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Monday, 30 May 2016

Comments

I don't know of this person Steve McCurry.
However given the avsilability to manipulate photographic images in the digital era, one rule applies:"don't get caught."
(Making obvious changes).

Can think of my own workings in a dark room, dodging
certain areas while printing and changing
the exposure factors here and there; that too was manipulation. However then, said methods were considered part and parcel of the process at hand.

In some situations one could say "what has changed?"

The biggest change; the process is now available to just about any person who renders an image on a computer recording chip.

Suspect McCurry was careless, was identifed and as such feels blameless for his past actions.
If he has been doing so for as long as indicated, he has become quite good at the procedure, good enough many would not notice the change(s) whatever they may be.

My point is should he be hung by the neck until dead, or simply be ignored in the future?

So many others are quite likely as McCurry; they just have not be identified, yet.

Do you qualify???

Say what you want about Steve McCurry but I think comparing photo manipulation to what Mr Cosby has been accused of is highly insulting to both Mr McCurry and the victims of Mr Cosby.

I think we need a bit of perspective here. They're just photos people. Misrepresentation, perhaps but nobody has been assaulted and no lives irrevocably damaged. It makes me wonder which would do more damage. A few photoshopped images or one of Mr Cosby's victims reading that sexual assault is on the same level as altering a photo. It seems that Mr James is also prone to putting things on-line without considering the consequences.

Gordon

Man, somebody takes a fall, either real or contrived, and people can't wait to run out and kick him when he's down. This Sean Elliot quote really annoyed me: "“He bears the responsibility to uphold the ethical standards of his peers and the public, who see him as a photojournalist.” Oh, really? It's now the viewers who determine what the photographer can do?

Maybe it's just me, but I haven't really thought of McCurry as a straight up photojournalist for a while now...years, anyway. I have friends who do both photojournalism and lots of other stuff -- commissioned portraits, for example, which are massively worked over. And why not? They're different things.

I can't really see why anyone would think McCurry's photos are photojournalism...at least, anyone with experience with photojournalists. His photos simply don't look like journalism, they look like...story-telling. Or maybe myth-making, or wishful thinking. whatever, they don't have any of the rawness of journalism.

This whole matter is a little confusing to me. As far as I can tell, McCurry's argument is that he stopped working as a photojournalist some years ago, and that in the context of gallery shows he can do whatever he wants. Assuming this is true -- does he still publish in newspapers and magazines? -- it's a reasonably convincing argument, to me, though I suspect even gallery-goers would want to know just how much his images have been manipulated.

I certainly don't think the NPAA guy is right that, inasmuch as everyone *else* sees McCurry as a photojournalist, he's obliged to follow those standards. He probably *was* obliged to be a little more transparent about these things, but beyond that, it's hard to make the case that he was breaking rules that he had long ago given up following.

Photographs are photographs, pixels on a screen or silver or pigment on paper--let's stop pretending that they are anything more than that.

" He then tells the story of how a National Geographic cover photo of his was Photoshopped..."

Hmmm... That NG cover (1984) was Photoshopped before there even WAS Photoshop (1990)! Despite Leen's assurances that "this would never happen now", it's probably Murdoch's call at this point.

I've long admired McCurry's work and I'm disappointed in the way he's handling this. Not that he's using Photoshop, but that he's not up front about it, as Mike says.

I am taken aback by the suggestion that the viewer should dictate the rules under which a photographer is operating. Even if a photographer functions as a photojournalist in some of their work, they are constrained by the rules of photojournalism only when they are actually doing photojournalism. If in their own time they undertake personal projects that are documentary, why would they still be constrained by the rules of photojournalism. It seems to me that the rules that apply depend on how the photograph is presented, not in how it is perceived.

Once a photojournalist, always a photojournalist?
Hmmm...

The comparison of McCurry with Lance Armstrong is a better one than to Cosby. Armstrong was well known by the public for his performances in a minor sport.** His actions (along with others) had a major negative impact on that field which was compounded by his inability to confess to what he had done.

Cosby's alleged actions, if shown to true, are criminal and ones for which he would be solely responsible (it doesn't reflect on other comedians). That's a rather different bar.

Then again every cloud has a silver lining. Lance Armstrong triggered a strong movement away from doping in cycling with teams like Sky being very proactive at not hiring previous dopers and being transparent about their current riders. Perhaps ordinary people (i.e. non-photographers) will grasp the idea that photos can lie, people do fake them and they should question every image they see rather than accepting "the camera never lies".

** I'm a big fan of road racing, it's a great sport, but like photography it's small beans to almost everyone else.

I believe in current parlance we should say that McCurry no longer "identifies as a photojournalist".

First off, Sharkey James is comparing Steve McCurry's problems to those of Bill Cosby? Really? I'd say that is an insulting belittlement of the accusations against Bill Cosby.

Second, it is difficult to understand the importance attributed to Steve McCurry. I'd say those who elevated him to seeming sainthood are at least 50% responsible for their own disappointment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't journalism have a long history of shenanigans? To be shocked at manipulation within journalism, whether it be with words or pictures, is either cynical opportunism or childishly naive.

Perhaps because I've not been a McCurry fan, the "revelations" of manipulation seem grossly sensationalized. Even as a photographer I'm not scandalized, though outrage at McCurry seems to be a current meme in the photography community.

Arguing that buyers of his work have been cheated is a fatuous point. There is no "that's what was there" there because manipulation in photography starts the instant a perspective is chosen by a photographer. Or the instant a writer chooses a word over another. Choice is subjective.

To me, the mistake made was in accepting the romanticism in Steve McCurry's work as truth. And frankly, National Geographic has long had a romantic view of the world which many photographers have accommodated.

P.S. After witnessing other online gleeful and opportunistic mob tar & feather efforts, particularly by those claiming, cynically, journalistic charter (always for "the good of society,") it is unnerving to see it happen yet again.

The second PetaPixel article, linked in the post, was bewildering for how trivial the newly discovered examples are -- erasing fragments of something or other at the edge of frames? So cropping isn't good enough any more? I suppose his words mean that going forward he'll go back to that time-honored journalistically ethical form of manipulation.

The triviality of the photoshopped changes underline Teju Cole's pre-scandal observations about the insipidness of McCurry's perfect-picture photography.

Look folks, photography is only one way to create a two dimensional image. What looks like a photo may be a photo, be computer gererated, Andy Warhol, or something else. Further, any 2D image isn't the thing imaged. It is by definition an abstraction. In photojournalism and documentary work the presenter is telling the viewer that the image is a reasonable and best possible representation of the thing imaged. If this is a false statement, due to extensive modification in post processing, then there is a ethical issue. Now, I haven't seen the McCurry book, so I don't know what, if any, claims he makes. If it is presented as his "interpretation" of the scene, then the problem is that the viewer's expectations of accuracy were wrong. Given the extreme malleability of any image with today's technology, where "versimilitude" is expected, the viewer must either fully trust the source, or more likely, view the image with scepticism, until proved accurate. Let the viewer beware,,,

Photographers are artists. They draw with light and, nowadays, electrons. Some artists are better than others. Steve McCurry is better than most. I do not understand the controversy; not in the least.

Steve McCurry was in Montreal two days ago to open a show at a gallery here. I heard him interviewed on CBC radio, and the subject of the manipulations never even came up.

There's a footnote about the controversy at the bottom of this CBC article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/steve-mccurry-photography-montreal-got-gallery-1.3605236

[It came up at the press conference--

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/videos-famed-photographer-steven-mccurry-talks-about-afghan-girl-photo

(Second video) --Mike]

What's all the fuss about?

Oh for gawd's sake! You can decide what to include and exclude in framing, choose lens' perspective to dramatise the scene or make a subject more or less pronounced, pick only one of several expressions on someones face you've captured to manipulate a viewer's emotion (happy smile, tears, angry scowl, arrogant sneer), and decide to click the shutter when something brief and unrepresentative of what was happening 99.9% of the time during the event covered. The photo can be totally deceitful but that's OK because you haven't touched a pixel on your computer.
Photojournalism has many more issues to address than only post processing.

Sean Elliott's comment reminds me of the critiques of Bob Dylan when he "went electric": he had a moral responsibility to play only acoustic, folk music; he had sold out; he was desecrating his stage; etc. They just wanted to keep an artist in a shadow box. But Artists express, evolve, innovate, reinvent. They are creative by nature. If McCurry is an artist, I'm with those who don't understand the controversy.

I see reporters as fundamentally different, and I value honesty and reportorial accuracy. The McCurry's work I have seen in recent years doesn't strike me as either deceptive or reportorial. In interviews I have seen, he describes himself as a story teller. If he If he is living up to his own standards as an artist and story teller, fine with me.

We should also ban dodging and burning. That absolutely alters the mood of the scene and forces the photographer's artistic interpretation onto the negative or RAW file in a very subjective way:

The reflection in the puddle was NOT that vivid. That is NOT an accurate depiction of how things looked.

Enough, already!
Don't be like the big TV news organizations -- beating a story to death.

I've been following this "visual storyteller" trope with interest for a few years now, though this seems to be the first time a prominent PJ has adopted it as a kind of retrospective fig leaf.

Presumably we're supposed to judge such visual stories on their own merits, without regard to whether or not they reflect objective reality. So I'm puzzled as to what stories McCurry has been trying to tell in recent years. Rather than challenging our tired old ideas about the Third World, he seems mostly interested in reinforcing them. And I say that as a longtime resident of that world, who sees things every day that are far more complex, nuanced, and interesting than the clichés.

Since hardly anybody makes a living as a photojournalist anymore why is this even an issue? The profession is dead, the outlets are dying.

Many areas of photography have a history of intense competition and oneupsmanship, as opposed to, shall we say, constructive criticism. The sharks are circling, and a lot of folks seem to relish taking down Steve McCurry. To what end? John Camp above has a point. I too have not thought of Steve McCurry as a photojournalist for a very long time. Ansel Adams would have been in trouble with some of these folks for his liberal dodge and burn activities in the dark room, and on my wall with overly dark clouds burnt in to a fare thee well. When does a travel or cultural photographer get to show us what his mind saw rather than what a sensor recorded? No room for art, eh? This is no the AP recording a political event or a crime scene. Just too much blood in the wster and folks having a real good time for my liking.

Steve McCurry is an artist. Depending on whether it suits your taste, his work as an artist falls somewhere on a range from highly-accomplished to schlock. I vote for highly-accomplished. Much of his work in recent years has been portraiture. Every portrait is implicilty a set-up job -- does that make it a criminal act?

Ease up, folks. Have we become so unhinged that the minimal response to any disagreement is outrage? To this scandal I award one teapot with the word "Tempest" emblazoned on each side, centered top-to-bottom and between handle and spout.

BTW. the Teju Cole article previously linked here had some of that same arrogant we will control how and what you photograph, and how you present it. The referenced photos there show two starkly different methodologies of presenting an image. McCurry's were classically direct, well composed, and visually uncluttered. The messages he conveyed were central. The critic, annoyed that someone from the past saw things differently, presented a different ethic and style, and one which to my eye was so cluttered as to rival the tower of Babel. I visited India for a short time over 47 years ago, likely before the NY Times critic was born. Steve's photos are far closer to my memory of that time than the cluttered street scenes held up as the message and, worse, the manner which Steve McCurry was mandated to present. There is a lot of narrow mindedness going on as the dogs attack a fine photographer.

John Camp- From the many comments throughout the internets, it's apparent that not everyone is aware of Steve's "evolution" from pj to "visual storyteller." And he takes full advantage of that.

He's a good photographer, better illustrator and second rate (but highly successful) BS artist.

I think "I think we need a bit of perspective here" is the right idea - for Cosby most definitely, and non-news photojournalism as well. If its a shot of an actual news event it ought to be raw (not the digital sense). Otherwise - throw out most of the "great" ethnographic and non-environmental or studio photos, including Penn and Avedon - and a favorite of mine - E.A Curtis, American Indian objections notwithstanding. And all b&w work as a distortion of the optical environment.

McCurry's are not the only photos from India and won't be the last to be made there. In the "Truth / Beauty" equation its possible to simply see a different balance in McCurry's work and that of others, and prefer each for one's own reasons.

Mike,

I'd like to join John Camp in rejecting Sean Elliott's assertion that your peers and the public get to decide what kind of photographer you are, based on their wished-for expectations.
Photographers have a responsibility to be transparent. To that end I've tried to be transparent. It's been a long time since I called myself a photojournalist. I do real, honest pictures but I'm not a news photographer. Besides my editorial work for National Geographic I also do travel photography, commercial photography, have just mounted an iPhone photography show (that contains sometimes copious image manipulation) and have, at times, orchestrated rather huge productions to produce pictures. Some of this would apparently get me barred from future work by some editors.
My documentary photography of Kansas (both from the town of Cuba, Kansas and the High School work) would probably be called photojournalism by most people. Certainly it fit firmly into photojournalism when I started doing it 40 years ago, but photojournalism has changed since then. Over time I have become uncomfortable with that classification because photojournalism has come to mean something I never conformed to. I became an integral part of those communities, hardly a fly on the wall. I made every effort to be truthful but I was not "objective" in the way many people mean today. I came to believe that I could not tell these stories honestly from the outside looking in, by being "objective."
My black and white printing has always been informed by W. Eugene Smith and the drama he imparted to his prints. I didn't obscure details but I sure did a lot of serious burning and dodging. Bleaching, too, and spotting. (Should I now seek to destroy all those old vintage prints and reprint them to conform to what the public now expects, if they insist that they think I am a photojournalist? What if I print them differently now? Will I start seeing GIFs of my images showing up on the web, starkly showing the difference between old and new and implying some sort of deceit?) I, for one, clearly understand what Sarah Leen means when she says it was a different era 32 years ago. I understand because I lived and worked in that era. (Sarah and I worked together as newspaper photographers in Topeka for Rich Clarkson. Today I work for her on assignments for National Geographic. We don't always agree and have, at times, butted heads.) I've seen the standards evolve. Ten years ago when I did a four image panorama of the Milky Way we left the lines between images showing so our readers would know what they were getting. Today we can stitch a panorama in PhotoShop seamlessly but we still need to explain it in the caption. Transparency does indeed matter. Or at least it should.
My fear is that any amount of transparency will be insufficient for some portion of the public, who insist on putting their favorite photographers on precarious pedestals. Steve McCurry should have been more transparent (undoubtedly) but he should also have objected more strenuously when being hoisted onto the pedestal. My own work doesn't put me in much danger of being hoisted onto high pedestals, but I know the feeling and recognize it when it is happening. When it does happen I object. Sometimes gently, sometimes loudly. I tell people how I took the pictures, I deflate expectations. I tell people to take the pictures for what they are. For those who will listen I explain that I am not a photojournalist, and explain further why and how I think photojournalism can (for some subjects) render a distorted or inadequate view of the world, why I choose not to wear that badge, why I choose to work under a different moniker. By the time I get to this part of the diatribe most folks are yawning. They just don't want it to be this complicated. What they want to know is, what kind of photographer am I? For them a complicated answer is unsatisfactory. For them clarity is not nuanced.
Finally, let me add this. The comparison of McCurry with Cosby strikes me as out of balance by several magnitudes. Stupid as it was, nobody's life was ruined because a kid playing soccer (football) was cloned out of a picture. Cosby's victims suffered real harm. Deception and betrayal are always hurtful and harmful. (And there are photographers who have done real harm.) But while I find it easy to condemn what was done to McCurry's images, at the same time I find it difficult to feel grievously harmed. Would that some of this vengeance could be directed at the real harm caused by the neglect of some of the most important stories of our times, both by opportunistic media institutions of slack moral fortitude as well as countless photographers more than willing to ride the fads of photographic fortune untroubled by conscience or sense of duty. On that order of values I find that I still admire Steve McCurry.

Jim

A few years ago National Geographic had an anniversary issue with a bonus magazine about traveling. It consisted partly of stock photography (!) and I remember being very upset about one "photograph" that had a lake in the foreground with an obviously photoshopped reflection of the landscape in it.
It felt like they tried to fool the readers, or that they just didn't care about the pictures.
I think I'll never buy this magazine again.

In the second PetaPixel article you link to, do I detect the badly photoshopped vague outline of a dead horse being flogged?

Again, to me the issue has to do with being honest about what changes have been done to a photo. Of course, as an artist, I can change my photo any way I like, but then I can not offer the result as a document, as news, or as journalism. Simple ethics.

This has been fascinating to me. His photographs are very " beautiful" and as they say " picture perfect".
I suspect he started with light manipulation and cropping. After all all RAW images do need some manipulation. Until someone pulls us all up it is difficult to know what is ok and what is not.
It seems obvious to me that being a photographer is different things to different photographers, and indeed interpreted as different things ti different viewers.
Maybe we need people to officially refer themselves as Photojournalists, or Photohistorians. Such people would formally agree to specific limited adjustments to their images. Others who maybe Photographer-Storytellers or indeed just Photographers would be free to do what they like. After all changing a colour image to black and white alters the mood. Using HDR shows an image which is clearly not real.

I think we should be kinder to him. We can now relax and understand why we can never ourselves get such perfect images. He has also given us the opportunity of reflecting on all this and learning from it. He is clearly a talented man. He is no longer a journalist , but a wonderful sower of fairy tales. To compare him to Cosby is IMHO childish, inaccurate and very uncharitable and inaccurate. At the end of the day he is a photographer , not a saint.

Erm, allegations of rape versus some pictures being altered in post? Time for a perspective realignment.

John Camp has hit the nail on the head, as usual.

The nebulous NPPA code of ethics is essentially redundant. There is no objective truth in digital imaging, just as there is none in photography. To pretend otherwise is folly.

As for the comparisons to an alleged sex offender, I can only imagine the barrow Mike James has to push. Aside from demonstrating a profound lack of prospective, it's a load of old boots.

I wish I could remember the photographer who said it, but it has remained a memorable quote to me: "Anytime we take a scene, reduce it to two dimensions and contain it in a box, we are no longer dealing with reality."

My photos are photoshopped. One of the photos has the word nike cloned out, the rest show all the original content.
Confession is good for the soul.....

'Tempest in a teapot' comes to mind ... just sayin'

I've made made longer comments on this matter, but here's a succinct one: mccurry lied. That's really what it comes down to. The guy is known as--promotes himself as--a nat geo photographer, producing photos of real life (what people informally call documentary, probably more than photojournalism) the impact of which undeniably derives from a sense that they are real. In that situation, you have a clear duty to tell people clearly if you're practicing something different. We all understand this; we've all been in a situation where what people assumed or expected about us wasn't quite right, where it would be easier and more flattering to our own egos to let it slide, let people assume something you knew they would reasonably assume. But I don't think anyone really believes that doing so is honest.
One thing you can see clearly in mccurry's photos is he knows his audience. So he knew full well that he was lying, not just letting them believe but encouraging the belief that he was showing pictures of how the world looked.
The bizarre assertion that a staff member was responsible, and now the weird insistence that he should not be considered a photojournalist because he was always freelance, as though different standards applied to freelancers, just emphasizes the main point: he isn't being honest.

Despite the protestations...go to Google, type in Steve McCurry. The tag to his website - at least on my machine says (Quote) 'photojournalist' (End quote).

Steve McCurry is to photojournalism as W. Somerset Maugham is to travel writing. Both of them have the unique talent of creating art by taking bits and pieces of the world around them and assembling it into a picture far more beautiful than reality.
Can we blame them for using it?
As Maugham said:

“The only reasonable thing was to accept the good of men and be patient with their faults.”

As apologies go, Steve's is lame. "You didn't realize that my internal guidelines changed. I'm sorry you were so ignorant."

This is a link about a Christian minister. If the mere discussion of religion bothers you, please skip. Religion isn't the point. The way this guy owned how other people confused his words is a prime example of how to apologize correctly. Even when your initial intent remains unchanged.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/march-web-only/megachurch-pastor-andy-stanley-explains-controversial-remar.html

I've been collecting apologies lately. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm hoping that I, too, will make a mistake on a colossal stage. At that point, I'll need some case studies to help guide me through what's worked and what hasn't. :)

In the end, it doesn't matter whether Steve was right or wrong. He is blowing how he handles this. That's what people are going to remember.

I am waiting with baited breath for the next esteemed photographer to be outed. I am just amazed by the faux moral indignation. Next we'll be hearing that Ansel Adams actually didn't take any of the photos and that they're the work of a poor female single mother of colour who happens to be LGBT and was his intern. I can hear the anguished howls now as people burn their Adams books and prints as the Internet lynch mob gathers to destroy his reputation.

Photoshop...what exactly has it done for humanity? Are we better off in some way because we can more easily manipulate an image?

I ask this in all seriousness...what benefit to society does this product, and those like it, actually perform?

Are we better off now that our magazine covers set a standard for beauty that is literally unobtainable in reality?

In the case of the formerly respected Mr. McCurry, are we more aware of the worlds poverty when it is so nicely composed and color balanced?

I propose that these image manipilation tools fall into the category of "stuff we like that do us no good". I include pornography, Hostess snacks, meth and casino gambling in this group, though many more probably could be named.

Cynics might find the expression "journalistic truth" somewhat oxymoronic … sad to think that anyone imagines that a camera can tell the truth — that's a job for photographers and reporters who don't, as Karl Kraus said, just "write with their hands."

Hopefully, former photojournalists will no longer be allowed to skate along on their reputations as 'reporters' when they have in fact become artists** in the field of photomontage or photo illustration. Perhaps it is time that photographers and those that curate and collect photographs develop a new standard of honest terminology for photographic artwork pieces.
In the new system, an additional term would be inserted in the description of the work. Something like: "Photograph, documentary, Wall #23, Mexico, 1972, silver gelatin print", or "Photograph, color photomontage, India: 3 Men on motorbike, 2014, pigment print."
**I personally find much of Mr. McCurry's work to be uninteresting as reportage, let alone as 'art'.

I'm sorry Mike but the tone of your piece leaves a bad taste, and that's an unwelcome first for me. It seems like the Internet's outrage culture even threatens your gentle site.
I fail to see what McCurry has done wrong. Why does he even need to make a mea culpa to satisfy you? Because in the past he worked as a photojournalist? For overuse of Photoshop cloning? Are you serious?
At this rate, the pitchfork-wielding mob will be screaming for John Camp to hand back his Pulitzer because his later writing bears all the hallmarks of being made up.
On a positive note, it might be a useful regular feature to take a look at a well-known picture and deconstruct it, so that readers can see how much work has gone into an image after a photograph was taken.

I think the whole problem with the McCurry affair is about the troubled notions of editorial-doccumentary photography (which many people still expect to be straight) and its persistent association with the truth in the eyes of the majority of the public. Many people still want to link photography and truth, and is said that the credibility of newspapers and magazines depends on it. Maybe its time we all move on to different notions about photography and truth, and about photojournalism (I am aware many people have done that already, but I mean collectively).

I disagree with John Camp in this issue, McCurry is famous and sells so much precisely because of his image as an editoriall-doccumentary photographer, forever associated with National Geographic and Magnum (whom most of the public associate with straight, unadulterated photography). That's the image that sells his pictures, that's the image that made him famous. I can do whatever I want with my photos because very few people notice, but when you have such a large audience you have the duty to be clear about what you are doing with your work (something as simple as a warning in the caption).

I was already at odds with his work, but now the long silence, the blaming on his staff, the evasiveness, the arrogance... I think is disgraceful.

Steve McCurry is a very, very good photographer. He may have been a photojournalist at one time and should, then, have hewed to the rules of that industry. For many years now he has worked outside that field and just creates art. His manipulations have no more or less merit than the contrived set ups of Crewdson or Skoglund. The art is the art. He is not working in breaking news. He is not manipulating images in the service of some political agenda. He is creating art. No different than the legion of photographers who routinely edit out teen acne, double chins and wrinkles in images of graduating seniors or mid-level corporate managers. His vision now includes the ability to hone or distill an image for our enjoyment. If he was shooting for the NYTime, hard news, to illustrate a news story then he was out of line. If he was showing us his impression of a place and time and people then screw the critics and go for it. Tell me that every landscape photographer whose work has ever graced a gallery wall didn't burn in some sky, take out a piece of trash in the foreground or pretty up the colors. Should we dig up Ansel Adams and burn him at the stake for his egregious over-darkening of the sky in Moonrise over Hernandez, NM.? Photojournalism is one of those jobs that's been beaten to a pulp by the economy and cast aside by media moguls. McCurry left the fold to do what he does best and make a bit of money for a decent retirement ---- and now a bunch of fat and sassy armchair quarterbacks, who've never risked dysentery and war are going to deny the guy his chance to be an aging artist with some sort of financial safety net under his feet? Get real. Put your Hush Puppies on, button up your cardigan and go out for a walk. Contemplate your misplaced outrage and then direct it somewhere meaningful.

This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. Digital signal processing is the evolution of image capture and presentation. The guy takes great pictures and presents them in a way the world likes to see. If his images were being presented as representing reality, then maybe he should have thunk twice. But if they were presented in the context of a nice image, then what harm has been done except to the sensibilities of a few luddite purists?

Comparing McCurry with Bill Cosby? There's a reason I usually give PetaPixel a pass, and that's a good example.

I wasn't aware that NG had also "adjusted" the monsoon cover photo. There was a big enough stink when they moved the Pyramids. And I don't think it was Photoshop, but that Scitex machine that was all the rage at the time. Thin end of the wedge. Slippery slope.

Let's cut out all the corporate BS, he is a liar and a cheat he just did it through photography. His fame and fortune did him in, throw the bumm out.

the myth of the "decisive moment" is so strong with us, those interested in photography...

My initial comments I stand by. But if I had to get angry about all this then I would stand by Kirk Tuck!

Being English I resist getting so bored up ... but if I did then he has said it for me.

I think we need to assume that photographs are by definition manipulated now if they are RAW files. The only question is how much.To some extent all photos lie. This is not only in terms of manipulation but in what we choose to put in the frame and what we don't photograph, what we CHOOSE to leave out of the frame.

Every photograph at the end of the day is truthful only in terms of what the photographer chooses to show.

I used to go on photography days with a friend on Dartmoor. We would compare photos on returning home. Sometimes we seemed to have been in separate universes, other times our views coalesced. At the end of the day I think we , the audience, need to be careful in accepting what we are perceiving and not confusing it with what was actually there!!!

"…any 2D image isn't the thing imaged. It is by definition an abstraction…"

In the case of a photograph, it's perhaps more precise to say that it's a geometric projection and optical convolution. The image is not identical to the original scene, but it *does* (or, at least, should) have a specific and reproducible geometric relationship to that original scene. And specific features of that scene should be extractable from the photograph. (If we are sophisticated, additional information about the original scene can be extracted if we have knowledge of the lens, sensor, and display process).

What Curry and his lackeys have done in the examples unearthed so far — and there are enough of them to infer the existence of many others — is to change those fundamental geometric relationships. Consequently, the viewer's inference about the geometry of the original scene *must* be inaccurate.

That is not, in my view, a tolerable form of inaccuracy from someone who has built his reputation on his journalistic work.

NG and NPPA should ask themselves how hypocritical they've been in the past for not speaking out. Surely any person who's seen even a handful of his photographs can spot heavy post processing over several decades. Typical of modern times to jump on the criticasters bandwagon as soon as it gains momentum.

In other news Bob Dylan goes electric.

My apologies but after time has passed since this issue was disclosed it still bothers me, it's wrong, it's wrong, it's fake, the scene did not exist, it's a smelly mess. The explanations, justifications, smell just as bad, now we have created new terms for a person with a camera and what they create talk about being full of yourself. I would love to see the refund policy on the prints and books sold, I know I would want my money back.

The latest thing to come out in the McCurry Photoshop scandal is the discovery of several recent interviews where McCurry warned photographers against manipulating photos with Photoshop. Below are two of them that have been going around on the internet.

In the second one with a television station, he claims to use the Associate Press standard for photography. It entirely contradicts his claims that he has been a visual storyteller.

An Interview with Steve McCurry TedxAmsterdamWomen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njhkRyw3CKo
7:00- How do you feel about adjusting your pictures?

#FanChat wFamed Photojournalist Steve Mccurry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0ej66oyesY
32:30- Where do you draw the line with Photoshop?

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