Michael,

I understand your reasons and logic but think that to impliment them is fraught with problems. Who will decide the catergories? How can it be monitored and controlled? When measures like this are introduced I feel that we are entering the dodgy area of censorship, although I'm certain that this is not your intention. I guess that I can be accused of being cynical but no matter how genuine your reasons for wishing to define standards, somewhere down the line people will manipulate them to their own advantage and we end up with untruths as depicted in the LA photographers composite image.

Press and media images have always been manipulated to show what the editor, publisher etc want to show and I guess we just have to live with it. Eight years ago I went to Belfast in Northern Ireland to photograph a documentary on the communities and spent two years living in the heart of the troubles. Some photographers working for the UK press were guilty of appalling manipulation of people to get the image that the editor required for the next days headline. It's my view that the good sense and integrity of the ordinary people of this world will always win through in the end and the cheats will be exposed.

Photographic images have been manipulated for years, and I'm not talking of burning and dodging. Henry Peach Robinson used several negatives to construct images over 100 years ago and the results are amazing, but was he wrong to do it. Jerry Ulesman has produced some wonderful images doing the same thing and even our own Bob Freed had an image in the gallery made from a negative exposed in Ireland and a second in Denver. All are valid and interesting photographs made with good intentions.

I found your post extremely stimulating even though I don't really agree that we should catagorise photography in they way you outlined. Thank you for sharing your views.