It makes you wonder how much this goes on. These guys are in a highly competitive field where they'll do whatever it takes to "get the shot".
Altered pics are as old as photography. Even before the advent of Photoshop and other digital wizardry pictures used to be retouched to suit the taste of the powers that be. Troops attacking were always pictured as advancing from left to right suggesting progress and success. Nothing new under the sun.
I think his firing is a good thing. It maybe will send the message that misrepresenting new coverage might not be tolerated. In this case it was pretty irrelevant to any message, but was done for aesthetic reasons.
Photographs and especially news photographs of a war are powerful images and often carry an indelible message. Any manipulation of this should not be tolerated. Time magazines cover of OJ Simpson making him look dark and evil
(although to some he is dark and evil) was highly criticized and the photographer or art director said that they considered it an illustration so it was ok. Nobody agreed with them and Time later apologised. An illustration or artwork is allowed this point of view but a photograph is not supposed to lie.
I agree that in the past news photographs have been messed with but with photoshop it is a pretty flawless process and I think his firing sends a good messsage. If you can't take a great news photograph get another job.
Just my opinion
It's the digital mentality.
I am so sick of the slant, bias and manipulation of the message of the broadcast and print media that the alteration of news photographs to misrepresent the reality of important events is an extremely sore spot for me.
If he has so little regard for accurately representing the truth, get him out of the "legitimate [lol]" news. He has a fine career ahead of him grafting celebrity photos together for the supermarket tabloids. His life as a credible photojournalist are over.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Flotsam @ Apr 2 2003, 08:50 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I am so sick of the slant, bias and manipulation of the message of the broadcast and print media that the alteration of news photographs to misrepresent the reality of important events is an extremely sore spot for me.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
I, too, have HAD it!!
Over the last two or three weeks there has been so much blatant propaganda - a GREAT deal of it self-contradictory, and in defiance of all logic, that I am over-saturated. I'm to the point where I don't even want to hear about it any more.
Whatever your sentiments are about this "war", it is just about impossible to form any sort of intelligent opinion from the news that we are finally ALLOWED to hear.
What is this ... "We can't HANDLE the truth"?
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ed Sukach @ Apr 3 2003, 07:05 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
What is this ... "We can't HANDLE the truth"?</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
BBCWorld did a piece on how the media in the middle east was covering things. It didn't take too much reading between the lines to understand they had been sanitizing the news so we didn't get upset. OTOH the new services in the middle east would tend to go to the other extreme and let the viewer see everything. Personally I'd rather make up my own mind.
I'm about 2/3rds the way through "Shutterbabe" by Deborah Kogan. Boy, if you ever considered a career in photojournalism, this book would make you think twice. I bought it because I was interested in her contraversy with James Nachtwey surrounding who uncovered the story concerning the conditions in the Romanian ophanages, immediately post Communist rule.
In part of her book, she claims instances in Afganistan where photographers captioned photos to indicate they were of battles between Afganis and departing Russian troops, when, if fact, they were staged live fire exercises conducted soley to produce pictures.
Digital certainly makes it easier to manipulate reality and you don't have an original neg to go back to in the event of a question. "What is Truth?" becomes more than a question in a Socratic dialogue; it becomes a very literal question. The photographer in question crossed the line and the punishment was appropriate.
The other downside to digital is obviously longevity. How many of these images will be around in 50 years?
And not to ignore the import of the war - I hope our service casulties and those of the Iraqi civilians are minimal and that the war ends up being for something - somewhat trivally, I wonder if some photojournalists are carrying cameras with Tri-x for a more traditional rendering of events, or has the torch really been passed and all we'll see is digital color on CNN.com?