Botched McCurry print and Photoshop scandal

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by cyanatic, May 6, 2016.

  1. I found this article interesting and frustrating. We had a discussion on this board not long ago about an article comparing McCurry to Singh. How ironic. I do believe that someone of McCurry's talent and notoriety would not intentionally deceive his viewers, but he has to bear some responsibility for those who sought to "improve" his photographs. It actually kind of shocked me that his photos needed improving, or that someone thought they did. That's the interesting part to me.
    The frustrating part is that what occurred with these McCurry photographs exemplifies what I call the National Geographic aesthetic (rampant among a lot of photographers) which is a seeking after a highly polished vision of perfection. But these are not a fashion shoot or a Gregory Crewdson creation. They are documentary photos so leave them the hell alone and let the viewer see them without alteration.
    That's it. End of rant. Have at it.
    http://petapixel.com/2016/05/06/botched-steve-mccurry-print-leads-photoshop-scandal/
     
  2. http://www.photo.net/philosophy-of-photography-forum/00dubF
    While I agree with you that the cloning was unnecessary and obviously quite badly done, what exactly do you think was the "deception?"
    For me, an example of deception would be removing an offensive tee-shirt from a photo of a man because you want to show him in a better light or removing a stop sign from a photo of a car accident to make it seem like the fault lay other than where it was. Cloning bricks on pillars or removing a "distracting" light post or a couple of extra heads from a background or a disembodied arm from the edge of a photo of a group of kids playing ball wouldn't qualify for me as deceptions in documentary work. McCurry himself makes clear he doesn't necessarily think of this work as documentary though he also makes clear he wouldn't have sanctioned such alterations. I think he strikes a good balance in his statement, but I think much of this is personal choice and not a matter of really deceiving viewers.
    In a lot of journalism, there are professional standards about not manipulating images, period, which is understandable and warranted. But my understanding is that documentary doesn't necessarily adhere to those sorts of guidelines and, besides, this is not so much documentary photography as it is personal photography or travel photography. Again, I think the photoshopping is botched and unwarranted, but don't find it deceptive. There are so many more deceptive things going on in news and documentary work that cleaning up a photo by removing benign distracting elements that really have no bearing on the story itself isn't going to worry me too much.
    I'm more amused that such bad photoshopping often gets by without notice than I am concerned with being deceived in this particular case.
     
  3. In documentary, alteration is not about the photographer deciding what is and isn't okay to "neaten" up. It's about, as Steve says, "let the viewer see." Stop nannying the viewer.
     
  4. The three pics aren't that good
    with, or without the photo
    botching imo. Personally, I
    don't mind the first botch, but
    I do find the other two
    objectable, especially the last
    one. Finally, I never really
    been a McCurry fan, most his
    doc. work just doesn't do much
    for me, except maybe for some
    of his straight on
    portraitures.
     
  5. He is no longer a journalist doing documentary and specifically rejects being assigned that title so there's no issue to discuss. You can't judge a person on the basis of a claim he hasn't made just because you have a different idea of who he should be.
     
  6. Mom always said "If you want something done right, do it yourself." This is why I do my own processing and printing. Of course I'm no McCurry but you get my point. I have no clue as to how this got passed him and into the public realm. I often hear other photographers say "I'll take of it later in photoshop." It makes me wonder how much of a crutch photoshop is for some photographers and if one can look to that as a reason for their lazy approach which at times can be manifest in their pictures. I mean why not make the picture the best it can be right there in the moment? Whatever the case, altered photographs are now the norm and we will be seeing more of it from Magnum which seems to be re-inventing itself these days as more of a fine art agency.
     
  7. It's not about the photographer. That's the point. In this one tiny corner of photography, there is an aspiration to stand aside; to simply shut up and get out of the way.
    [Addendum: I am aware that what Michael Darnton has written above is true; I'm speaking to the OP's second paragraph, McCurry aside.]
     
  8. Understand that I have an immense amount of respect for W. Eugene Smith and his ethos of "let truth be your prejudice"
    but over the past couple of decades it has come to light that his commentment to revealing truth as he experienced it did
    not exclude his "building" a photograph completely in the darkroom through combining negatives to create a master print
    which he would then rephotograph so he did not have to redo the entire process for each print sold or sent to his agency.
    Most notably, there is his portrait of humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
     
  9. If you want to change it, apparently there was some *other* truth that you didn't like.
     
  10. Not sure why this would be an argument. Yes, there's a little corner of the photography universe where photographers "get out of the way." No, I'm not going to demand that any particular photographer stand in that corner, especially a photographer who identifies himself as someone who is currently standing outside that corner.
    _____________________________________________________
    I've found one of the more fascinating aspects of making a photo is how much it is about what I don't allow to be seen in addition, of course, to what I do allow to be seen. IMO, to make a photo is to frame which, by definition, is also to leave out. To create photos, I very often choose what NOT to include in the frame, what I DON'T want to see or want the viewer to see (explicitly). Sometimes not allowing a photo to show what's outside the frame explicitly allows it to show something significant implicitly.
     
  11. You want to see how it should be done, see
    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photo_database/image/migrant_mother_makeover/
     
  12. I don't care anymore if people do it in their own work, fake it out, manufacture their own un-realities, it's all just so sad and rampant now, the photoshop BS and it is to me, quite pathetic.
    But no matter what I am doing or who it is for, be it advertising, fine art commissions, photojournalism pieces or personal documentary projects...I just won't do this kind of alteration to a photograph, ever.
    So I have photographs that others would likely say "just remove that power line and it would be much better" that I simply reject, they don't make the edit. For me, it's the only way to work and live my life as a photographer.
     
  13. Generally if these are his own personal photos outside of his journalism, who cares? Cropping/cloning anyway you want to do it, is the artists prerogative as long as you aren't presenting it as something its not.
     
  14. I don't care anymore if people do it in their own work, fake it out, manufacture their own un-realities, it's all just so sad and rampant now, the photoshop BS and it is to me, quite pathetic.​
    It sounds like you do care. You actually sound quite passionate about those who aren't you who do things you won't do yourself? By the way, I respect the choices you've made for yourself and your photography. But your contradictory statement leads me to wonder about two things. Why are you so passionate about others using photoshop? And why would you claim not to care in the same breath that you show you care so very much?
     
  15. It makes me wonder how much of a crutch photoshop is for some photographers​
    Marc, I use photoshop as an expressive tool.

    I'm sure it is used as a crutch by many photographers and I can often assess whether it seems that way to me or not just by looking at the photo.
    But let's talk about photoshop and crutches for a minute. Sometimes relying on the use of photoshop after the fact is the easier way to go. Not sure exactly what the problem is with that. Crutches really do often help those who use them. I've never found anything inherently wrong with a crutch, and especially not in certain circumstances. I suppose I could look at lots of things as crutches . . . auto exposure settings, auto focus settings, sending one's prints out to a lab rather than printing oneself, using a light meter, using various filters, driving your car up the mountain to take the picture instead of hiking up the mountain, drinking bottled water on your way up instead of digging a well first and getting your own . . . That kind of characterization of what others do is only one way to look at the world.
     
  16. Let me get this straight, these images were hanging in a gallery or museum, not published in a newspaper or news magazine, wren't they? If so, then they're "art", are they not? The artist should feel free to interpret the images as he see fit, IMO.
     
  17. Phil S: Not every documentary photographer should strictly follow or aspires to the Cartier Bresson ethos of the 'decisive moment' in which everything that's in the scene and final photograph has aligned perfectly at the moment of taking the picture.​
    Phil, I think you make some thoughtful observations, but here you're ascribing an opinion to me that I did not, and do not, express. "The Decisive Moment" is a compositional cousin to the "Nat Geo Aesthetic", and I personally dislike both of them. In my opinion, they both often lead to a kind of soulless, homogenized "McDonald's" kind of photography.
    If there are any complaints about this than it's nearly always complaints from photographers who want to impose their own method of working unto other photographers ( if I play by the "rules" then you should to ).​
    "If you complain about X, then you must be, or believe, Y." I see this kind of argumentation more often in political discussions than in aesthetic discussions. My opinion on the type of Photoshop alterations shown in the article is, again, quite opposite to what you are ascribing to me. The photographers who do this sort of thing in "documentary" (personal or not -- whatever the heck "personal documentary" is -- "artistic fiction" then?) are the ones following "rules". "If I add or remove this element then I am meeting a perceived aesthetic need which improves the photograph". I think Marc Todd hits the nail on the head in regard to what's really going on here:
    Marc Todd -- ...altered photographs are now the norm and we will be seeing more of it from Magnum which seems to be re-inventing itself these days as more of a fine art agency.​
    Exactly. This type of after the fact manipulation creates fine art. Depending on how something is marketed or presented it makes a great deal of difference in terms of whether "it's done in the moment of taking the picture or after the picture was already taken."
    He is no longer a journalist doing documentary and specifically rejects being assigned that title​
    I must have missed that announcement. I suspect that a lot of people who viewed some of the photographs shown in the original article did as well. But that's not really what I'm trying to get at, anyway. It's the underlying aesthetic which may be at play here, the thought process which thinks this is necessary, that I'm talking about. I am not fond of titles and strict categories, so good for McCurry for rejecting them.
    Fred G: Cloning bricks on pillars or removing a "distracting" light post or a couple of extra heads from a background or a disembodied arm from the edge of a photo of a group of kids playing ball wouldn't qualify for me as deceptions in documentary work.​
    Fred, I would be shocked if you did something like this in your Plowshare series:
    http://www.fredgoldsmithphotography.com/gallery/PlowshareFarm/
    Depending upon what the alteration is, Fred, I think it does matter a great deal. I find it hard to believe that you would add or remove, a person, a pillar, or a post in "Plowshare". Maybe deception is the wrong word to use. I don't think it is done to intentionally mislead, but it is probably done to make the photo "better". Within the confines of documentary, I don't think it makes the photo "better", it diminishes it by having altered what was there. I know we could engage in lengthy metaphysical discussions about the nature of reality and how a photograph is not "real" anyway. Of course. But there is a common sense, down to earth understanding of the difference between what was in front of the lense at the time, and what was not. We each have to make our own choices (in documentary) as to what is fair game for removal, and what is not. It's a gray area and subject to many interpretations. It's only my opinion, but if there is a lamppost, a power line, or an errant arm at the edge of the frame, remove it by cropping, if you can, or let it ride. What is served by "removing extra heads in the background"? A perceived aesthetic which says such removal makes the photograph better.
    But whether or not there is deception is not really what I care about. What I question is the notion that there is some aesthetic need or requirement to make these kinds of alterations. As if there is some sort of aesthetic rule or guideline which must be followed. "What I photographed is not quite good enough, I must make it better." That's an admirable goal in the sense that we should never be satisfied and always seek to improve our work. But there is also the courage to not follow the Nat Geo aesthetic (for lack of a better way to categorize the aesthetic mindset I'm talking about) and have the courage to show the world warts and all, the imperfections in a moment, the slight imperfections in a given photograph. Not as a catch all to allow an "every photo is great" mentality. There must be rigorous and careful editing to seek such photographs, I am not promoting a "everything is great, we are all winners!" mentality. But there is such a thing as trusting the moment to speak for itself.
    I am probably not doing a good job of explaining what I mean.
    Going back to the original article, and the sample photographs, Leslie Cheung alludes to what I'm trying to get at: "The three pics aren't that good with, or without the photo botching"
    Yes. Yet the individuals working in the studio who chose to make the alterations that they did must have believed that they were necessary. In so doing, they were serving some kind of aesthetic, call it what you will, that caused them to believe that it was necessary. I don't object to PS manipulation, per se. This isn't a "photoshop is cheating" rant. It's about having the courage to trust what was really there, and not serving some false populist notion that there is a higher perfection to be achieved. I'm not saying that there are rules they should have followed, or that they must agree with my position. I would only point out that the adjustments they made appear to have achieved little, if anything. So why were they compelled to do it?
    Big picture? None of this matters. They do what they do. I do what I do. You do what you do. But the point of this board is to have casual conversations related to photography and I thought this article might spark an interesting discussion.
     
  18. Michael - He is no longer a journalist doing documentary and specifically rejects being assigned that title.
    Steve - I must have missed that announcement.​
    Steve, here's what McCurry said in the article to which you linked:
    "Today I would define my work as visual storytelling, because the pictures have been shot in many places, for many reasons, and in many situations. Much of my recent work has been shot for my own enjoyment in places I wanted to visit to satisfy my curiosity about the people and the culture. For example, my Cuba work was taken during four personal trips.

    My photography is my art, and it’s gratifying when people enjoy and appreciate it. I have been fortunate to be able to share my work with people around the world."

    Fred, I would be shocked if you did something like this in your Plowshare series:​
    It's not something I would do. But, as I said above, I don't expect other photographers to work the same way as me.
    Maybe deception is the wrong word to use. I don't think it is done to intentionally mislead, but it is probably done to make the photo "better".​
    Yes, I think deception is the wrong word to use. I don't know about "better" either. When such cloning takes place, it could just be a matter of the cloning helping to convey the vision or story the photographer wants to tell.
    Within the confines of documentary, I don't think it makes the photo "better"​
    Two things. First, McCurry does clearly state he doesn't consider this documentary. Second, I see documentary as different from journalism and agree with Phil that much documentary has a fairly distinct point of view and isn't necessarily as objective or as subject to guidelines against manipulation as good photojournalism.
    I know we could engage in lengthy metaphysical discussions about the nature of reality and how a photograph is not "real" anyway.​
    Definitely not necessary. You and I both know about the "reality" of photos. We're talking about degrees of accuracy here. Reality can be left out of it.
    What is served by "removing extra heads in the background"? A perceived aesthetic which says such removal makes the photograph better.​
    Certainly, that's a possibility. I try not to adhere to some ideal aesthetic that would supposedly tell me what makes a photo better, though I find it's not a bad idea to have some historical perspective on where aesthetics have taken artists and photographers historically.

    Another possibility is not that the photographer, by cloning out heads, is trying to adhere to some universal aesthetic, but instead seeks to simplify what was in front of him at the time to zero in or focus on where he feels the story he's telling might be. An alternative would be to wait for another vehicle to come along with fewer people or a more orderly arrangement of heads that might feel more "right" to the photographer to tell his story. I would generally opt for the latter but, again, won't be expecting other photographers to want to do it only that way.
    What I question is the notion that there is some aesthetic need or requirement to make these kinds of alterations. As if there is some sort of aesthetic rule or guideline which must be followed.​
    Steve, again, I try not to adhere to aesthetics I feel are being imposed on me by some generic notion of what makes a better photo. But I don't assume that all these types of more radical cloning decisions are made from that place. Any choice I make at any point in the photographic process could be framed as you're framing it. Example: Why did Photographer X take two steps to the left to take that shot? Photographer X could say that it simplified the composition and avoided some background elements that weren't aiding the story. Another photographer could say the composition with those background elements would have had a looser and more spontaneous feel. And Photographer X could say, great, but I wanted a more orderly and deliberate feel. And a third photographer could come along and accuse each of them of making their different choices because they wanted their photos to be better by conforming to some given notion of a "better photo."

    I worry that the third photographer might be generalizing and not giving each of the other two photographers credit for possibly just wanting to create a photo that tells the story he wants to tell.

    I said I didn't find the cloning done to McCurry's photos to accomplish much with regard to the photos, and it seems McCurry agrees. But that doesn't get me to then second-guess that the people who decided to do the cloning were doing so out of some perceived obedience to aesthetic rules in play. They may simply have been aesthetic decisions much like all the aesthetic decisions we all make with each photo we take. Whether any of these decisions turn what we do into an effective or good or engaging or memorable photo is a different matter.
     
  19. Phil, I was basing what I said about McCurry on the article Steve linked to in the OP. Here are the relevant passages, to which I've added bold for emphasis. It starts with McCurry writing . . .
    "I try to be as involved as much as I can in reviewing and supervising the printing of my work, but many times the prints are printed and shipped when I am away. That is what happened in this case. It goes without saying that what happened with this image was a mistake for which I have to take responsibility.
    I have taken steps to change procedures at my studio which will prevent something like this from happening again."​

    The article then continues . . .
    The statement tracks with much of what we read in two Italian interviews with Mr. McCurry about the incident. He said the issue in the Cuba image was, “a change that I would have never authorized,” and “the lab technician who made the mistake does not work with me anymore.”​
     
  20. A PR damage control, I too
    seriously doubt McCurry knew
    nothing about the creative
    editing, as implied per. If I
    were a printer, Id have serious
    nerve to "creative edit" world
    famous magnum/natural geo
    mcCurry w/o his knowledge.

    As for the aesthetic
    discussion, the 3 linkedphotos
    do not deserve the time. They imo
    aren't worth photobotching,
    period.
     
  21. Leslie, it wasn't "implied per." It was stated straightforwardly, clearly, and outright. I don't know McCurry or about McCurry well enough to feel comfortable making the determination that he's lying. Until I have reason to, I will take his comments at face value. It doesn't change much if anything of what I've said here.
     
  22. Phil, I interpreted his statement differently. Your interpretation seems plausible as well. That's all fine. For me, both our discussions with Steve are more interesting than whether McCurry approved of these changes or not, so I'll continue those and bow out of what McCurry knew and didn't and what he approved and didn't.
     
  23. Fred, there is no way to know for
    sure. However, I'm don't care
    much either one way or another.
    What I meant was he knew about
    the editing, and he was playing
    the PR card, especially for his
    section of fans that disapprove
    of creative editings. I'm not
    sure how many fans he turned out.
    It's not a big deal, whether he
    actually lied or not, to me.
    Maybe there is an agreed protocol
    between McCurry and his
    printer that was botched?
     
  24. To be more clear on my
    view...either way, whether he
    knew and approved or knew and
    disapproved, he's in damage
    control with regards to the
    section of fans that disapprove
    of creative editing, does that
    make more sense? His fans that do
    not disapprove don't matter and
    wouldn't stop liking mccurry...
     
  25. "He's in damage control" is your spin. If I were an objective journalist, for example (apropos of this thread), reporting on
    the contents of the article, that's not how I'd put it. I'd report what he said and I'd show the photos and I'd report what
    others say about it. I wouldn't speculate as to his motivations. If I had the opportunity, I might ask him. I would assume
    that it's possible it's about damage control and I'd also assume the possibility he was being completely sincere. I would
    find it regrettable for myself to think that this particular statements he's making is a sure sign of PR strategy.
     
  26. yes, he 's in damage control is
    my assessment, opinion. There
    may or may not be much damage, I
    don't know as I don't follow fine
    art or photography anymore, or
    have inside info. In the realm
    of philosophy, people explore
    possibilities, converse and
    debate. In the realm of athletes ,
    celebrities, politicians and
    artists scandals, PR comes first...
     
  27. In the realm of philosophy, people explore possibilities, converse and debate.​
    Absolutely!

    One of the most important things I've learned in all my Philosophy endeavors is to explore multiple possibilities. That's why I think your opinion is not unreasonable though, for me, it's only one of many that I'd consider.

    In any case, I'm not willing to adopt for myself your conclusion about his PR coming first and I'm not willing to adopt Steve's take that whoever made the decision was following some generalized imposed "rule" on what makes a good photo.
     
  28. PR or damage control doesn't
    preclude ones innocent or guilt.
    It's just being cautious, like
    shooting a third or fourth extra
    frame. And Fred, if you take all
    things at face value, you would
    not make much of an objective
    journalist, if you believe in
    such...
     
  29. Leslie, I didn't say I would or do take all things at face value. I said that, not having further info about McCurry on this matter specifically or in general as a person, I wouldn't presume to conclude anything about his motivations specifically.
    I think considering possibilities is a good thing, but I also try to be extra careful when attributing possible motivations especially to people I don't know or don't know much about. I'm very wary about seeing someone as a member of class X (artists, athletes, celebrities), generalizing motivations about class X, and then attributing motivations to individual A because he's a member of class X.
     
  30. Fwiw, the title of this very
    thread and Steve's original link
    both have "scandal" in it. My bad
    if they are just clickbait. I
    really thought it is a huge
    scandal. My apoligies, as I
    said, I don't follow photo
    forums/news these days...
     
  31. No apology necessary. Maybe it is a big scandal for some. It's not a big scandal to me. And I think it could be a big scandal without there necessarily being scandalous motivations behind it.
     
  32. I have been following this discussion, since the issue is very contemporary and also future looking. Heavy post processing will become more prevalent in photography as computers become more powerful in future.
    If one accepts photography as art, then whatever tools a photographer uses to present his art to his satisfaction should not be a problem. It is a valid argument. However I think the issue with digital image editing is not just philosophical, but practical as well. A lot of viewers (and potential buyers) of photography treat this genre as a form of moment capture. To them, a talented photographer like McCurry can do magic with his camera, and most importantly all the magic happened when the photo was captured. When they find out the truth, the fan and buyer base can get into potential jeopardy, along with magazine readership. As a photographer, I believe in artistic freedom. However if the value of the photo to the viewer is connected with its unmanipulated nature, then a disclaimer would not be a bad idea, if nothing else, to make average viewers more aware of different viewpoints of evaluating art.
    Photographers digitally alter their images with different intents. Most photographers do this to improve the presentation of their viewpoint. Some alter images for political purposes. I will not be referring to them. Alterations that are done to solely improve presentation can again be subtle or heavy-handed. While removal of a pole or a lamp post can direct focus to the main subject by removing clutter, I question the heavy-handed alteration to make a photo compositionally pristine, and blemish free. We have seen Cartier-Bresson mentioned here - that his perfect 'decisive moment' images seem lifeless. While I don't consider myself at a level to critic Cartier-Bresson's images, I think the potential argument here is, when photos are too perfect that everything 'falls in place', they seem too good to be true and hence lifeless. This is the reason I am wary of the heavy-handed manipulation to make a documentary photo pristine. Photos originate from real life, with all its imperfections, its blemishes. It is the difference between one's real GF/BF and fairytale princess or prince charming. If the original scene inspired the photographer, then it should inspire the viewer with minor alterations.
    Contradicting my last paragraph, here is another thought. Paintings are usually compositionally pristine, then why aren't all paintings lifeless? I think the answer is in the awareness of the art genre that matters to the viewer.
    On a different note, here is a good reference to how famous documentary photos have been altered through decades: http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org
     
  33. Considering (not attacking) Phil's position, I'm thinking of these bits, from various sources, on mapping vs tracing (the former for Phil; the latter for Steve):
    .
    "The function of mapping is less to do with re-shaping the world" than with making it anew: "its agency lies in neither reproduction nor imposition [a means of projecting power or knowledge] but rather in uncovering realities previously unseen or unimagined."
    "What distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real." ... "The map does not reproduce ... it constructs. ... The map has to do with performance, whereas the tracing always involves 'alleged competence.'"
    Exposing, relating, connecting, and structuring, the act of mapping both establishes and puts into effect complex sets of relationships -- and thereby returns to its origins as a process of exploration, discovery, and enablement rather than a means to assert authority, stability, and control.​
    .
    What is a map?
     
  34. It's not the "less true or a lie" that matters. What matters is the starting assumption that motivates the changes made to a picture. Photographers who change pictures have a reason for doing whatever they do -- they feel that they know what the picture should be. The photographer is the authority.
    Scientific of criminal or strictly documentary photographers makes no such starting assumption: they don't claim to know what the picture should be; rather they say, "here is the picture, I think it may be X, or Y, I can tell you why I think that is what it may be, but the picture stands as it is: what do you think?" The picture is the authority.
     
  35. I agree.
    The crime scene photographer photographs the crime scene. The scientist photographs his scientific scene. The documentarist photographs whatever he is documenting.
     
  36. The photographer is the authority.​
    Yes. Only in the case of documentary, it seems some other photographer becomes the authority on what should be shown and how it should be shown instead of the photographer who took the picture. Everyone wants to get into the act!
     
  37. My position isn't about one method vs the other but about the faulty premise that a photograph can show 'The Truth' to begin with, if one views the McCurry alterations as being less true or a lie.​
    I never took Steve's initial or main premise to be about "truth" or "lies." I understood his premise to be that it's unnecessary to make photos more pristine by cloning out so-called distractions. I disagree with Steve to the extent that I don't assume the reasoning behind such cloning is necessarily to present a polished view that fulfills an accepted Natl. Geo type standard. I think it's as likely that the reasoning behind such cloning is to more effectively focus (at least in the photographer's or post processor's opinion) on the story being told.

    __________________________________________________________

    [The following is not in response to Phil's posts but rather in sympathy with them.]

    If there's a story being told or shown, it should no more belong to the viewer than to the photographer. Who made the viewer the authority?
     
  38. I find it rather incredible that McCurry said he didn't sanction these changes. Not sure I believe him really - it reflects poorly on him as a craftsman in my opinion. He clearly feels embarrassed about this which rather indicates to me that he does see himself as much a documenter as an artist, otherwise he could attempt to justify it in the name of "art" (not the first shot, obviously, which is just plain shoddy).
     
  39. O lord deliver me from being overly judgmental for I have sinned supervising large projects and by scaring
    the crap out of myself several times in over forty years of military and civiian flying. I cannot read McCurry's mind.
    I ran major aviation facilities acquisitions in my work career and I certainly had things done by well meaning people that I
    oversaw that got out of my control and like the proverbial guy following the circus parade who had to clean
    up behind the elephants I had to go in and clean things up. That was my job. I have no opinion on McCurry's
    motives as as I think he is too good and too successful, however, to resort to deception. He doesn't need to.
    .

    What follows is an excerpt from Reuters standards for photo editing in their publications;

    "Downsize photos on their longest side to 3500 pixels, when necessary.

    Do minor brightness and contrast adjustments in Levels, using only the extreme left and right sliders without
    clipping or removing detail from highlight and shadow areas.

    Crop, providing the crop does not remove information with journalistic value. Use the crop tool to straighten a
    slightly slanted horizon, but not add a tilt to an otherwise level photo or flip a picture upside down or left to
    right.

    Minor use of Levels and Curves to fix the color balance of a photo to its natural state.

    Editors in the Berlin Desk, London Desk, Paris Desk, Toronto Desk and Global Pictures Desk and direct
    injectors working in controlled conditions on calibrated, high quality screens

    Use all of the above processes listed above in the photographer section.

    Use the Levels and Curves tools.

    Use the Burn tool.

    Use the Shadow Highlights tool.

    The Eye Dropper may only be used on a neutral gray area to set color.

    Use the Saturation tool.
    Cloning or Healing Tools may only be used for sensor dust removal.

    In rare and exceptional cases where an important photo has been improperly exposed, make significant
    adjustments using a variety of tools to 'rescue' a photo that would otherwise be unsuitable for publication"
     
  40. It seems likely, since several images where elements were found removed were discovered, that this is common in McCurry's work that distracting objects are removed in retouching and what is new that an explicit error in the photoshopping made it obvious. Previously one could only wonder how it is that the images are so clean, now we have some insight to the process. I think it's pretty unlikely that someone working on "printing" his images would have the permission to remove objects or move them in the frame and replace the affected areas with something that may or may not have been there (this is the part where the authenticity is lost since stuff that was not there is inserted by essentially what can be seen as painting the unknown parts of the image to make a coherent image space), without McCurry generally sanctioning what is being done. If the "photoshop artist" works on the substantial content of the image without explicit instructions from the photographer, his or her name should be displayed next to McCurry's since they clearly contributed to the image creatively. I used to like McCurry's images, now I understand why all the junk that is normally seen in the real India (the one that a person who is actually there would see) is missing from his images. It was always too good to be true, I guess. It is a pity as the interest I have for a photograph of a person or street life is towards the person and the life itself, and the moment in time. When objects or people are removed (and replaced with something from the imagination of the person doing the changes) in order to make it look cleaner and prettier it loses its authenticity and becomes less interesting. After seeing the original we know that's not what happened and how the situation was. This makes his whole body of work questionable, now whenever I see a McCurry image I start thinking what must have been removed to make it so pretty and why it looks so different from when I visited that place. Too sweet, too pretty, lacking authenticity and information about the people, the place and the moment in time. It's not something I could have seen if I had been in the right place at the right time. In a word the work lives in a fantasy world of its own and that to me is disappointing. I always find the fascination in photography to be intimately tied to its connection with the real world i.e. light shines on the subjects, is reflected and projected by a lens on the sensor, drawing the 2D rendering of a moment in time and space. When people mess with that by removing objects and drawing something in the place where the objects were it just isn't interesting any more, to me. It's just another lie dressed up as fact and in the modern internet world there is all too much fiction written as if it were fact, as if it made no difference whether something is true or false. If there were no difference, the artist would not feel any need to show the work in a way that it looks like a photograph, but be honest and paint the work of fiction from scratch truly true to their imagination instead of trying to ride with the connection between photography and reality and then alter it if the moment wasn't "good enough". Then there would be no deception as the viewer would see it is a painting and it would be obvious that such a moment probably never existed in time or space quite like that, but is the artist's rendering of what is in their mind. To me there is a large difference between fiction and fact and I would prefer the two be clearly kept separate.
     
  41. I agree with you Ilkka. His status is diminished by this revelation and I think he knows it.
     
  42. I'm glad I never thought he was that great to begin with, so for me he's not diminished, just the same way I always felt about him.
    Plenty of photographers pretty things up without actually using the clone tool. They do it through their perspective, what they include in the frame, the lighting they choose for their shots, how they post process or what film they use.
    Giving viewers an enhanced sense of beauty in the world was not something invented by the clone tool.
    For me, there was that enhanced sense about a lot of McCurry's work long before I discovered he was having things cloned into and out of his pictures. Had he not had the clone tool as an option, his pictures would still lean toward the "pretty."
     
  43. I don't mind photographers selecting the vantage point, time of exposure etc. When looking at the image I realize that I'm looking at a moment of the photographer's choosing but I don't want the content within the frame to be substantially altered by removing, adding, moving of objects within the image. If such things are done I lose interest since the coupling between the image and reality is broken
    and the image no longer informs me what was there. Similarly I don't want to read a newspaper article where e.g. some
    facts were altered, a scientific article where data points have been changed to achieve a more pleasing result, and so on.
    I'm interested in understanding the world. I understand that I can never fully understand it but I want to look at the
    evidence and make my own interpretations, knowing how that evidence was gathered. With a photograph I need the
    integrity of the projection that the camera makes to be unaltered by fudging with the projections of the objects in the
    image. Otherwise it could be anything and has no informative value. Disclosure of the process is essential for a reader of
    the image understand what it tells about the world (if anything). Of course, if the image is not presented as documentary or representing a real moment then the process is no longer relevant to know in order to read the image, it is understood only to be what the artist wanted it to be.
     
  44. Ilkka, I understand what you're saying and think that photography's relationship to reality is an important and unique one in the arts. So I will often look at photos the way you do, depending on the photo and the situation in which I encounter it. Certainly, I have certain expectations of photos I see in newspapers, magazines, and in journalistic settings where, as you say, I am seeking information. Much of my photo viewing isn't about getting information and, as you note, there are photo instances where we know the photo is not being presented for its accuracy or information.
    A couple of thoughts, I'm always careful even in photojournalism situations, to remember that everything comes with a perspective and no photographer is completely free of bias (or perspective). I just think it's good practice to be aware of how much one's perspective and framing, when taking a picture, can intentionally or non-intentionally affect the information being presented. And second, McCurry does state in the article that he doesn't consider these photos documentary or photojournalism but rather a form of art storytelling.
    Some photography, of course, is meant very much not to represent the world around us and involves realms of the imagination, and even that type of photography can be very "straight" in terms of perspective and post processing.
    There's no one-size fits all here and all photographs won't accomplish the same things in terms of the view of the world presented. And, yet, I am glad that you remind us of photography's unique place with regard to the world and the things in it.
     
  45. I did about a six year stint with a newspaper. We did film and contact sheets and never had time to alter
    photographs but I used harsh direct flash to capture politicians I did not like and as the one who selected
    photographs for the paper I did some editorializing in those selections. So did my editor. I go back to my point.
    Who the hell am I to judge and if I did judge who the hell would care? As long as a photographer does not
    break the law i.e. misrepresent to the point of fraud all you all are expressing is self-righteous moral outrage.
    As a combat veteran I save that for my 58,000 comrades on the Wall or the doctors that just got bombed. You
    all are not going to change anything. As I said, I do not know whether McCurry was careless or whether his
    altering of pictures was deliberate and, all things considered, I don't care.
     
  46. Phil S -- So now you're describing HCB - the quintessence of the unmanipulated and of what you see in the photograph is exactly what was framed at the moment of taking the picture - as "soulles" and "McDonald's"?
    Funnily, a lot of the reasons that many call HCB's pictures as being "soulless" have to do with the fact that they are processed very neutral and without heavy image manipulation ( like dodging and burning ). Any HCB picture can be made "edgy" by using a different processing technique ( for example, slap on a Daido Moriyama processing on a HCB and you can see what I mean ).​
    Phil & Fred – To be honest, I have done a poor job of explaining what I mean, or of what it is that I find irritating. (I don't want to use the term "objectionable" because that implies some overarching "rule" that must be satisfied, and it is precisely the notion of there being any "rules" that irritates me.)
    "Irritating". What a word to use. How depressingly petty, judgemental, and possibly snobbish, I am being. I am also being very fuzzy in trying to explain what it is that irritates me. I'm like an extremely myopic man tilting at windmills that may not even be there. Or if they are there, I constructed them myself and they are made of straw.
    [Specifically in regard to HCB and the "Decisive Moment" -- It is not Bresson's work itself that I find soulless, it is what I believe to be a popular, and incorrect, interpretation of "The Decisive Moment" that leads to a McDonalds-like homogeneity. A rigid and one-dimensional interpretation which, in its own way, seeks to reduce the concept to an application as simplistic as viewing a given photograph to see if it meets, for example, the "Rule of Thirds" criteria. A "checklist" approach so to speak. It is the checklist approach itself which I object to based upon its severe limitations.]
    What helped bring this more in focus for me was actually a post on a different thread that was recently started on this board. This was Oliver Racz's thread entitled, "Annoying aesthetic trend in photography"
    http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00dvMQ
    Oliver Racz: The way I see it is I might not see what the criteria are, but they are there. For example, compositionally, leading lines work. The rule of thirds works. The human brain perceives it as balanced. And when you break the rule of thirds, and put your subject in the dead center, it might still work because there is symmetry, and for that particular picture symmetry might work. It doesn't mean you need to take pictures by a rulebook, but these "rules" are based on experience. If you can invent a wheel that is not round, yet is more efficient than than those that are, more power to you. However, wheels aren't made round because a book says they need to be, but because that's what has worked for ages, and if you want to design wheels, the knowledge that wheels should be round probably helps you in the process. I think the "rules" of photography should be interpreted in a similar way.​
    I understand what Oliver is saying, and I think that the type of rules he mentions are good general guidelines and starting points, but they fail when used as the primary criteria by which we judge the merits of a given photograph. They are rudimentary starting points only.
    What does this have to do with McCurry's photos and the type of post-processing that was done on them? I interpreted the manipulation as expressing the belief that there were objective criteria that had to be met in order to fulfill a perceived aesthetic: color and light must be a certain way, balance and placement of subjects must be a certain way, etc. (As opposed to letting the beauty of what actually transpired come through, despite its lack of classic symmetry.)
    Now here's the rub -- What I've just said implies that I believe that imperfection, lack of symmetry, and a "warts and all" approach can appeal to a more sophisticated aesthetic and requires greater skill and intuition because it does not allow for there being a simplistic checklist of criteria which needs to be met. It implies that you must go beyond the comfort zone of leading lines, straight horizons, rule of thirds, tack sharp resolution, color balance, etc. This is not actually what I am saying, I am just making the point that someone reading my comments could just as easily assume that I am coming from that standpoint, could just as easily be "irritated" by it, and just as easily make the claim that such a loose guideline is just another kind of "checklist", albeit a more loosely structured one.
    The point is that my initial post was actually based on a momentary irritation with what I perceived to be a "checklist" mindset. (A perception that could very easily be incorrect.) Such a "drive-by" posting hardly merits much discussion except for that fact that other people have successfully gone beyond that simplistic irritation and expanded the discussion into more interesting areas.
     
  47. Steve, interesting that you bring Oliver's post into this. I had responded to something he said and then further wrote the following but never posted it because he hadn't come back to the thread and I wasn't sure of his interest level or time availability for discussion. But I'll post it here because it's in sync with some of what you've said and helped me clarify how I felt about his so-called "criteria."
    _____________________________________________
    Oliver, I'm with you to the extent that there are historical and cultural aesthetic traditions that have both mathematical and scientific foundations . . . what humans will respond to in various ways. Where I differ is that I don't think of them as criteria. I think they are tools.
    A criterion is a standard by which something is judged. And I don't think art is judged on any particular set of criteria or at least I think art shouldn't be judged according to such specific standards. Rather I think these aesthetic tools, such as the so-called "rule of thirds", are pieces of information the artist uses OR AVOIDS for various reasons.
    I don't think there are criteria for a good photo. I think there are various reasons why photos are considered good, a lot of those having to do with an aesthetic language that is really an ongoing conversation among artists over time. I think there are aesthetic principles that are put to various uses.
    If the "rule of thirds" were an aesthetic criterion, then beauty would demand that the rule of thirds be put to use in the visual arts if one wants a beautiful picture. And yet we all recognize how often that principle is flouted/disregarded in making beautiful pictures. It can be flouted because it's a principle and not a criterion.
    A criterion for legally drinking alcohol in California is that one be 21 years of age. You can't legally flout that criterion. A good artist will understand the principle of the "rule of thirds" well enough to be able to have a gut sense of when to use it and when not to use it. A good photo may very well not employ the rule of thirds, so the rule of thirds is not a criterion for a good photo, even though it's a worthwhile principle to understand.
    _____________________________________________
    In any case, my main point in this discussion is that I don't know McCurry or his printers well enough and don't get a sense from the finished photos themselves that they were necessarily manipulated in order to adhere to some criteria to fulfill a perceived aesthetic. That's possible. But another possibility is that the printer felt getting rid of some elements focused on the subject in a way that worked for him and that he felt would reach the viewer effectively.
     
  48. Phil, Oliver seemed to be suggesting (in that other thread) that there were certain criteria by which all photos should be judged. Now, I do agree with you that if a critic is going to judge a photo (and Oliver wasn't talking about critics, he was talking about himself as a viewer), he should certainly consider not only the style but the era and probably many other things about the photo.
    But I still don't think there are universal criteria on which to judge a photo even within a given school or style. So, for instance, I don't think you could name one specific and particular criterion that all Pictorial photos MUST have in order to be good.
    We can speak generally about Pictorial photos as often being soft focused, as being painterly, etc. But there's no single criterion that they would all have to have to pass a critique test.
     
  49. Well, isn't Pictorialism itself the single criterion in and by which the photograph is made​
    I think of Pictorialism as a school or style, not a criterion.
    the one specific and particular criterion that all Pictorial photos MUST have is to not be recognizable as Straight Photography​
    I disagree. I've seen plenty of straight photos about which I might use the word pictorial. Again, for me, pictorial is a description, not a criterion. And, IMO, no style or category ever must completely exclude all other styles or categories.
     
  50. Phil, the conversation started with a premise from Oliver that there were criteria (such as the rule of thirds) for beauty. That's what I was arguing against and still would. It's now about whether there are criteria for different categorizations of art. Oliver was talking about specific photos, which I thought was interesting. I generally find talk of categories in the absence of specific photos somewhat futile so I'll leave you to it.
     
  51. I posted it in this one to respond to Steve's having brought it into this thread, which I thought was appropriate. You can look a few posts up to see what Oliver was talking about and why Steve brought it into this conversation as relevant. Oliver, Steve, and I were talking about criterion for things like good composition. That's very different from how to categorize photos. I merely said I was uninterested in continuing the categorization conversation as a courtesy to you.
    Don't tell me where to post what.
     
  52. Yes. And you and I have agreed on that for the entire thread, so I'm not sure why you were creating an argument with me where none existed.
     
  53. And out of respect to Steve, I want to add something at this point.
    I have great admiration for his street work and for many of his ideas. I get the sense he would prefer not to see much cloning and manipulation in street work as well as photojournalism and documentary work. While I don't subscribe to that aesthetic myself, I understand it and respect it. Sometimes limits are as important as freedoms in art. I shy away from imposing onto others whatever limits I put on myself, but putting limits on myself can actually be part of my own freedom of expression. That's why Hitchcock made Rope, a movie made in real time to emulate being done all in one take.
    It's not hard for me to understand what's behind the preference for "straight" photography or for setting limits on what one will do to manipulate a photo. While I often remind people that adopting a perspective and choosing certain lighting can be as manipulative and even sometimes more manipulative than cloning out a lamppost, I also agree there's a difference and understand why people would want to draw that line.
    I don't like it when purists dismiss outright those who use photography differently and I don't like it when non-purists dismiss purists (or those who lean more toward a "straight" aesthetic). But neither do I think one has to determine their opinions as a viewer based solely on what the photographer is trying to accomplish and accept every photographer's photographic viewpoint. If I don't like what you're doing, even if I think you're doing what you're doing quite well, I'm entitled to say that.
    In this case, McCurry has a double burden in that some people don't like the idea of the cloning being done and most of us agree that what he (or his printers) have done is not done well at all.
     
  54. I think, the knowledge that the photo is "straight" is one of the aesthetic principles by which Steve M's works are judged
    by many of his viewers (whether we agree with that aesthetic or not). To some I suspect, the knowledge that the photo is
    a moment capture works in a certain way. In such photos, the traditional technical 'flaws' such as distracting lamp posts
    may actually add to the charm of a moment capture and hence contribute to the aesthetics. Removal of the lamp post
    would not make a difference to them, but a blotched removal may have a more detrimental effect than the mere visual
    ugliness.

    BTW, I suggest we distinguish the two Steves as Steve M and Steve G, or some other way, else it may be confusing as to
    who is being referred to.
     
  55. I don't find it all that stimulating to approach a work and its aesthetic on the basis of what I like or don't like or what and how I would have photographed it​
    "Approach[ing] a work and its aesthetic on the basis of what [one] likes or doesn't" is very different from having preferences in terms of how one works and from not liking or liking particular results or thinking that certain ways of working undermine one's photographic or aesthetic values. Not liking something can be a result of looking at and doesn't necessarily mean one approached the photo only with one's own aesthetic in mind.

    Nevertheless, just because Mr. X thinks it's photographically aesthetic and personally pleasing to use a small camera on his shoe to photograph up women's skirts, and just because he's perfected that art, doesn't mean I have to like it or approve of it. It's perfectly OK not to approve of certain techniques, though I would only ban those that are illegal.
     
  56. Just as I questioned Steve for seeing these specific photos of McCurry's as part of a bigger picture in which he believes photographers are falling prey to adopting some pre-conceived aesthetic doctrine, I'd question you, Phil, for seeing Steve's and others' criticism of these photos as "approaching a work and its aesthetic on the basis of what I like or don't like or what and how I would have photographed it." I think in their cases, as I understand what they're saying, it's not as simplistic as just "how they would have photographed it." I've certainly known Steve to be open to very many different types of photographic vision and I suspect the same of others who've given their opinions here. I think, though I may disagree with them to some extent, it's a fairly well thought-out assessment of certain techniques and methodologies.
     
  57. lkka Nissila – When objects or people are removed (and replaced with something from the imagination of the person doing the changes) in order to make it look cleaner and prettier it loses its authenticity and becomes less interesting.​
    Ilkka's comments in this regard echo my own feeling toward manipulation of photos in which the fact that manipulation took place is not clearly disclosed or evident. This is an extreme example, but imagine looking at Russell Sorgi's photo, Genessee Hotel Suicide, and then finding out that the figure of the falling woman was inserted from a photo of a model jumping on a trampoline.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZpW_yMZ-o...AAATA/OtlpsUc1gYg/s1600/SorgiSuicidePhoto.jpg
    "But McCurry clearly stated that his photos were not bla bla bla!"
    That's not the point. I'm not bashing McCurry for what he did, or for what he allowed his studio team to do. I'm just trying to elaborate on Ikka's personal feelings (which I happen to share), that manipulations which alter the scene for the sake of symmetry or "prettiness" make the photo less interesting. But that's all it is: a personal feeling. It's not an ironclad law by which I think judgment should be passed.
    Dick Arnold: Who the hell am I to judge and if I did judge who the hell would care? As long as a photographer does not break the law i.e. misrepresent to the point of fraud all you all are expressing is self-righteous moral outrage. As a combat veteran I save that for my 58,000 comrades on the Wall or the doctors that just got bombed. You all are not going to change anything. As I said, I do not know whether McCurry was careless or whether his altering of pictures was deliberate and, all things considered, I don't care.​
    Dick, this is the Casual Conversation forum and we are having a discussion. No one here is trying to equate the importance of what we're talking about with the deaths of 58,000 soldiers. Nor do I think anyone here is trying to change anything. You don't care? In the big picture, neither do I. But it's a topic related to photography and we're having a conversation about it. Who are you to judge what it is that we choose to discuss? I don't think anyone here is morally outraged. I am aware of the fact that many people find discussions like this one lengthy, boring, repetitive, and pointless. And they are free to ignore it or join in. Unless it involves a purchase that I plan to make, I find technical discussions (this lens vs that lens, this brand vs that brand, which 3 lenses would you bring to a desert island, etc.) boring and repetitive. So I don't take part in them.
    Fred G: Steve's and others' criticism of these photos as "approaching a work and its aesthetic on the basis of what I like or don't like or what and how I would have photographed it." I think in their cases, as I understand what they're saying, it's not as simplistic as just "how they would have photographed it."​
    True, thank you Fred. Again, I expressed a momentary irritation with what I thought was the underlying motivation for the manipulations in question. That does not mean I approach all photographs based upon whether I like the aesthetic approach that was used. Different photos, styles, and genres require different approaches. This is not an anti-manipulation, "Photoshop is cheating!" rant.
    It would require a whole other discussion (Lord help us!), but I do have my own personal standards for what I consider documentary to be. And basically they roughly follow the same Reuters guidelines that Dick Arnold posted. There's nothing wrong with personal photographic expressions of a place, society, or culture. But I do not put them in the same category as documentary. Picasso's "Guernica" is a powerful artistic expression of a historical event, but it is not a documentary of that event. The movie "Fur" is a (poorly done) expression of Diane Arbus' life, but it is not a documentary of that life. But that doesn't mean someone else can't disagree and say that documentary does, and should, allow for manipulation as a means of personal expression. If someone posts or exhibits a photo that has added or removed a major element and calls it "documentary", I'm not going to descend into an apoplectic fit of rage and indignation.
     
  58. Steve. I take your point. My post was a bit of an over reaction for a photo forum. What got me going was the
    indignation of a few in judging McCurry's motives without substantiating facts. I just got through reading a post
    on the worlds ten best photos. McCurry, of course was included. The NatGeo Pakistan shoto was shown
    along with high praise for McCurry. I think it appropriate to believe that he is human and should be forgiven
    mistakes. So yeah this is just photography and we are supposed to have fun, aren't we? I wonder how
    Dorothea Lange has been judged as she is also in that list. That list, of course, is just someone's opinion.
     
  59. Dick. I was a little surprised, as you are an ex-newsman (?), at your lack of concern about truth. Yes, everything can be wordsmithed and McCurry can manipulate the hell out of his shots if he likes, but everything about him, up until now, said that he was documenting the scenes he saw. His photos are striking, but (arguably) the most striking about them is that they purported to represent reality in some direct way. This is clearly not true. I find it impossible to believe that McCurry did not tell his Photoshopping team what to do - if you worked for him why would you suddenly decide to remove people from a rickshaw photo, for example, unless you were explicitly told to do so? I do not believe McCurry would not have noticed when the image was published that it had been changed without him sanctioning it. I think he has been rumbled, which means that the documentary truth component of his photography is damaged, probably beyond repair.
     
  60. but everything about him, up until now, said that he was documenting the scenes he saw​
    Not everything about him. Just your expectations for him. He clearly states that he's not doing documentary work in these instances and when I've looked at his work over the years I never perceived him as being concerned about "truth" or of strictly documenting things. His most famous Afghan Girl, to me, has nothing to do with truth. People simply don't look like that. So I always felt I was seeing as much McCurry as whatever was "really there." There's an enhanced quality to much of his work. I don't mind enhancement per se in photography, but his never particularly spoke to me.

    It's not uncommon that we have unrealistic expectations of people and then are surprised when they inevitably fail to fulfill them.
     
  61. "While I don't subscribe to that aesthetic myself, I understand it and respect it. Sometimes limits are as important as freedoms in art. I shy away from imposing onto others whatever limits" Fred.
    Photojournalism and to a lesser extend Documentry is not art in the sense of the word. It is trying to represent some truths, in a neutral way, as much as that can be achieved with photographs.
    Manipulation of the photograph why?
    http://popchassid.com/photos-holocaust-narrative/
     
  62. Freedom of Art is a very naïve thought....
    Freedom of the honesty of the photographer, in the real world, walks tall above any Art.
     
  63. McCurry was doing neither photojournalism nor documentary. Had he made claims that he didn't alter his photos, he'd be a liar. But he didn't make such claims and, as a matter of fact, referred to himself as a travel storyteller on these photos. So, he's not a liar. He's a photographer. One who's entitled to clone a lamppost out of a photo. Trying to equate the importance of the truth of holocaust photos with the importance of not cloning out a lamppost does a disservice to those who experienced the holocaust and to logic and proportion. Get a grip.
     
  64. Art and Photojournalism are two different things.....one has no license, the other does have a license....
    A license of truth and honesty...for the photojournalist.
     
  65. "McCurry was doing neither photojournalism nor docum and all that entary "Fred
    But, a big but....he caries the label of a photojournalist and all that implies.
    .
     
  66. Right, and we're talking about McCurry here, who was not shooting as a photojournalist. So what's your point as it related to McCurry and this thread? And do you understand how bizarre it is to compare the kind of truth we're seeking in holocaust photos to the kind of truth that might be undermined by a photographer cloning out a lamppost? Show me a sign, Allen. Please, just a sign.
     
  67. he caries the label of a photojournalist​
    That's only in your head, outside of which there's a big world.
     
  68. Its a creeping thing....Fred..
    .you understand. Small things/little things that grow....
     
  69. he caries the label of a photojournalist. Allen...he's fame and fortune.
    That's only in your head, outside of which there's a big world. Fred
    Hmm ,most folks would consider him as a photojournalist..with all it implies...but in your head, his just what?
     
  70. His a celebratory, a icon of photojournalism, a guru for many.

    Have a think.
     
  71. I'm not a big believer in slippery slopes. The Vietnam War was sold to us on the basis of the the whole world becoming Communist if Vietnam were to fall. That didn't exactly work out. The idea that we would slide from McCurry cloning out a lamppost to something as significant and impactful as falsification of holocaust photos isn't a concern to me.
    People have been manipulating photos from the time photos first started being made and yet we've kept a good balance between knowing how art functions and knowing how journalism functions. There have always been journalistic infractions and we have to be vigilant, but that doesn't mean suggesting that what McCurry's done here will undermine all accuracy in photojournalism.
     
  72. "People have been manipulating photos from the time photos first started"
    Its that supposed to be a good thing? that's what you are saying. Hey, we have stolen from this shop for a long time...so, its alright...a given.
    "but that doesn't mean suggesting that what McCurry's done here will undermine all accuracy in photojournalism". Fred.
    Little footsteps.
     
  73. Here's the opening paragraph from National Geographic's bio of McCurry. I don't see the word photojournalist, so I'm not sure who these "most people" are that you're talking about and how they got the ideas they got about labeling McCurry.
    "Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today's finest image-makers, is best known for his evocative color photography. In the finest documentary tradition, McCurry captures the essence of human struggle and joy."​
    As has been stated in this thread, there's a difference between documentary and photojournalism. Documentary quite often comes from a distinct point of view and offers opinions. While both documentary and photojournalism are non-fiction, the approach to each can be very different.

    Early Scottish documentarian and author John Grierson defined documentary, in part, as "creative treatment of actuality." Russian documentarian Dziga Vertov, on the other hand, defines it as "life as it is" so he was much more into catching people unawares and not stagning anything.

    Pare Lorentz defines documentary "a factual film which is dramatic." Larry Ward suggests that "documentary stands out from the other types of non-fiction films for providing an opinion, and a specific message, along with the facts it presents."

    Now, of course, anyone who wants is free to adopt only one of the foregoing definitions of documentary and insist that for everyone it means a strict adherence to the "truth," which would make it no different from photojournalism. But, while insisting on one's own chosen definition, it would at least be wise to recognize that other very respectable documentarians think differently and maintain an awareness that the world of documentary, like it or not, is broader than one's own narrow scope.
     
  74. Little footsteps​
    Yes. That's what babies make.
     
  75. "People have been manipulating photos from the time photos first started"
    Its that supposed to be a good thing? that's what you are saying.​
    If that's what I'd wanted to say, I would have said it. It's not what I'm saying. I'm saying people have been manipulating photos from the time photos first started. Most of the time, it's artists and storytellers like McCurry. When photojournalists do it, what I said was we have to be vigilant against that. Unfortunately, you're choosing to only read portions of what I write, to prove a point, but you're missing the bigger picture by not actually having a dialogue and reading to get the full picture of what I'm saying.
     
  76. "I don't see the word photojournalist, so I'm not sure who these "most people" are that you're talking about and how they got the ideas they got about labeling McCurry. Fred.
    The planet earth to Fred.
    Steve McCurry a photojournalist.
    That what he is... and as the world percieves him. The Afghan girl etc. Call us plebs or the great unwashed...but that is how he is percieved.
    "definitions of documentary and insist that for everyone it means a strict adherence to the "truth," which would make it no different from photojournalism "Fred.
    Its about not hiding reality...and creating a fairytale of so called Artist impression. Or, just propaganda lies.
     
  77. Little footsteps
    Yes. That's what babies make.Fred.
    Perhaps you should listen.
    Monster are not born...their mums loved them...just like your mum loved you, Fred...its all about those little footsteps and then bigger and bigger footsteps....
     
  78. So, getting down to brass tacks, instead of talking in hyperbole and generalities, what did McCurry do in these pictures to perpetrate supposed propaganda and lies, since that's what you're associating his name with now? Do you think cloning out a lamppost was done to propagandize? If so, what propaganda was he selling that would have a negative effect on the world.
    Allen, you can keep repeating the word photojournalist until you have a stroke, for all I care. Your repetitiousness isn't terribly convincing. SHOW ME. SHOW ME articles that refer to him exclusively as a photojournalist, that specifically mention that he doesn't do other types of photography. Show me someone making the case that all photos of McCurry are photojournalistic or should be looked at as such. You can't keep making stuff up and get away with it.
     
  79. Okay, Steve is a landscape photographer. Happy.
    Hello, everyone ,Steve McCurry is a landscape photographer...perish the thought that anyone would think of him as a photojournalist.
    All evidence is to the contrary my mate Fred told me so....so there.
     
  80. He has made his fame and fortune from his photojournalism and percieved honesty of his images...that is how he has placed himself in the world of photography. Who would like to think the Afghan Girl was taken in the Bronx of New York? or,of the girl next door.
     
  81. Who would like to think the Afghan Girl was taken in the Bronx of New York?​
    Now you're thinking creatively. I think it would be fabulous if he pulled that off. Imagine Warhol's reaction! Get out of your moralistic comfort zone for once.

    And, though you get an A in sarcasm about McCurry being a landscape photographer, you get an F in being able to stand behind what you've claimed about McCurry. I note with amusement your inability to find any backup for your claims about McCurry, other than turning your sarcasm on me, which rings pretty hollow when you're using it to avoid answering my question with any degree of seriousness.

    You've been taken in by false notions of both truth and honesty and you're blaming that on McCurry. You've also lost any sense of proportion in speaking of what he did in the same breath as speaking of falsified holocaust photos and you want to pin that on McCurry, too. It's time you stood up and took responsibility for the things you say instead of continuing to blurt them out like a baby in the throes of projectile vomiting.
     
  82. Hello, everyone ,Steve McCurry is a landscape photographer...perish the thought that anyone would think of him as a photojournalist.
    All evidence is to the contrary my mate Fred told me so....so there.​
    You've got it backwards, as usual. You're the one who's claiming McCurry is only a photojournalist and only seen that way by the world with nothing but your word to back you up. I, on the other hand, posted his bio from National Geographic to show you he's NOT first and foremost only considered a photojournalist. Because you don't like that truth, you get sarcastic, avoid answering my question, and try making it sound like I'm asking you to accept what I said just because I said it, when in fact, I offered backup for what I said, in print!
    You may not manipulate your photos, but you sure know how to manipulate your thinking and the things you say by wiggling in and out through falsehoods, statements you can't back up, resorting to cutesy sarcasm, and applying pithy little aphorisms instead of any sort of consistent or logical train of thought.
    Yours is a fact free zone demanding facts only in someone's photos.
     
  83. " I find it impossible to believe that McCurry did not tell his Photoshopping team what to do - if you worked for
    him why would you suddenly decide to remove people from a rickshaw photo, " Robin, it is one thing for you to
    believe on your own through unsupported deduction and another to vet a story for publication. What are your
    independently verifiable sources for your belief? Can you identify them to lend credence or proof to what you
    say ? Is your belief newsworthy? If one does not actually have facts assumptions are just that, assumptions.
    As a long term pilot I learned that truth is in the laws of physics. Exceed limits and you may hurt yourself. I
    worked professionally in R&D in aviation. Truth there has to be rigorously proven, peer reviewed, and tested
    as ultimately lives depend upon it . I see assumptions here about McCurry's methods motives or intents
    without much backing. My newspaper experience came after I retired. My assumption today is that a lot of
    news today is unsupported speculation that is not properly sourced so I am just morally flying into a strong
    headwind.
     
  84. "You may not manipulate your photos, but you sure know how to manipulate your thinking and the things you say by wiggling in and out through falsehoods, statements you can't back up, resorting to cutesy sarcasm, and applying pithy little aphorisms instead of any sort of consistent or logical train of thought". Fred.
    You are manipulating your thinking and are only reading your own words. You are wriggling in supposition and clouding the discussion with smoke and mirrors.
    Sarcasm is a part of our language .....is it evil should it be banned...ask Shakespeare or any of the great wordsmiths. It is used when empty shell arguments need to be exposed to reveal the empty kernel within.
    Okay, lets put my thoughts as simple as possible starting with !.
    1.Steve McCurry is percieved rightly or wrongly as a photojournalist whatever he claims.
    2. If we look at his work we like to think it is honest.
    3.We do not like the thought he has manipulated images regardless of the whys and wherefores....we like to think of him as a honest concerned photograph.
    3. All his images will be subjected to scrutiny...that simple to understand.
    4. We would not like to think Steve has not P/S any lies in his images.
    5. His work is honest and worthy of his name without falsehoods.
    6. Like all celebrities there is a responsibility towards society.
    7. We want to respect him as a great photojournalist....free of all falsehoods.
     
  85. That's a start, now all you have to do is back up the notion that all his photos should be judged with photojournalistic standards. Point me to someplace other than your own thinking where all his work is considered to be photojournalism and should be judged with the same scrutiny as photojournalism.
    In other words, give me some back up from any source you choose to support #1.
    Boy, oh, boy, if no photojournalist was allowed to break free of the constraints of photojournalism and take off his photojournalist cap in other photos he makes, the world would be kind of a dictatorship and a very limiting place.
    Do you really think no non-fiction writers have been allowed to write fiction, no journalists have ever written worthwhile novels, no photojournalists have ever taken important documentary, travel, or storytelling photos?
    If McCurry didn't think of these when he was making them or presenting them as photojournalistic, then I should believe you over him? I think I'll stick with him, thanks.
     
  86. And, by the way, it's not just McCurry talking about himself as other than a photojournalist. It's the major, world-reknowned magazine he works for. So, I've given two pretty reputable sources for the claim that he's not just a photojournalist, the man himself and a major magazine. You've given one source for the claim that everybody thinks of him as a photojournalist (and is therefore entitled to hold him to photojournalistic standards in all his work), and that source is yourself.
     
  87. This is simple to undestand without writing a thousand word.
    In the world of photojournalism manipulating photographs is a big NO.
    If you start manipulating your photographs, as a respected photojournalist, it casts a shadow on all your work...rightly or wrongly. Were your documentry photos also manipulated?
    The real world Fred that comes with fame and fortune....you cannot have your cake and eat it.
    Repeat for Fred....
    In the world of photojournalism manipulating photographs is a big NO...And so it should.
     
  88. Allen, you're spreading lies as much as you're accusing McCurry of doing.
    McCurry has cloned out a lamppost and you're claiming that's a photographic lie.
    You're claiming all McCurry's photos are journalistic, and that's a lie. The reason it's a lie and not just a mistake on your part, is that you keep repeating it without being able to back it up by any source whatsoever, which means you know it can't be backed up and yet you keep repeating it. That's a classic lie.
    So it turns out you're expecting much more of McCurry than yourself. And it turns out McCurry's done nothing wrong and you are spreading lies about him.
    But continue, by now I think your posts have said everything anyone needs to make a judgment on your claims. I'm happy to leave you to it . . . alone.
     
  89. In nothing really related to the finest documentary tradition, McCurry captures gives his personal interpretation of the essence of human struggle and joy."​
     
  90. " You've given one source for the claim that everybody thinks of him as a photojournalist (and is therefore entitled to hold him to photojournalistic standards in all his work), and that source is yourself".Fred.
    Methinks not Fred...ask anyone who is not as well read as you, and has not a biased to win a discussion.
    If as you claim he is not a photojournalist, and all understanding is otherwise.. particularly from his work, then what is he...perhaps he would like to claim to the world he is not a photojournalist... but just a happy snapper like us all...too please, Fred.
    Steve McCurry just a happy snapper...nothing else.
     
  91. Bottom line, at the very least, he is a Documentry Photography....but most of us would think of him as a Photojournalist.
     
  92. Allen, your simplistic response notwithstanding, the fact that he's not ONLY a photojournalist does not mean he's not a photojournalist. If you can't even understand that difference, you're in worse shape than I thought.
    What are we, in kindergarten? "Ask anyone." That's your best shot? I have asked anyone. I asked McCurry and I asked the National Geographic. And I've asked most anything I've read about McCurry's work.
    You keep telling us what everybody thinks and I keep providing you specific counterexamples. And you don't care because you don't care about the facts, as you claim. You just care about asserting your moralistic high ground over McCurry. Well, I hope you feel better about yourself.
     
  93. "So it turns out you're expecting much more of McCurry than yourself. And it turns out McCurry's done nothing wrong and you are spreading lies about him "Fred.
    There you go Fred putting words into folks mouths....so, you can argue they are wrong. Weak.
    I don't expect anything just joining the discussion and helping you to understand the real world of photojournalism as opposed to the fairy tale in your mind.
    There's a real world outside your flat, Fred....and photojournalists who manipulate photographs are very quickly unemployed and looking to be supported by welfare...their career gone for ever...
    .
    .
     
  94. There you go Fred putting words into folks mouths....so, you can argue they are wrong. Weak.​
    We now officially have met the Donald Trump of PN. I knew it was only a matter of time.
     
  95. helping you to understand the real world of photojournalism​
    Actually, you are slandering McCurry. But I'm sure that's a fact you prefer to manipulate to your own subjective intent.

    It will be interesting to see how soon McCurry becomes unemployed and on welfare. Get back to us when that happens and you can prove it, not just think it.
     
  96. We now officially have met the Donald Trump of PN.​

    Godwin's Law has changed :). I saw Trump mentioned in another thread also.
     
  97. helping you to understand the real world of photojournalism
    photojournalists who manipulate photographs​
    It's baffling to me that you could read this thread for so long and not understand the most basic thing I've said. I know it's not OK for photojournalists to manipulate photographs. We agree on that. Again, we agree on that. And again, we agree on that. You really don't need to help me understand that since I already do. That's just the straw man in your head and has nothing to do with the honest reality you claim to love.

    What we disagree about are two main things: I don't think McCurry necessarily ordered these changes (and there's no evidence that he did). And I don't think McCurry should be considered a photojournalist when he makes photos that aren't part of his journalistic career.
     
  98. "photojournalists who manipulate photographs are very quickly unemployed and looking to be supported by welfare...their career gone for ever"...
    That's a reality.
    "We now officially have met the Donald Trump of PN. I knew it was only a matter of time"Fred.
    Bless you Fred....I cannot believe you folks are voting for him...scary.
    "Actually, you are slandering McCurry "Fred.
    Words in folks mouths the story of Fred.
    My thoughts are Steve...who wears long trousers... is a grown up and can do as he wants....as he will; why would he care a monkeys about my thoughts...he might tumble over with Fred trying to grasp his coat tail...but hey.
    .
    .
     
  99. Allen,
    Even if we assume Steve McCurry is a photojournalist, does it have to be that whatever photo he publishes should confirm to the photojournalistic code of ethics? He should have the freedom to work outside the realm of photojournalism, right? From his statement in the posted link, I have the feeling that the photos in question were not meant to be photojournalistic.
     
  100. "And I don't think McCurry should be considered a photojournalist when he makes photos that aren't part of his journalistic career".
    Fame and fortune comes with a price tag...manipulation of any image casts doubt on all images. Rightly or wrongly. Just the way it is.
     
  101. "He should have the freedom to work outside the realm of photojournalism, right?
    He should.
    But he has been part of the world of photojournalism and manipulation of photographs is a big No....so, a shadow has been cast upon him.
     
  102. He understands better than all us posters.
     
  103. But he has been part of the world of photojournalism and manipulation of photographs is a big No....so, a shadow has been cast upon him.​

    I agree. This is complicated by the fact that the photos in question were not originally published with any disclaimer that they were NOT photojournalistic (people tend to assume whatever comes from him should be that way). However he has now made it clear in his statement. Still if we call him a liar and slander him, I think it would be a personal injustice. A photojournalist should have freedom that any artist enjoys. Look at Prof. Einstein for instance. He published a lot of articles outside science where he made rhetorical statements. If one judges all his writings with the same standard as scientific articles, that wouldn't be fair, although he is primarily known as a scientist.
     
  104. "A photojournalist should have freedom that any artist enjoys"Supriyo
    You don't really believe that. Art and Photography at times....walk away from each other and follow different paths. They are different, although, often they share a common cause.
    How about a manipulated photo of a Russian Tank in Georgia ...image the consequences...hey, the photographer was expressing photojournalist Art.
    Extreme example but not without a possibility.....
    .
     
  105. How about a manipulated photo of a Russian Tank in Georgia​

    It should come with a disclaimer, probably a bold one.
     
  106. The truth is we want a honesty in our Documentry Photographs...
    Anything less.....
     
  107. Mr. McCurry has willingly made a transition from a photographer to a graphical artist. I wish him well, but I have no longer any interest in his business or his work.
     
  108. Not from every photographer, but from those like McCurry whose works are assumed to be photojournalistic by public. See, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it did create some suspicion and misunderstanding. I am happy that McCurry addressed it with a formal statement.
    The people that "tend to assume whatever comes from him should be that way" are simply other photographers who are wrongly projecting their own self imposed methods of "truth' unto photographers like McCurry.​

    I don't disagree, but I think they don't just include other photographers (like Allen for instance), but his magazine readership including general public as well.
     
  109. "Allen, why don't you uphold to yourself the same standards of truth that you require of McCurry". Phil.
    Is this a put down?
    Chose the wrong person because I don't do the humble pie thing. I have a deep respect for my photographs as should others for their work.
    Yes, my photos are standards of truth, for me,.Not some fudge stuff without any meaning or understanding....
    Shall I discuss your work in your present or previous incantation? Although in your previous incarnation there was not much to discuss...
    Being nice.
    00dvxm-562968684.jpg
     
  110. Here's how I read the latter, sillier part of this thread.
    Because McCurry has done photojournalism and has become world famous as a photographer, Allen sees him as a photojournalist (and/or documentarian . . . Allen seems unclear as to which is which and which McCurry has to be). Allen thus shows a very limited ability to view different photos in different contexts and an inability to see McCurry as anything but having to adhere to standards of photojournalism because he has done some famous work as a photojournalist. Now, not only is Allen this limited but he assumes most or all viewers have this same limitation and that they, too, all see all of McCurry's work under the umbrella of photojournalism because he has done some photojournalism. (I'm not sure whether he ever considered himself a photojournalist, but of course that's beside the point since Allen believes it to be true.) And, Allen now insists that McCurry behaves in accordance with Allen's own severely limited capability of comprehending who McCurry is and what he's "allowed" to do. So Allen thinks McCurry has done something wrong because Allen and others who Allen has invented have ridiculous, nonsensical expectations of McCurry, even when he's not doing photojournalism. Allen wants McCurry to do what ALLEN expects of him because Allen and others (whom Allen has invented) can't accept that McCurry can do more than one type of photography. Allen, in his limited capacity as a thinker and appreciator of photos, has saddled McCurry with one label that overrides all others, expecting McCurry to stay within the confines of that label. I'm sure most famous people, like McCurry, will go on doing exactly what they've been doing, which is wearing different hats and knowing within what context they're producing photos and how different those contexts can be. And I'm quite sure they won't and am quite glad they won't be dictated to by the likes of Allen who would demand that they do things only one way . . . his way.
     
  111. Allen, I don't think Phil was referencing your photos when he asked for truth from you. He was referencing your altering facts in your statements about McCurry. You keep calling him a photojournalist when you should know that he does different kinds of photography as well as photojournalism. And you keep insisting McCurry adhere to photojournalistic standards even in his non-photojournalistic work because you somehow think that when someone gets famous for doing photojournalism they owe you some obedience to photojournalistic standards even when they're doing personal travel photos. That just shows your shortcoming in not knowing the difference of the context and says nothing about McCurry.
     
  112. "They're not yours or ours, they are the photographer's. Stop acting so goddamn entitled as a viewer"
    I act anyway I want...who are you to tell me otherwise? Some master of a armchair.
     
  113. Fred, to be honest I cannot be bothered to read your super long post without paragraphs as we have discussed.....do no take this as disrespect.
    "Our photos are completely irrelevant to the subject of McCurry's photos" Phil.
    Photos are never irrelevant with those which have eyes that can see...perhaps you struggle.
    " I was thinking about your simplistic comments on the matter"
    We must be on the same page as I was thinking the same about you.....
    .
     
  114. Fred, to be honest I cannot be bothered to read your super long post​
    I'm not surprised. Sorry I don't think or speak in easy soundbites. I know that's a trend and you probably expect everyone to write in pithy Bible-verse-like prose like you just as you expect everyone to photograph with the same imposed morality as you.
     
  115. So much noise about sloppy editing. McCurry's resent work more of the art, than documentary.How many layers in Photoshop required to get those deep colors? As every one with basic knowledge of photography understand, editing in photography is important part of creative process. Ansel Adams was spending days in darkroom, to get that specific look of the image he was after. After all, it is up to ordinary viewers to decide if they like what they see, it is usually photographers, who complain about missing telegraph post or garbage been. The same goes about his vision of India that was criticized in article, mentioned in original post, everybody is entitled to his own vision. When I go to Mexico, last thing I would like to photograph is Walmart building, which exact replica of my local store, I prefer original Mexican architecture and colors.
     
  116. "You don't seem to have much of a visual literacy"Phil.
    Insults. There are a lot of International folk, who want to post ,but are put of by a fanny like yourself.
    We are not worthy to post...we do not have visual literacy. We are the great unwashed... we only want to bow to the entity called Phil.
     
  117. "I'm not surprised. Sorry I don't think or speak in easy soundbite"
    You are being rude, Fred.
    We have discussed in the past about your super long paragraphs, and up to recent times, you have corrected the imposition.
    Just highlighting, no need to get in a bother.
     
  118. "It's you who started with the insults'
    What insults? My conversions was with Fred my very special web mate...
    .
     
  119. We have discussed in the past about your super long paragraphs​
    Your telling me how to write is not a discussion. See, your whole idea of discussion is bizarre. It's you talking at people and telling them what they should think or how they should write. And if they think differently or write with nuance and use more words than you and if they don't divide their thoughts up as you would like them to then they are living in fairy tales or not writing to your specifications.
     
  120. You are not worthy to be insulted...
     
  121. You are not worthy to be insulted...​
    Good.
    I only wish I were not worthy of your talking to me at all!
     
  122. "Your telling me how to write is not a discussion"Fred
    But it is Fred...we have already been there a long time ago...and you agreed on the subject of endless paragraphs ...I helped you. A lot of older folk struggle with paragraphs.... but I pulled you through; say thanks....if you can canst aside your pride.
    Of subject.....Latin, yes...I can speak and write it. English school boy stuff.
     
  123. " only wish I were not worthy of your talking to me at all"Fred.
    That is not very kind, Fred...lack of love and intellect comes to mind.
    And we wonder why the world is in such a poor state.
    I think Fred has answered that question...sitting in his flat, with buckets of gold ,whilst the odd few million die.
    That's life.
    Hey, heaven awaits. How much have you given to charity...hmmm.
     
  124. Allen, once again you're making up lies. I would never have "agreed" to your specifications of how I should write. Likely you misinterpreted something I said and assumed I was agreeing with your "wisdom" because you can't imagine it any other way. It probably once again boils down to context. I was probably speaking at the time within a particular context (much like McCurry photographs in different contexts) and you felt the need to universalize what I saying to ALL contexts (just as you feel the need to universalize what McCurry does to all the different contexts within which he works.)
    Not that I'm trying to emulate him, but have you ever read Jack Kerouac's On The Road? It's a worthwhile book and it might be hard to find in the original format, but it was originally done with no paragraph breaks. Sometimes, I notice that people who are writing in a stream of consciousness sort of way don't bother with paragraphs. I agree that it may be confusing to a reader who's incapable of following such things but I doubt I ever agreed to modify my writing style to suit your inabilities. Sometimes, when I'm on a roll, I just keep writing.
    I understand your need to correct that, just as you need to correct the way others photograph if they don't photograph in the candid street style you prefer. But none of that matters to me. Because it's all about hangups and a more authoritarian approach to photography and communication than I adopt.
    [You probably like the way I wrote this post because I broke it up into three paragraphs. And a year from now you will remember this as my agreeing that writing in longer paragraphs was somehow unsuitable. You will be as wrong then as you are now!]
     
  125. How much have you given to charity...hmmm.​
    Just when I think you can't stoop any lower, you plumb the depths.

    I don't have an ignore button to use here, but I will exercise enough self control never to speak to you again. And that will be to my great benefit.
     
  126. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Too much personal mud slinging; not citing any one person in particular.
    And we have wandered way off the topic, even providing a wide berth for 'casual' photo conversations.

    Accordingly, this conversation is now closed.
     

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