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Thread started 09 Mar 2019 (Saturday) 13:25
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Ethics and Photography

 
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AZGeorge
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Mar 12, 2019 00:17 |  #16

From a newspaper perspective:

Croasdail wrote in post #18826150 (external link)
Is asking the subject of a journalistic story about what-ever to move over so that the image of them doesn't have a power poll sticking out of their head creating a false image?

Asking the subject to move to avoid the head growing a pole is not only okay but highly recommended because you can't remove the pole in processing. Why not clone the pole away? Because that would create a record that the pole was not there. Asking a subject to move next to the bloody body would not be okay at all unless the shooter works for the gutter press which lives for that sort of garbage.

Can you ask the subject to move to another part of the room for better lighting creating a false image? Does using a flash constitute changing the scene?

There's no problem with good lighting unless it is used to make a subject look bad. You don't get to make the event organizer's pore stand out just because she is unpleasant and difficult.

Is any manipulation of the scene, moving a chair, turning on a light, asking someone to move out of the scene who is not the subject... Is that creating a false image...? Does the image need to be spontaneous to be real.

It depends. If shooting straight news, especially action, you do not get to play director. If shooting a headshot or a feature you do.

When does a photo create a lie?

Most pictures taken out of context provide false information. He doesn't always look so serene. Most of the game was boring until she made that great jumper. That's a beautiful new restaurant but don't look in the dumpster. And it's a rare story that provides full context. Responsible newsrooms just work hard at coming as close as time and space allow. It's not for nothing that most papers have the same unofficial name: The Daily Miracle.


George
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soeren
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Post edited 8 months ago by soeren.
     
Mar 12, 2019 01:04 |  #17

Ted Forbes "The art of photography" has a video up covering the subject.
In my opinion there is no such thing as objective photography, everything is a choice by the photographer even if it's on a subconscious level.
When making claims to what has happened at some point the one blowing such stories better has facts and documentation properly in place.


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Croasdail
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Mar 14, 2019 07:43 |  #18

I've seen that one. I also like this video by Jamie Windsor

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=6nsFNUqQpJM (external link)

Not exactly the same, but he does discuss "inspired" works.... he is his usual thorough self.


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Jeff_56
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Apr 19, 2019 18:00 |  #19
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The point where photos become editorials IMO is when you decide consciously to make a scene or a person look a certain way. As photographers we know lots of ways to alter a scene. If you try to portray the scene as it exists you are generally fine as far as editorializing. But when 40 photos are taken of a speaker and the one photo is chosen that shows the speaker seemingly making a garish face is chosen as the one to be published that is over the line. Unfortunately I see this far too often from people on all sides of the political spectrum. If your subject looks like a blustering fool in your photo when 99.9% of the time that speaker did not look that way then you have committed journalistic fraud.

The same kind of logic can be applied to many situations. If you are photographing a country road and you wait 15 minutes to get a shot when no cars are in view that is not journalism. It may well be art but that's a different thing.

When it comes to getting permission to use a subject in a photo I try to go by whether the person is central to the photo. I don't think I can get a release from every fan at a football game at Ohio State for example. It matters whether the person can be identified in the image also. If it is a person by themselves I will get a release. If they are one face that doesn't show up well enough for that person to be identified I do not bother. Public places are public places and we are not guaranteed privacy in public places. But I won't try to profit off one person's face even if they are in public - not without a release anyway.

FWIW altering a photo to make someone appear sinister or angelic is always wrong when it comes to journalism. Art is a whole other subject. There are few rules in artistic work.




  
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AZGeorge
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Post edited 7 months ago by AZGeorge.
     
Apr 19, 2019 18:34 |  #20

Jeff_56 wrote in post #18848286 (external link)
. . . But when 40 photos are taken of a speaker and the one photo is chosen that shows the speaker seemingly making a garish face is chosen as the one to be published that is over the line. Unfortunately I see this far too often from people on all sides of the political spectrum. If your subject looks like a blustering fool in your photo when 99.9% of the time that speaker did not look that way then you have committed journalistic fraud . . .

Story editors usually play a large role in selecting which shots are seen in print and on screen. The general practice is choosing a shot that well illustrates the story. The mayor may have been shot grinning and slapping backs at the funeral of a fallen officer but it would not be used with the funeral story. If the story were about the mayor's skills at working a crowd it could run. If the same mayor were shot a hundred times at a campaign rally and only stuck out his tongue and made a rude gesture once when talking about the owner of a local factory, that one shot would rightly be used with a story about the bad feelings between the mayor's office and the local mattress factory. Running two stock smiling headshots would just be lazy work.

In short, when the shot, beautiful or ugly, fits an honest story, all involved have done their job.

P.S. This does not apply to the tabloid press or shock sites. That's a different world I don't want to touch without three layers of surgical gloves.


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Apr 20, 2019 16:46 |  #21

I'm confused what is this thread about.
Some girl in the video? Photojournalism? People not comfortable with been photographed? Something removed from pictures? Street photography?

Arrest of someone. Does this person feels uncomfortable been photographed has anything to do with photojournalism?

What removing of some wrinkles on paid portrait has to do with ethics?

Or what removing of oppressed communist from the group picture has to do with photography?
https://urokiistorii.r​u …8%D0%9A.jpg?ito​k=JL_FfrN6 (external link)
https://urokiistorii.r​u/article/55399 (external link)


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Jeff_56
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Apr 20, 2019 22:19 |  #22
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AZGeorge wrote in post #18848301 (external link)
P.S. This does not apply to the tabloid press or shock sites. That's a different world I don't want to touch without three layers of surgical gloves.

Unfortunately editors try to color hard news stories all too often today no matter where they work. Trying to make someone look better is rarely a problem IMO. It's when you go out of your way to make someone look bad that I have a problem. It's the same with photographers who only present selected images for consideration or people who do their own publishing when they want to sell a POV with their photo. It doesn't matter who does it. it isn't honest.

BTW for those that asked I responded to an existing part of this thread. I didn't steer it a new direction.




  
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Deardorff
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Apr 24, 2019 08:19 |  #23

The OJ Simpson photos show what Journalism ethics is all about. The dark, brooding manipulations were dishonest and many editors would have canned the photographer/darkroom/​computer tech who did that. It was editorializing an image. Basic dodging and burning is fine and in many other types of photography going much further is as well. In Journalism going past basic exposure work as in the darkroom is not a good thing.

McCurry has come under condemnation for many of his "set up" images that were supposedly natural. The scenes were something he had seen but came back with models and re-created. Dishonest journalism.

As for people in public settings, editorial and ART both get a pass here. Tiger Woods sued and artist over using his image and Tiger lost.

See this article from NY Times that gives some good information.
https://www.nytimes.co​m …-a-right-or-invasion.html (external link)

Street Photography as art.

Dishonesty in images has been with us from the beginning of photography. Journalism is only one facet. Look at wildlife images and checking closely will find too many that use captive animals while claiming they are "in the wild". Cleaning up or changing areas for scenic images is another problem. Then you have those who will go so far as to cut trees "in the way" of the image they want.

We all bring our own prejudice to what we photograph. Being as accurate as possible both in the image and the cutline can make a big difference in the use.


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Post edited 6 months ago by airfrogusmc.
     
Apr 24, 2019 09:02 |  #24

Great peice on Winogrand and does get to a few things being discussed.
https://schedule.wttw.​com …6f-4eb1-98b0-af65f0157d42 (external link)




  
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Apr 24, 2019 09:15 |  #25

Some other thoughts to think about.

An interesting thought by John Szarkowski.
"What the photographer taking the picture and the historian viewing it must understand is that while the camera deals with recording factual things and events that form the subject of the photograph, it only produces a perceived reality that is remembered after the thing or event has passed. While people believe that photographs do not lie, this is an illusion caused by the mistaken belief that the subject and the picture of the subject is the same thing."- John Szarkowski

"Because we see reality in different ways, we must understand that we are looking at different truths rather than the truth and that, therefore, all photographs lie in one way or another. Today's technological advances in digital manipulation of images that the public sees regularly in photographs and films now only makes it easier to understand what has always been true."- John Szarkowski

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon

Garry Winogrand at 2min 24 sec in
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=Tl4f-QFCUek (external link)




  
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Croasdail
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Post edited 6 months ago by Croasdail.
     
Apr 25, 2019 13:27 |  #26

"FWIW altering a photo to make someone appear sinister or angelic is always wrong when it comes to journalism. Art is a whole other subject. There are few rules in artistic work."

And yet it happens all the time. Most common example is the Time and New Week covers of OJ - time using heavy shadowing to make it look more sinister. But even less egregious is images claiming some emotion about someone. I can with enough patience take a picture of the happiest person mid expression look angry. You don't have to look very hard for examples.

All photographs are representations of the photographers perception off an event or person - none represent the complete picture. I photographs have bias.


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 25, 2019 14:08 |  #27

Arnold Newmans Newsweek photo of Krupp and interesting article.
https://kamo.photograp​hy …nold-newman-alfred-krupp/ (external link)




  
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Jun 05, 2019 15:01 |  #28

Spencerphoto wrote in post #18826163 (external link)
For me, the biggest no-no is creating a narrative that isn't true, for cynical reasons. The 'lie' can be in the image (sometimes through image manipulation) or in an accompanying story, such as in journalism. Photos are often (mis)used in this way. An example might be a journo claiming that a politician is angry about an opponent's policy, and puts an image alongside the story, of the politician apparently snarling - when the photo was taken months or even years previously and so totally unconnected to the alleged 'anger'. Of course, they won't provide a caption saying this; they want us to believe that the politician was snarling at his opponent.

Jokes, novels, movies, fables, poems, paintings and photos could all be 'lies' to some degree. There's only an issue when the motivation behind the 'lie' is negative - to damage another person, for greed or unearned personal gain.

Sadly, another area that has recently become infected with this behaviour is documentaries. There have been many examples lately of doco-makers staging events or situations that actually didn't happen, sometimes simply to boost audience numbers, sometimes for political reasons. Once upon a time, not so long ago, we could watch a documentary and believe what we saw and heard. Not so today.

There has never, ever been a time that documentary photographers have not moved people, changed scenes, manipulated the image. That goes all the way back Matthew Brady's Civil War photography. And that's never been a secret.

Back in the day, one of my heroes, W. Eugene Smith was famous for spending days in the darkroom manipulating a single photograph of his documentary work. He was the subject of courses teaching others the same thing. Recreating situations to create a more artistically effective image was par for the course.

It wasn't so much that the image presented a mechanistically accurate representation of the scene, but whether the image presented the existential truth of the moment.

So this goes back to that Iranian missile image. The fact is that the image did not present the truth of the moment. All observers saw (I believe it was) four missiles in the air at the same time. But the image only showed three missiles (by chance of the moment of shutter release). What was actually the truth of the moment? An image of three missiles--which contradicted eye witnesses and obscured the truth--or an image with four missiles as everyone saw it?


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Jun 05, 2019 15:06 |  #29

Croasdail wrote in post #18826198 (external link)
Actually I talked to a chap that I have worked with and he said it is not customary for girls her age to be covered. It is only required with then become of age, or get married. Now she might have been being shy and covered herself in front of a stranger... but young girls are not required to cover themselves.

I have also read that.

Significantly, too, McCurry was assisted in his photo of the "Afghan Girl" by the girl's own teacher, who could have and should have objected to any of McCurry's suggestions that were untoward.


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Jeff_56
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Jun 06, 2019 16:05 |  #30
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RDKirk wrote in post #18873057 (external link)
It wasn't so much that the image presented a mechanistically accurate representation of the scene, but whether the image presented the existential truth of the moment.

IMO it is commonly known that stories and photos are manipulated by journalists. That has greatly contributed to the lack of respect for journalism. One man's existential truth is another man's bald faced lie. I've seen too many journalists try to frame a story to suit their bias. It isn't journalism when they do that. It's propaganda.

I've watched events live then seen the press totally distort everything that happened at that event. Propaganda is not a good thing for journalists. Those that do it give all journalists a bad name. Where do you draw the line when framing a story as you see it instead of what really happened? We've seen that question apparently ignored completely sometimes by so called journalists. Journalists report. They shouldn't distort.




  
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