Sunday, May 1, 2011


Showingreality through a picture is generally accepted as photography’s main purpose.
But popular and easy-to-use image editing softwareis calling that reality into question.
“If you use photo editing software toproduce a piece of art, [then that’s] fine.

“But if you're using it to make material changesto a picture which you are using to report an event, and to make it seemsomething different to what it in fact was, then there's a technical term forthat which you'd better get to grips with: it's a 'lie'.”
MrSinclair said a news photojournalist who uses Photoshop without declaring itsuse is tantamount to a “journalist who invents material facts underlying astory.”
He warned: “If you think it won't harm yourreputation to become known for producing lies, then go ahead.
“[But]…if someone else suffers loss as a result ofyour lie, they may be sufficiently motivated to try and make legal history,with you at the other end of it.” 
Theprinciples that bind ethical journalists are almost the same ones thatphotographers should adhere to, if of course avoiding legal bother ispreferred.
Although under revision, the NUJ’s Code of Conductcurrently states some clear guidelines for photographers keen to keep ethicalwith the likes of Photoshop.
Clause 6 of the code states that a journalist (orphotographer):“Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, withthe exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the publicinterest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforwardmeans.”
And Clause 2 adds that the ethical journalist – orphotographer - “Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestlyconveyed, accurate and fair.”
For John Toner, freelance organiser at theNational Union of Journalists, using Photoshop responsibly “is not about 'bestpractice' in editing”.
Instead, "it’s about informing the publicwhen an image has been manipulated and how it has been manipulated."
He advised that this can be achieved by spellingout in a footnote or similar that amendments have been made to the photodisplayed.
"If an image has been manipulated the captionshould state this. There should be no attempt made to pass something off as afact when it is a fiction."

Photos where photoshop didn't make miracles :

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