For World Press Photo 2010, the bar has been raised to a high level with the new requirement of the submission of RAW image files for review alongside any image that the judges suspected were excessively manipulated. Below is the collection of images for review:
The DQ'd entrant, Stepan Rudik wrote over at PetaPixel (here) in part "...I do NOT argue the decision of the jury...." and then he goes on to attempt to justify the alteration he made, and then hopes " I believe this explanation is important for my reputation and good name as a reportage photographer."
A quick search on Google for "Stepan Rudik" turns up all manner of listing regarding this issue, so, good luck getting your good name back.
Rudik cannot hold out this image as reportage, but rather, as an illustration. He created digitally what he wanted to see and not what was actually captured. Did the manipulation change the content of the image? No, I think that the crop did (yes, allowable), and he really mis-treated the image with the excessive vignetting, over-contrast, and so on. Frankly, I think he did more of a disservice to the honesty of the image with the over-manipulation than he did with the removal of the shoe, but, unfortunately, that over-manipulation seems to have been allowable.
Rudik damaged not just the integrity of the image, but of himself and his honesty, but also the integrity of photojournalism.
Digital manipulation is going to be a very slippery slope, and the honesty of what we capture must be a paramount consideration, not chasing the self-aggrandizement in a photo contest.
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