LA Photographer Fired for Digitally Altering News Photo

“On Monday, March 31, the Los Angeles Times published a front-page photograph that had been altered in violation of Times policy. The primary subject of the photo was a British soldier directing Iraqi civilians to take cover from Iraqi fire on the outskirts of Basra. After publication, it was noticed that several civilians in the background appear twice. The photographer, Brian Walski, reached by telephone in southern Iraq, acknowledged that he had used his computer to combine elements of two photographs, taken moments apart, in order to improve the composition.”

LA Photographer Fired for Digitally Altering News PhotoLA Times)

The “new” photo certainly does look better than either of the two from which it was made. Photographers often touch up images (removing scratches, reducing red-eye, etc.). The “new” picture creates a relationship between the soldier raising his hand and the civilian holding his child. Maybe that relationship really was there, and the photog was ticked off that he couldn’t capture it. But either way, it was wrong to pass off the faked picture as real.