Getty Photographer Dropped Over Altered Photo

Discussion in 'News' started by billjboyd, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Found this in newspaper today...
    http://pdnedu.blogs.com/pdn_pulse/2010/07/getty-photographer-fired-over-altered-golf-photo.html
     
  2. Not just altered, but altered badly.
     
  3. I'd have been "killed" a thousand times over, if removing a head was cause. I've removed whole ex-spouses, after all (and I'm not alone).
     
  4. Same here, JDM, but only at the request of the other ex-spouse who actually took the shot, and not for publication. I think the media almost have to take a hard line on this for images they use if they are to recover any semblance of public trust from the damage that's been done already. It's a message that needs to be sent...
     
  5. In many publications; if one supplied both; the editor often will choose the less cluttered one. Often it is NOT the fact that it was altered; more like the fact that one lied. Often it is the person is dropped because they lied; ie tried to pass off an altered image as an un-altered one. Being HONEST matters to some folks.
     
  6. Shame on the photographer. This is deplorable. We truly live in bad times. I urge all photographers not to do this ever again.
     
  7. The photographer crossed a boundary set by Getty, but ultimately the manipulation of the golf image is pretty harmless. The photo has much the same content and meaning; it's just more pleasing with the background guy removed.
    Much naughtier was The Economist's recent alteration of a cover photo, in which the image effectively had editorial content. This was in my view indefensible, but they still tried to defend it!
     
  8. Yes, but that was the Economist, if you follow me. Judging from certain news channels, such errors (sins?) are excusable, even justified in the cause of greater truth. Not enough people at the September rally? Show footage of the August one, etc., etc. Guy doesn't look "Jewish" enough? Touch him up! It's all the same, right?
    I have discovered, in the days when expensive wood engravings had to be made to illustrate a printed article or book, no wood engraving ever seems to have been used to illustrate only one thing when similar things were found elsewhere. It's not new, at any rate.
    As that ad in Paranoia magazine said so long ago, inspiring me to take up Photoshop 2.5, "Altering Reality Since We Found Out It Was Possible."
     
  9. Perhaps we are a little out of step here. Times change. Values, more's, morals, standards, social customs, laws and generally that which is right and that which is wrong are constantly changing. Those concepts are not made by our ancestors, they are made by today's people...time, place and space. Who is really out of touch with today's values, the photographer or Getty?
    Me? I'd side with Getty and be glad someone is still upholding values that I like. On the other hand I realize that in America today, I'm wrong, waaaaaaaaaaay wrong.
     
  10. The photographer crossed a boundary set by Getty, but ultimately the manipulation of the golf image is pretty harmless. The photo has much the same content and meaning; it's just more pleasing with the background guy removed.​
    My thought exactly.
    Much naughtier was The Economist's recent alteration of a cover photo, in which the image effectively had editorial content. This was in my view indefensible, but they still tried to defend it!​
    Were to draw the line? Cropping is OK? If not, then use of a longer lens is not OK either? In both cases, the third person would have been eliminated in the same way. If cropping is OK, then where is the difference in this particular case to cloning out the woman rather than having part of her remain in the image? Where is the difference to asking her to step aside so that an picture of the president alone could be taken?
     
  11. Plausible explanation - but why did he have to crop and save the image if it was just for a demonstration of how easy it is to clone something out of an image? Would explain the poor cloning job though.
     
  12. Yeah, he said if he intended to submit the altered photo he would have done a better job.
     
  13. I went to:

    http://photographyblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/07/marc-feldman-checks-in-about-a.html

    Without making a judgment on his truthfulness, the fact that the sent both images is NOT pretty solid evidence that it was a mistake. A person might think "As long as I've done the work I'll send both and whichever one sells, it sells." Also, could Getty's hard line stance result from past warnings about professional standards?
    On the other hand if it is a genuine mistake, considering the long association, perhaps their would have been a way the photographer could have reimbursed (on the high side of reasonable) Getty's time and trouble and indemnify them against future claims in order to continue a long relationship. Getting cut off at the knees for one error (if a REAL error and a first time event) in 26 years seems harsh even though Getty most likely had the contractual right to take the action.
    I'll bet we'll never know.

    I find it amusing the photographer is quoted as saying "Only a moron would have sent both."
     
  14. Point of clarification: Nobody called his actions "pretty solid evidence that it was a mistake." We called his explanation "plausible."
    I support Getty's action in this matter and hope it sends a message to photographers: If the photo is for editorial use, don't alter it. Period. Altering photos for artistic, advertising and other than editorial use is not a problem. Altering photos for editorial use is just plain lying.
     
  15. Point of clarification: The words I cut and pasted were "pretty solid evidence."
     
  16. When you don't like the rules of the game you have three options. You can accept the rules anyway and abide by them, you can cheat and hope you don't get caught, or you just don't play the game. He chose to cheat, and he will be known as a cheat for a long time. Getty thinks so and that is all that matters as far as they are concerned.
     
  17. OK, Art. I thought you were referring to words previously posted here. Mea culpa.
     
  18. Thank you, no culpa necessary.
    Although I may have disagreed with your point of clarification, I certainly agree wholeheartedly with the rest of your post repeated below:
    "I support Getty's action in this matter and hope it sends a message to photographers: If the photo is for editorial use, don't alter it. Period. Altering photos for artistic, advertising and other than editorial use is not a problem. Altering photos for editorial use is just plain lying."
    .......which is the final answer anyway.
     
  19. The editors and clients I work with just have one being HONEST. Thus if one submits an image and calls it
    July 20 2010 BASEBALL RIVERDALE HIGH VERONCIA .JPG
    July 20 2010 BASEBALL RIVERDALE HIGH VERONCIA ALTERED REMOVED JUGHEADs hand.JPG
    Thus there is no way to get the images confused. One shows the editor the two versions. There are no
    surprises.

    ***You tell the editor that you are not sure it they will like or want the altered version***
    Many folks are nor really capable of doing this; they do the jackass thing of lying. This gets the editors in hot water.
    Being a professional means not getting others in trouble.
    None of this is really new; 50 years ago an editor was consulted about if things could be altered; they made the decision.
    What newcomers are confused about is when you lie to your boss; it is grounds for termination; or canceling your contract.
    If one alters an image; just be a man about it and label it as such; ie grow out of your childish ways of being a slacker.
    Stuff that that is grey or in doubt headed off at the pass; BEFORE a public printing.
    Let your boss or client make the judgement call; ie act like an adult.
    Sending an unaltered image and one altered allows the client to say no; and the altered version never gets published.
    Keep your editor or client in the loop; and being honest avoids these mistakes.
    If you start lying or stealing from your boss or client; they have no way what part of the iceberg this infraction is. You might have been altering stuff for decades and lying to them a zillion times.
    Photographers may or may not know what the purpose of an image is; by pointing out what is altered; an editor or client can make the judgement call; tommorow; or two decades from now.
    None of this is anything new. If one tells ones boss 2000 years ago that that jug of salt smells a bit like dead fish compared to the last batch; maybe you do not loose your job. Lie to him and maybe you loose your head. Today the slacker attitude; lack of communication; lying to boss/clients gets folks in trouble; then they whine like children.
    Even today if McDonalds runs out of Big Mac buns they will ask you if it is ok to substute a 1/4 pounder bun. The entire crew knows this; no assuming; no faking. No passing off altered items as the real thing. ie there are RULES. In grey areas; YOU ASK.
    Thus your beloved Photographer would get fired at McDonalds too; when rules are not followed.
     
  20. it

    it

    I have a friend who is a senior photographer with Reuters. He says that after that incident a couple of years ago with the doctored Lebanon shot, photo and news agencies are incredibly tough on this. News photographers aren't allowed to do anything whatsoever to their images other than cropping. Anything else and they are fired.
     
  21. The point here is not the final product, whether it is improved or not by manipulation or altering but the very fact that it was altered. News photographs should not be altered anymore than in broadcasting an interview the tape is "edited" to change the interviewee's remarks. Unfortunately, when it comes to journalism, "truth" too often "is the first casualty". But, of course, journalists hold everyone else to higher standards.
    Good for Getty! I'm glad someone is upholding value and ethics.
    Nancy
     
  22. Tough crowd.
    I'm not seriously defending altering pictures that are supposed to be news pictures, but I was just pointing out that the horse was stolen long before this guy shopped out a head.
     
  23. Attention photographers: Editors have Photoshop too. Explanation: If they want to lie to their readers/viewers with your photos, let them do the lying -- they don't need your help.
     
  24. JDM, I never shot a wife, but I did leave one locked in a gun safe at the Bass Pro Shop in Orlando.
    I liked this comment on the altered photo:
    I don't even make my living as a photographer -- I'm a gay prostitute in Houston's gritty sixth ward -- and even I think this is the most egregious abuse of public trust that's ever been perpetrated.
     
  25. The original image looked like this:
    http://www.blackhorrormovies.com/thingwith2heads.htm
     
  26. "Tough crowd."
    Is a tough crowd defined as folks who value truth in journalism?
    Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm out of touch with the current American reality.
     
  27. My editors are pretty clear on the rules. No factual alterations of any image not used for advertizing and even then there is a line.
    I crop, make minor color and light adjustments on occasion but that is about it. (No I don't make black people blacker or old people younger and such.) If I don't adjust exposure the layout guys will.
    So this guy gets axed. He was not "fired" as he is freelance. He was never "hired".
     
  28. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I read a response by the photographer. You can read it here:
    http://photographyblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/07/marc-feldman-checks-in-about-a.html
    If one is to believe his reply, and I have to say it sounds pretty genuine, it was an honest mistake. Why would someone send both images to Getty? He commented that it was a quick show to the caddy how a person can be removed (after the caddy asked to be removed), he even acknowledges that it wasn't done all that well. And then he made the fatal mistake of saving both images to his work file.
    As a professional photographer he also realizes that as much as it was a mistake, it was a fatal one. He acknowledges that Getty has a reputation to uphold, and mistake or not, Getty has to live up to their standards acceptable images. I do not know this photographer but I do admire that he is professional enough to know that it was his error and that Getty is doing what it must.
     

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