It was a sad day when I read about award winning photographer Souvid Datta infringing on another photographer’s work by using elements of their photographs and claiming that the photos were his. In the age of “fake news” Datta erodes the integrity of the profession of photojournalism and the reputation of dedicated photojournalists who risk their lives taking photographs that create awareness of the travesties in the world.
I was further bothered by Datta’s explanation in an interview he did for Time magazine. Using his lack of knowledge because of his youth and inexperience is no excuse for his actions. There are too many articles online about ethics and copyright to excuse his ignorance, especially for someone who admittedly learned Photoshop techniques on You Tube.
While I’m glad that he eventually told the truth, there’s nothing commendable about doing so after getting caught in a lie. There is no turning back of the clock or enough apologies that will undo the damage this has done to the profession of photojournalism.
It is easy to manipulate images and seeing is believing is no longer true. In an age where many if not most images have been greatly altered or composited, we’ve become somewhat jaded by a real image that is straight out of the camera. Manipulation has become the norm but it should never be accepted in journalism.
I’m not a photojournalist and have on occasion altered my images, but I’m most proud of the images that I shot that have not been manipulated.
Nowadays, folks who look at the images contained in this blog will assume that they are composites – but they’re not. It took a lot of skill to produce them along with a bit of luck.
One Reply to “Truth and Integrity – Is Seeing Believing?”
Nope, unless a photo looks like it is a phony I don’t assume it is a composite.
Sure, we all do some post processing, nothing to be ashamed of. The shame is when a photog says a photo is one thing and it turns out to be a lie.
We used to do lots of post processing in the darkroom back in the day, so it is nothing new. I can’t say I’m upfront with all my post processing, but if anyone asks I will gladly show them. I’m not upfront cause it is not general practice to show the before and after of every photo we shoot.
Here are a couple of posts I wrote about this subject of doctoring photos.