Pandemic, photography, and psychological distance

Decisions made by photojournalists and their editors define traumatic events in the cultural consciousness. Throughout coverage of COVID-19, many news outlets have published photographs that reiterate racist tropes, suggest a false gap between “East” a

DECISIONS MADE BY PHOTOJOURNALISTS and their editors define traumatic events in the cultural consciousness. Throughout coverage of COVID-19, many news outlets have published photographs that reiterate racist tropes, suggest a false gap between “East” and “West,” and fail to engage a fuller range of human efforts to respond to a pandemic.

Photographer Says World Press Photo Nominee 'Hijacked' Her Project

The prestigious World Press Photo competition has been plagued by several controversies in recent years, and it looks like this year's contest is no

It all started when Iranian photographer Solmaz Daryani came across a photo project titled “Fading Flamingos” by German photographer Maximilian Mann, who’s a finalist in the Environmental category of this year’s World Press Photo contest.

What is This Halo Around a World Press Photo Nominee? - PhotoShelter Blog

Late Winter brings about a new crop of contest winners and nary a season goes by without a whiff of controversy in some form or fashion. Yesterday World Press Photo announced its 2020 Photo Contest and Digital Storytelling Contest nominees. Among the fift

Finally, for those who don’t understand what the big deal is, consider that even though we bandy about the term “fake news” with abandon, most journalists and photojournalist work within an ethical framework set out by their professional organizations and/or publishers. When a visible aberration like this halo appears without explanation, we have to wonder what else might have been edited within the frame.

Can Visual Content remain trustworthy? - Kaptur

Trust in visual content is quickly eroding. Technology can help by enforcing authenticity, authorship, and integrity. But only if everyone agrees.

Out of six senses, vision is, by far, the one we trust the most for critical information. Studies show that if receiving conflicting information from our senses of sound and touch, for example, vision is always the sense we rule correct. It is our primary source of trust. If we see it, it exists. If not, it might not be real. If we can no longer believe what we see, our world will be torn apart.
Categorized as Ethics

Athletic Upskirting at the Australian Open - Reading The Pictures

These newswire photos from the Australian Open help create a culture that undercuts women athletes and endangers women more broadly.

The Reuters coverage of this year’s Australian Open tennis tournament features all the staples of the genre: feats of athletic prowess, emotional highs and lows, artistic stills, and humorous outtakes. It also includes several examples of a shot that needs to be scrapped from the genre: the athletic upskirt.

The Erasure of Political History at the National Archives

In altering photos from the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, the National Archives engaged in the very opposite of what it had been created to do: forge a clear and accurate historical record.

Last month, a photographer named Ellen Shub died, near Boston, at the age of seventy-three. I had got to know Shub in the nineteen-eighties, when I worked for gay and lesbian publications. At that time, she was already well known as a chronicler of social protest—a role that she continued to perform up until she unexpectedly fell ill, just weeks before she died. Many of her pictures were compositionally similar—frontal, focussed on one person and one sign. In 1975, she took a picture of a woman holding a placard that said “no more back room back alley abortions.” In 1981, at a Boston rally for the Equal Rights Amendment, she photographed a woman who held a sign on which she had pasted “59c”—the amount of money, it was said, that a woman made for every dollar earned by a man. In 2004, when the Republican National Convention was held in New York, Shub took a picture of a protester with a large sheet of cardboard printed with the words “ ‘dissent is the highest form of patriotism’ —thomas jefferson.” In 2014, at a rally in Boston, she photographed a young man holding one that said “#icantbreathe.” There were many more, and, in each case, the message of the photograph was the message of the sign.

National Archives Edited Photo to Remove Anti-Trump Messages

The National Archives is an independent government agency that's tasked with preserving and documenting government and historical records. An authority on

The photo at the center of the controversy was captured by Getty Images photographer Mario Tama on January 21st, 2017, as a massive crowd marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital the day after Trump was inaugurated.

Unjust Enrichment, Missing Payments, and Nat Geo Fine Art Galleries

I wrote two articles about National Geographic Fine Art Galleries (NGFA) just over a year ago after they contacted me to sell one of my photos in their

I continued to do research after both articles were published and I discovered NGFA and had the same exact corporate address on 12930 Worldgate Drive, Herndon, Virginia. However, the address for was changed after the second PetaPixel article ran. The address was changed to 11950 Democracy Drive, Reston, Virginia.
Categorized as Ethics

Making Pictures With Migrants

In the world of photography, those portrayed are almost never given much (if any) agency, regardless however much is at stake for them. This basic fact constitutes a well-known problem that usually is ignored. Why, after all, should those in front of the camera be given a voice if the general idea of the photographer as genius artist/maker (or truth teller) is so predominant?
Categorized as Ethics

Can Photojournalists Be Entirely Objective?

In today’s social media–oriented political landscape, photojournalists are challenged to find truth beneath ready-made narratives and personal brands.

The code of ethics outlined by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) instructs photojournalists to “recognize and work to avoid presenting one’s own biases in the work” and to “resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.” But in today’s social media–oriented political landscape, where entire personalities are staged, photojournalists are challenged to find truth beneath an onslaught of ready-made narratives and personal brands.
Categorized as Ethics

There Won’t Be Blood: Gun Violence and Visual Censorship - Reading The Pictures

In light of the consecutive mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, we discuss how gun violence is covered by U.S. media in terms of what we see and what we don’t see.

To show or not to show? When does publishing photos of carnage become exploitative, gratuitous and pornographic, and when does it become critical information and a prompt for change?

Adobe’s prototype AI tool automatically spots Photoshopped faces

Though it’s just a research project for the moment

The world is becoming increasingly anxious about the spread of fake videos and pictures, and Adobe — a name synonymous with edited imagery — says it shares those concerns. Today, it’s sharing new research in collaboration with scientists from UC Berkeley that uses machine learning to automatically detect when images of faces have been manipulated.

Thoughts about Deepfakes - Thoughts of a Bohemian

The only answer to fighting deepfakes is to fight it at its root. And the technology for that already exists...

Certified trust will soon become the most important value for visual content. Trust that images or videos are not altered in any way that could deceive the viewer. No fake images or montage, no biased alterations. By imposing accountability, the lines between deception and truthfulness would be clearly defined. And moral responsibility reestablish. That is the only way to combat deepfakes.
Categorized as Ethics

This Microbiologist Can Spot Your Fake Images - PhotoShelter Blog

When National Geographic published Beth Moon’s images of “the world’s oldest trees by starlight,” seasoned astrophotographers like Adrien Mauduit cried foul. Not only were sections of the sky cloned, but specific stars were appearing in portions of the sk

Categorized as Ethics