Trusting photos


General Photography

BBC News website’s picture editor, Phil Coomes explains how they handle news photos. Lots of interesting and important points in there: “All the pictures we use are checked for any obvious editing - the easiest to spot being cloning of parts of the image [like in the Reuters example - JMC] […] To some extent the presence of a camera will alter the event, but itÂ’s up to those on the ground to work around this and present us with an objective a view as possible. Digital photography has altered the landscape of photojournalism like nothing before it, placing the photographers in total control of their output. All the news agencies have photo ethics policies, many of which are rooted in the days of film. The standard line is that photographers are allowed to use photo manipulation to reproduce that which they could do in the darkroom with conventional film. […] All this sounds fine until you look at the reality - one manÂ’s colour balancing is another’s grounds for dismissal. By definition a photograph is a crop of reality, itÂ’s what the photojournalist feels is important. But it doesn’t equate to the whole truth, and perhaps we just need to accept that.”