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  1. #1
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Disclosure in Digital Journalism

    Just thought I'd pass this along... I was reading a CBC news report on the American attack on Osama Bin Laden, in which it is clearly stated that the photo is "digitally altered by the source". I know that ever since there has been photography in journalsim there has been some sort of manipulation of images, but this is the first time I have seen it disclosed in the photo credits.

    Regardless of how you may feel about digital photography/doctoring images, it seems that digital disclosure is an idea whose time is past due.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  2. #2
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    I would dispute that there has been manipulation of images ever since there has been photography in journalism (there was probably far more manipulation before then, when artists made engravings of current events) because time was of the essence and deadlines allowed little of that commodity in wet photography days.

    The Sydney Morning Herald in NSW always labels photographs enhanced in major digital ways as such, sometimes as "digital mischief". Perhaps it's a matter of degree?

    Strictly speaking touching up the contrast could be digital alteration, I guess.

  3. #3
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    The bigwigs in the US are now mulling over the mess they did with Photochopp over the Bin Laden hit. Realy, you don't really want to see the damage a high-velocity bullet does as it entered Bin Laden's eye do you? Of course not. The public do have sensitivities and the print and digital media have to be mindful of the reaction that could be quite unfavourable indeed. An image can be said to have been digitally altered if a face has been pixelated to protect identity or against inference of guilt. Having said that, images that have been "digitally altered" are common in lots of online and print media here in Australia, particularly with footballers, politicians, civic leaders etc, whether being lightly lampooned or reflecting on some sort of current affair involving people. You might want to do some research about the media photography of the Royals' recent wedding and how a lot of post-event reporting featured some fairly bland, and some quite creative Photochopping (such as the cat jumping through Princess Beatrice's strange headwear ornament).
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  4. #4
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I agree with Tom that manipulation has occurred from the beginning of the time that pictures were used to illustrate news stories, it is just easier to do it digitally these days. Of course, as Ross notes, the use of illustrations to distort an actual situation predates photography.

    My only thought about the manipulation disclaimer included in the caption that Tom mentioned is that the manipulation is not as clearly obvious as it is when, for example, the face of a crime victim is blurred. Perhaps the editor thought it was necessary to explain the ambiguous appearance of the picture. In general terms, though, I think that any informed viewer must be cognizant of the fact that photographs can be easily and convincingly altered.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Composition is the most prevalent form of manipulation.

    This is true of all media; photos, illustrations, text, body language...

    What amazes me is not that composition is manipulated, but that we still at first look; take almost any photo as a picture representing some reality.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    What amazes me is not that composition is manipulated, but that we still at first look; take almost any photo as a picture representing some reality.
    Many years ago I read a story about someone who had a long career as a photojournalist. (the name eludes me) One of his first assignments for a small, local paper was to photograph a goat that was in the news for some reason. (hey, I said it was a small, local paper. ) When the owner of said goat refused to allow pictures to be taken, the cub reporter called his editor with the bad news. Unflapped, the editor asked, "Doesn't his neighbour have a goat?" He got a picture of a goat.

    The point is that in any media, we are at the mercy of whoever creates the media, and unless they have reason to believe that the image is misrepresented, people tend to believe what they see. "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"

    Back to my first point, it is interesting that the CBC chose to disclose that the image presented a somewhat accurate (ergo, somewhat inaccurate) representation of the reality in front of the camera lens.
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  7. #7

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    The alteration here was the obscuration of a secret document on the desk. Not much of a change.
    Except for the cloned out Pizza boxes and the KFC.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill



 

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