Whatever Happened to F/8 and Being There?

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LA Times cops to a doctored war photo. It's pretty obvious why the photographer made the change, but I'd like to hear the details.

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  1. Why did he doctor the photos?

  2. Well, the composition *is* better in the second photo, but I’m assuming it’s also because the original had the unfortunate feature of making it appear that the soldier’s gun was pointed at the child (though clearly it wasn’t).

  3. This idiotic trend of doctoring photos is rampant everywhere. It’s a hoot to behold some of the things that result from well-intentioned (clueless) photo editors. In one book I worked on, some buildings in Ft. Worth were Photoshopped out of a skyline. Why you ask? Well, they had been damaged by an F3 tornado since the picture was shot and would be torn down by the time the book was published. So hey, let’s fabricate what the future skyline will look like right now.

    Oops! They didn’t tear the buildings down after all. Duh.

  4. This picture is clearly not Pulitzer material in any of its incarnations, but it needs to be mentioned that photography is a competetive business, like any other. A picture on the front page of a major daily is a real coup, when you consider the number of shutterbugs in Iraq right now.

  5. His photoshop skills are a lot better than mine. I can barely tell which people are visible twice.

  6. I don’t know if it’s just the Times’ own printing, but the new pic looks brighter to me too. The altered pic strikes me as looking almost Biblical!

  7. Call me cynical, but I’m guessing that it wont be long before editors will come to realize they can snazz up their front pages with niftier photoshopped pictures. They’ll probably start out with a vague disclaimer that says “this photo has been digitally enhanced”, or something. Just guessing…

  8. One of the things that I learned through my Journalism class (Production and Layout to be exact) is that despite the new digital technology available, photos, like quotes from sources, are SACARED! You don’t alter them, you don’t “fix”, you don’t touch them. The Times did the right thing to dump this guy. Just as words can be taken out of context, so can images.

  9. C’mon, the New York Times is notorious for photoshopping it’s news, so, why not pics?

    Actually, it’s the bloggosphere that’s been catching the big press at the altered reality game.

    Sara, who exactly fingered the perp at the LA Times?

  10. I’m not surprised. Major parts of this “war” are being fought by actors on sound stages in Burbank. The only thing I’m surprised about is that they let this leak out. Perhaps they’re trying to distract us from the awful truth about this “war.”

  11. Wacko, that’s great. Operation Capricorn One.

  12. Someone should photoshop Geraldo’s moustache out of the picture.

  13. …and Geraldo along with it.

  14. Mark S: “The Times did the right thing to dump this guy.”

    Are you THAT naive? What makes you think they actually got rid of him? Such dishonesty is usually rewarded at such institutions. Like government workers or bad pennies, the culprits remain perennially on the payroll — perhaps under an assumed name, but they persist nevertheless.

  15. If the photographer had sold it to the paperas a composite, and the paper clearly labeled it that way, no problem. But that’s not what happened here.

  16. It’s no worse than staging a photo, which is harder to detect. Selecting shots unrepresentative of actual events is also a problem, i.e. a GI passing out candy bars when local children are scouting for militias.

  17. It was the pix editor at the Hartford Courant who realized it was fake. story’s here:
    http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=28082

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