Category: Ethics

Was photo a racial stereotype?

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“An absolutely disgusting photo,” said Darlene Tye, a transplant from California who is especially sensitive to how Southerners are depicted in the media. The missing teeth and what she described as unkempt attire reinforced a stereotype about people from the South, she said.

Valerie Cox objected to the photo for other reasons. After attending the concert with friends, she went to and was disappointed to find only five photos, and nothing like she expected.

“I was shocked to see the main photo representing the festivities was of an older African-American man who was missing most of his teeth,” she said. “There were thousands of other people in attendance who better represented the crowd. As an African-American, myself, I feel insulted,” Cox said.

Check it out here.

Doctored Photo On Daily News Cover Causes Stir

A photo printed on the front cover of the Philadelphia Daily News is causing a stir.
The cover shows Jocelyn Kirsch, the “Bonnie” in the Philadelphia “Bonnie and Clyde” identity-theft ring, lounging in a bathing suit.
However, the photo also shows a house-detention bracelet on Kirsch’s leg that was edited into the photo. In the original photo, Kirsch never wore an ankle bracelet.

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Mag takes sexy quake pics: World: News: News24

A Chinese magazine has been shut down for printing pictures of scantily clad women posing in rubble for a special report on the country’s devastating earthquake, officials said on Wednesday.

The New Travel Weekly, a small lifestyle magazine, ran photos of sultry models in their underwear amid the debris in an issue that hit the stands on Monday – the first of three days of national mourning.

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The World of Fashion: Pixel Perfect: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

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Pascal Dangin is the premier retoucher of fashion photographs. Art directors and admen call him when they want someone who looks less than great to look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks amazing already—whether by dint of DNA or M·A·C—to look, as is the mode, superhuman. (Christy Turlington, for the record, needs the least help.) In the March issue of Vogue Dangin tweaked a hundred and forty-four images: a hundred and seven advertisements (Estée Lauder, Gucci, Dior, etc.), thirty-six fashion pictures, and the cover, featuring Drew Barrymore.

Check it out here. Via PDNPulse.

Anatomy of a Hillary Clinton photo op — the pictures and the reality


The photo op.

Sen. Hillary Clinton had another one Wednesday. They’re usually staged before 1 or 2 p.m. to give crews time to edit the film and prepare their stories for the dinnertime news.

What TV viewers eventually saw was Clinton at a South Bend, Ind., gas pump with high prices. (See how she’s perfectly positioned so you can also see the prices? No accident. Although, truth be told, $3.75 a gallon looks pretty good to many Californians).

Clinton had along as a human prop commuter Jason Wilfing, allegedly on his way to work at a sheet metal factory. A real normal guy, no doubt, recruited by a Clinton advance worker for 12 of his 15 minutes of fame.

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Burning Desire

Kim Komenich:

Which brings us to the reason for this piece. Recent reports of overzealous edge-burning and the removal of extraneous limbs in backgrounds caused the editors of Sports Shooter to put out a call for opinions. Here’s mine: I think that directing the reader’s eye “in the moment”, like Cartier-Bresson, is always preferable to doing it after the fact in the darkroom, like Smith.

So, the “burn rule” as I see it is: The more you screw with it the more it becomes about you. In the worst cases it can be a downright lie. Photojournalists who use technology after the moment to “polish” a moment usually end up having a column written about them.

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'Thou shall not over-tone!'

The bottom line is this, if you are presenting work as the truth when in reality, it is not; you have only yourself to blame. Former Photojournalism sequence chair at Western Kentucky Mike Morse said it best, “you are either in the truth business… or you are in the entertainment business.”

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On the other side: ethics and toning

There is also a gray area about what is ethical and what isn’t. There are the biggies that are fundamental–like cloning someone/something in or out of your frame. But to me the big part of ethics has to do with intention and misleading. Statements like “If I can do it in a darkroom, it’s okay” or “This is what the scene looked like to me” aren’t good enough reasons. I’ve seen what used to be done in a darkroom —and you can do some pretty drastic things.

This is why for me it comes down to the intent of the photographer, and whether or not it misleads the reader.

Check it out here. Via APAD.

EastSouthWestNorth: Confessions of Veteran Photojournalists

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Veteran Journalists Confess To Directing Photos.  March 19, 2008.

Li Zhencheng graduated in 1963 from the Department of Photography of the Changchun Academy of Cinematography and later became a photojournalist at Heilongjiang Daily News.  In the 1980’s, he went to teach at the Department of Journalism at the China People’s Police University.  As a professional photojournalist, he had taken and preserved a large number of Cultural Revolution-era photos with the unique characteristics of those times. 

On March 7, Li posted a photograph titled: Yet Another High Quality Well on his personal blog.  He stated in very clear terms that this photograph had been directed and modified 35 years ago.  “From the viewpoint of composition and lighting, this photo is quite perfect.  In reality, there are many places in which modifications and forgery occurred.  Back in those days, I was all for reasonably organization and modification.  I advocated direction and alteration without giving any hints.”  Li challenged his blog visitors to detect the flaws.

Check it out here.

A Lineup of Recent Literary Fakers – Books – New York Times


When the news emerged this week that Margaret Seltzer had fabricated her gang memoir, “Love and Consequences,” under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones, many in the publishing industry and beyond thought: Here we go again.
The most immediate examples that came to mind were, of course, James Frey, the author of the best-selling “Million Little Pieces,” in which he embellished details of his experiences as a drug addict, and J T LeRoy, the novelist thought to be a young West Virginia male prostitute who was actually the fictive alter ego of Laura Albert, a woman now living in San Francisco.

Check it out here.

Fallout From a Literary Fraud – Love and Consequences – Margaret Seltzer – Margaret B. Jones – New York Times


Geoffrey Kloske, publisher of Riverhead Books, the unit of Penguin Group USA that released the book, by Margaret Seltzer, under a pseudonym, Margaret B. Jones, said on Tuesday that there was nothing else that he or Sarah McGrath, the book’s editor, could have done to prevent the author from lying.

“In hindsight we can second-guess all day things we could have looked for or found,” Mr. Kloske said. “The fact is that the author went to extraordinary lengths: she provided people who acted as her foster siblings. There was a professor who vouched for her work, and a writer who had written about her that seemed to corroborate her story.” He added that Ms. Seltzer had signed a contract in which she had legally promised to tell the truth. “The one thing we wish,” Mr. Kloske said, “is that the author had told us the truth.”

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