Photojournalism and Strongly Modified Images

In today’s electronic world of Adobe Photoshop, PortraitPro, and others have been used extensively in modifications of photographs in both magazines and online. You see these photo-modifications every time you stand in line while waiting to pay for groceries. Tabloids with obviously altered cover photos with captions like, “My Mother Married an Space Alien,” and then an photo of a young woman next to what looks like the alien with large eyes from the movie, Close Encounters of the First Kind.

This is called by some, art or marketing; but it definitely is NOT photojournalism.

What photojournalist does is quite different. A reputable photojournalist endeavors to tell a “story” or “message” their photo. it is strictly forbidden to falsify a photographed scene and many a photojournalist has been fired for doing just that.

Below are a couple of examples:
Brian Walski, former staff photographer of the Los Angeles Times was fired when it was discovered that he combined two of his photos showing an American soldier gesturing toward a man carrying two small children.

Brian Walski, photo 1

Brian Walski photo 2

After the  LA Times discovered that Walski falsified his photo (which had been placed on the front page of the paper, he was fired.

Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Nicarso Contreras was fired from the AP when it was discovered that he removed the image of a fellow journalist camera from before submitting his photo to the AP. Click (here) to see photo.

So, budding photojournalists, beware of the urge to sharply change/modify your photographic images, the job you will be saving is your own.

NPPA Code of Ethics (click here)

About WriterSan

I look for the truth in all things and search for "Perfect Cupcake." (Which I did find once, but my daughter ate it before I could immortalize it in a photo.)
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