« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2012, 13:55 »
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Yeah, problems can hit a paper from anywhere ... and they usually come from the least-expected direction ('cos you guarded against the obvious ones). Once they happen, you sort them out. That's a significant part of the job.

BTW, there are even newspapers which have rigid, pre-defined layouts. The sub-editor gets given a page plan with the shape of each story and photo marked in. He then has to make the stories and photos fit the template (with very strict adherence to type and headline sizes). It gets awkward if you have to crop a vertical picture for a horizontal space.

On the Birmingham Post we got given a blank page with the adverts marked on and then had to draw up our own scheme from that. The news columns and advertising columns were different widths, which created extreme constraints for design. In those days, we had to know how many words would fit each space and edit stories accordingly. I set some kind of record there by subbing a broadsheet page once so everything fitted exactly according to plan, with only two lines of excess text.

Sorry, that's really way off topic.

« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2012, 07:27 »
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What a stupid, meaningless thing to get fired for!

I think it's not about what he has changed in the photo - it was about THAT he changed something in the photo.


Yes, I know. I meant, why risk your career by messing with a trivial bird image?

Curiously, I heard people talking about the winning photo of the annual Al Thani award recently and the universal wisdom was that "man bites wolf" was a photoshop job newbielink:http://www.al-thaniaward.com/awards_2011/1.jpg [nonactive] but when I attended the talk by the winner it turned out that it was a straightforward snapshot of a man who runs a wolf reserve. The photographer had been getting ready to shoot the wolf greeting the man with a lick but the wolf decided to try to claim the "top-wolf" position by nipping the guy, who promptly replied by biting back and putting the wolf in its place. So the picture - which has won a lot of prizes - was the usual mixture of luck and preparation.

Yeah lucky shot, still quite heavy processing IMO.

I'm sure quite a percentage of journalistic shots are "altered" to some extent to get the extra attention. These days it does require absolute unique and crazy shots to receive some recognition.


Hello everybody,

I just read the conversation about picture manipulation. I am the one who has taken the AL-Thani picture "Man bites wolf". So I hope to give the discussion new energy.
First of all. I did not manipulate the picture itself. I work with the wolves for over 18 years now. They are not domesticated, but they accept some few people. But we can not tell them what to do and we must always be careful, because the wolves might attack. I took many pictures over the years. And I can foresee some situations, what might happen. In that case I knew, the wolf and the man are always a little bit picky with each other, but it had never been that bad as at that day. So the picture was taken with a well prepared equipment, a well prepared photographer and a portion of luck. If you shoot animals you ALWAYS need luck. You can be the best photographer of the world, if you do not have any luck, you will not get a impressive picutre. ( I hope you understand what I mean. By the way. Sorry for my bad English. It is not my native language. )

Back to the picture. When I took the picture it was late in the afternoon, in a forest, under trees with a lot of shadow and it was an dynamic situation. You can imagine how difficult it is to get use able pictures.

The Al-Thani Award is an competition. Not a magazine or a newspaper. My "normal" pictures are often used for books, articles, merchandising and even TV productions (Advertisement). I normally do not manipulate my pictures that much. Let's say I give my clients the pictures they want and they pay for.
If you see the pictures in competitions, I think 90% are manipulated. At least in brightness, contrast and color. That is what I did with my picture, too. Much stronger than I would usual do it, but I knew it was for an competition.
If I sell pictures to newspapers e.g. I of course do not manipulate them. If the pictures are used in books, I optimize them in brightness, contrast and color, but in  a normal way. At the Al-Thani competition it is allowed to compose as much as you want. I heard lectures of other winner. They explained that their winning picture was composed out of 5 to 10 pictures and they needed 1 to 10 month to finish it.
At least in this competition, it is allowed. So it is O.K.
In journalism. Composing or changing the content and message of a photo is not allowed. 
It always differs of the usage.

By the way. I would prefer, that every competition runs two ways. One for real pictures and one for composed pictures. Composing in photography is like doping. These people create art. I do not have any question about that. But it has nothing to do with an old fashion photo.
So the photographer and the "computer"-grapher, have the possibility to win.

Some positive words at the end, yes I was more than proud to win the competition with an not composed photo.

I hope to see some comments about your thoughts.


Greetings (and sorry for all the mistakes)

Michael


 

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