Skip to comments.Reuters Editor: Photog Was Not Trying to 'Make a Statement' in Altered Image(Reuters Fauxtography)
Posted on 08/08/2006 5:22:54 PM PDT by mdittmar
NEW YORK Gary Hershorn, a photo editor for Reuters, explained today why the news agency withdrew two altered photos, and then hundreds of others by the same photographer, earlier this week and also described Reuters policy on Photoshopping images.
Hershorn, whose title is news pictures editor for North America, said he did not believe the freelance photographer, Adnan Hajjnow dismissed by the agencymade his changes for political effect. "I believe he was trying to take a picture and make it better rather than trying to take a picture and make a statement," Hershorn told National Public Radio in an interview aired today.
That doctored picture showed thick, black smoke rising over buildings in Beirut after an Israeli airstrike, while the original had less smoke and a lighter tone overall. Bloggers had posted observations that it looked like a Photoshop cloning tool was used.
The second photo showed an Israeli jet releasing three flares while the original photo showed one flare.
Referring to the smoke photo, Hershorn told NPR, "This one slipped through the system. It just came in. A photo editor looked at it and coded it and sent it to our clients."
He explained, "a photographer is never allowed to change content. Reuters has zero tolerance to doctoring photos this way. You can't add information; you can't take away things."
Later, at a Reuters blog site, Hershorn went into technical details about the standards:
News photographers routinely process images using Adobe Photoshop software. But there has been a basic premise in the world of photojournalism that what was allowed in making prints in the pre-digital days of darkrooms is all that is acceptable today.
Back in the days of the darkroom, we used very basic tools to develop prints. In black and white printing, the contrast of a picture was controlled by a papers grade. The higher the number of the paper, the higher the contrast. In the wire agency darkooms Ive worked in, we typically used grades 3,4 and 5. We allowed dodge and burn to lighten or darken areas. A dodge tool was made by taping a small piece of cardboard the size of a quarter onto a paper clip. A burn tool was a piece of cardboard the size of an 8×10 sheet of paper with a hole in the center.
If a print had dust spots caused by a dirty negative, we used Spotone, a photographic paint that was dabbed onto a print with a very fine paint brush to eliminate the unsightly marks. One other tool that was allowed when printing color pictures was changing color balance. This was done by placing filters between the light source of the enlarger and the paper that the image was being printed on.
When we moved to scanning negatives and then to shooting digital, we began using Photoshop. This program allows us to do the same things we did in the darkroom. Changes in contrast, dodging and burning and color balance are now done with software.
The most controversial tool in Photoshop that we use is the cloning tool. The only accepted use of this tool is to clear dust from the image. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to using the cloning tool to change content, and by that we mean removing something that exists in a photo, moving or replicating it or adding to a photo.
The tools we use in Photoshop are levels, curves and saturation for changing contrasts; and, color balance to bring the image back to the way the natural eye would see the color .Photoshop is a highly sophisticated image manipulation program. We use only a tiny part of its potential capability to format our pictures, crop and size them and balance the tone and colour. For us it is a presentational tool. The rules are no additions or deletions, no misleading the viewer by manipulation of the tonal and color balance to disguise elements of an image or to change the context.
Photoshop is a powerful image processing program with many more tools to help photographers produce the best quality image they can for the type of photography they do. There is not a Photoshop program for use by news photographers and another for advertising, where image-changing is tolerated. What we in the news photo community need to regulate is what tools are used for photojournalism and what are not.
FAUXTOGRAPHY....a new word coined by a fellow freeper.
I tweaked your headline a bit...;-)
That's why I don't believe it and I'd be insulted if Reuters actually had any credibility.
"FAUXTOGRAPHY....a new word coined by a fellow freeper"
Credit where credit is due.
That entire heading can be reduced to 3 words..."Reuters Lies Again"..
FAUXTOGRAPHY....pass it on.
Fauxtography. I'm stealing that.
So, Mr.Gary Hershorn, you don't think that his chosen last name of Hajj might be a tip-off that he has an agenda. That term is to be used in the muslim world only by those that have made the pilgrimage, or haj, to Mecca.
Might want to check if you have any Richard Crusaders on staff, eh?
I'm still stealing it...
It came from finnman69....but use it..it's great FAUXTOGRAPHY!!!!
Yup - that's where we saw it..
Hershorn obviously knows the right audience to peddle his BS to...
I would venture to add that it belongs in the FR dictionary.
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