PAM PLATT: Flurry over a photo prompts explanation: “Some of the comments registered by angry, offended and/or baffled readers: ‘Awful,’ ‘an embarrassment,’ ‘horrible decision,’ ‘poor judgment,’ ‘distasteful,’ ‘a mystery’ and ‘shame on you.’
I have to admit I was a little baffled by the response. Aren’t sports the province of the ubiquitous fanny pat? Aren’t players in each other’s faces all the time during athletic matches? Yes and yes. So what’s a little game-time hug in that universe?
Well, apparently this photo crossed a line for some readers, some of whom demanded an apology and/or an explanation.”
Bruce kicks photographer, takes oath : Updates : The Rocky Mountain News: “But his patience snapped as photographers from the Rocky and Denver Post crouched before him to shoot his picture as he stood for the House’s morning prayer.
Bruce told Rocky photographer Javier Manzano ‘Don’t do that again,’ and then gave him a swift kick in the knee.
Asked by reporters in his office about the incident, Bruce said his kick was warranted and that he had warned the photographers not to take his picture during the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance.
‘In 21 years, I don’t think there has ever been an instance where I had to do something to stop somebody from behaving in such a coarse and disgusting way,’ Bruce said.”
Is Time hoping a little controversy will draw attention to its redesign? The first new-look issue, on newsstands tomorrow, features what appears to be a photo of Ronald Reagan with a fat tear sliding down his cheek, illustrating the cover story, “How the Right Went Wrong.” A somewhat cryptic credit in small type on the (revamped!) table of contents describes the image this way: “Photograph by David Hume Kennerly. Tear by Tim O’Brien.” Nowhere does it specifically state that the cover is a photo illustration—in other words, that it’s Photoshopped.
A suite of photo-authentication tools under development by Adobe Systems could make it possible to match a digital photo to the camera that shot it, and to detect some improper manipulation of images, Wired News has learned.
Adobe plans to start rolling out the technology in a number of photo-authentication plug-ins for its Photoshop product beginning as early as 2008. The company is working with a leading digital forgery specialist at Dartmouth College, who met with the Associated Press last month.
The push follows a media scandal over a doctored war photograph published by Reuters last year. The news agency has since announced that it’s working with both Adobe and Canon to come up with ways to prevent a recurrence of the incident.
“Fundamentally, our values as a company requires us to build tools to detect tampering, not just create tampering,” said Dave Story, vice president of product engineering at Adobe.
The AP’s Carolyn Kaster appreciates this approach but has a slightly different philosophy: whenever possible, do no harm. “You can go through this business and try to make pictures of impact and importance but if an image is to have a journalistic purpose, to communicate something, if you can communicate it in a different way, without causing harm, then I think you’re obliged to do that,” Kaster said. She described a photograph that she declined to take last week because consent was not granted: She approached an Amish school in the area and “without my cameras explained who I was and what I’d like to do, to take a picture of kids on school grounds with no one singled out.” The teacher told Kaster that the children were “very wary” and asked her not to take the picture. “I said no problem. I did not make that photograph.”
Kaster went to two other schools and got the same answer. “I had every right as an American to stand on public property and take that photograph,” she said. “I could’ve taken the picture and asked the teacher later. But that’s just how I approach this community.” Kaster added, “That might have been a key picture — children in the schoolyard of a one-room Amish schoolhouse,” and conceded that colleagues might criticize her for not having taken that photograph. “But,” she said, “I found another way to communicate what I wanted to communicate that I felt was within the boundaries of the [Amish traditions]” — by waiting for the children to get out of school and “be away from the school house environment,” finding a group of them walking home and talking to them and photographing them as they “hammed it up.” Said Kaster, “I could tell I wasn’t frightening them and causing them grief by photographing them. And I did have a job to do. I needed to make pictures of the Amish community, specifically children.” (As both Kaster and the Intelligencer Journal’s Dan Marschka pointed out, the Amish are baptized as adults and so children, not yet church members, are not under the same religious prohibitions regarding photography).
Reuters began an immediate enquiry into Hajj’s other work and today found that a second photograph, of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon and dated August 2, had been doctored to increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three.
“Manipulating photographs in this way is entirely unacceptable and contrary to all the principles consistently held by Reuters throughout its long and distinguished history,” Mr Szlukovenyi said.
“It undermines not only our reputation but also the good name of all our photographers.” He added that the mere fact that Hajj had altered two of his photographs meant none of his work for Reuters could be trusted either by the news service or its users.
Johnson added: “Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There’s really no question about it.”
Speaking to Ynetnews, Johnson said: “This has to cast doubt not only on the photographer who did the alterations, but on Reuters’ entire review process. If they could let such an obvious fake get through to publication, how many more faked or ‘enhanced’ photos have not been caught?”