Photo Editing Tools Pose Ethical Dilemmas

By Cooper, Brian | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), April 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

Photo Editing Tools Pose Ethical Dilemmas


Cooper, Brian, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


It wasn't until preparing this column that I realized that a journalism anniversary passed earlier this year, to virtually no fanfare.

It was 25 years ago, in February 1990, that the first package of Photoshop 1.0, the ubiquitous photo-editing software, was sold and shipped. The product was created and refined by brothers Thomas and John Knoll in the 1980s, who initially called it ImagePro.

After some other software companies passed on the opportunity to buy the licensing rights, Adobe jumped in. After 10 more months of development, Adobe started selling Photoshop, which over the past quarter-century is solidly the industry standard in photojournalism and publishing, including here at TH Media.

Photoshop is a powerful tool. And, like many other tools, it can be used for good or it can be used in other ways. (I hesitate to say "evil," as that might be hyperbole regarding everyday use. Though some uses, by terrorists and political saboteurs, do fit that description.)

Photoshop allows users to modify images in all sorts of ways - and do it far easier - than in the pre-software days when photographers and technicians in "wet darkrooms" used dodging and burning, lightening and darkening, cropping and enlarging. It can remove elements from a photo. It can add elements. It can make a woman's red dress blue, and it can remove the ketchup stain from a politician's necktie.

Anyway, I discovered that bit of Photoshop history recently after reading that up to 20 percent of entries that made the second-to- last round of the World Press Photo contest were disqualified. Why? Because the contents of the photos were altered and manipulated.

Accompanying this column are two images Dave Kettering, photo editor, took of Nicki Kohl, photographer. (By the way, The Associated Press and The New York Times last week picked up her photo of presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Congratulations!)

Which photo of Nicki looks better?

Hopefully you picked the one without the pole appearing to emerge from the top of her head. (It hurts Kettering to shoot a picture like that - even intentionally.)

While that is the better-looking shot, it represents an ethical problem. Using software or other means to significantly alter the content of a news photo is a violation of journalistic standards. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Photo Editing Tools Pose Ethical Dilemmas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.