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Ease of digital photo alteration adds a hurdle for news outlets
International Herald Tribune ^ | 8/14/2006 | Maria Aspan

Posted on 08/14/2006 7:44:46 AM PDT by markomalley

The recent discovery that a Lebanese freelance photographer, Adnan Hajj, had manipulated pictures he took for Reuters has raised questions about the standards of photojournalism at a time of widespread digital photography.

The case also increased pressure on news photo editors, who select and edit thousands of photographs under deadline pressure each day, to detect digital alterations.

"The Soviets had to have a whole department to doctor pictures," said David Friend, an editor at Vanity Fair and a former director of photography for Life magazine. "Now all it takes is a swipe of a mouse, and the kid down the street can add smoke and mirrors to everything."

Detecting the smoke and mirrors is a challenge. While editors for print publications commonly rely on editing systems that track changes made to an article, photo editors have fewer such tools at their disposal and often rely on experience and instinct. As a result, skillful manipulation can be difficult to catch.

Careless digital alterations, like Hajj's, are easier to spot. He used a computer program like Adobe Photoshop to darken and duplicate the smoke from an Israeli air strike on Beirut and to add extra dropped flares from an Israeli jet.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2006israelwar; 4thestate5thcolumn; adnanhajj; alreuters; antisemites; arabstreet; biasmeanslayoffs; buckheadismyhero; bullzogby; communisttrick; congame; d; daralislam; denydenydeny; dhimmis; drivebymedia; dustypixels; enemedia; fabrication; fakebutaccurate; fakephotos; fauxlebanonpics; fauxtography; fired; ghg; goebbelswouldbeproud; greenhat; greenhelmet; greenhelmetguy; haj; hajj; hezbollah; idiots; islam; islamoganda; israel; lebanon; leftistsubversion; lgf; liberalism; maggotman; makingitup; malkin; mdm; mediabias; mediajihad; mediawar; mediawarwaronerror; middleeast; mohamedanmedia; msm; msmwoes; muhammadsminions; muslim; nme; pajamahadeen; pajamapeoplerule; pallywood; photoshop; picturekill; pingdanrather; powerghraib; propaganda; proterrorist; qana; ratherbiased; reuterbias; reutergate; reuters; reuterschmoiters; reutersgate; revisionisthistory; rotoreuters; rotorooters; terrorists; terrorsympathizers; theevilweevil; traitors; treason; trysellingthetruth; waronerror; whywefight
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To: akorahil

> ... why can't they go back to FILM cameras ...

Silver halide photography is nearly dead.
Before long, it will be used only by darkroom
nostalgics, along with daguerreotype.

Plus, negs have zero meta-data to bolster their
authenticity. A digital image from a secure
camera is much more credible than a neg.

Shoot your base scene with a 20Mp DSLR, edit
in Photoshop, print at high-res, re-shoot on
Ektachrome 400, and yer good to go.

The recent scandal was not really about technology
anyway. Some of those frauds were so blatent that
the only explanations are:
- massive editorial incompetence at Reuters
- massive agenda-driven corruption at Reuters

... well, maybe both.

21 posted on 08/14/2006 9:06:42 AM PDT by Boundless (Imagine if Fox had a news channel)
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To: jwparkerjr

> Wire services don't want to be in the business
> of spending time ...

Then they don't get to blame the technology, which is
what they are trying to do here.

> The weak link in the chain is the shooter ...

There is a bottomless pit of photo hacks with an
agenda to drive with fake images.

If the news services fail to vet the images, they take
the heat. Reuters has earned the present scorn.

22 posted on 08/14/2006 9:10:58 AM PDT by Boundless (Imagine if Fox had a news channel)
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To: Boundless
re: Reuters has earned the present scorn

And then some!

I have no sympathy for any of them. I'm really more familiar with AP having worked in the news photo department of a major daily newspaper. There's a good deal of competition between the big players for members. It's gotten so expensive that a lot of papers have only a single wire service these days. AP really has the edge here in the US since the AP wire is the source for a lot of the stories that are printed and it's much easier to get both the story and the art from one source. When the wire carries a story the point you to any accompanying art. And if the ink-by-tank-truck gods are smiling you might actually find the art where they said it would be. More often than not it's a chore to find the pictures.

But I certainly agree with your observations!
23 posted on 08/14/2006 9:28:11 AM PDT by jwparkerjr
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To: Boundless
Don't no about 'Silver Halide is nearly dead'. I use both and until somebody comes up with the quality of my Leica Ms and lenses in digital I will continue doing so as I suspect most people with Leica's will. And if you say what about the new digital M? I bet because of the compromises like still having to use retro focus wide angle lens designs and a limited pixel count it will be worse than an equivalent 35mm film Leica. Ok so in news, sport etc and photojournalism its 'convienient'But when I go out to take a picture I take My MP and a couple of lenses in my pockets
24 posted on 08/14/2006 10:16:03 AM PDT by Brit1 ('Suppers Ready.' (23 mins and 32 seconds of Heaven))
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To: Boundless
Fair enough.
Thanks for the explanation.
25 posted on 08/14/2006 12:05:46 PM PDT by akorahil (Thank You and God bless all Veterans. Truly, the real heroes.)
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