Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Drama of Editing Photos

Mike Smith

Everyone is trying to have everything as perfect as possible now a days. Whether it is having that perfect job, the perfect car or the perfect girl. Getting everything as perfect as possible is what everyone tries to achieve.

The same concept goes with photojournalism. Photojournalists are under extreme pressure to find that perfect cover photo so their newspaper can sell a lot of papers that day. A big time cover photo helps photojournalists continue to make money and have a successful career.

The extreme pressure that photojournalists are under to get that killer photo can sometimes lead them to make poor decisions. Aj Archive had an article about photojournalist Allan Detrich getting caught for editing his photos.  He was an elite photojournalist at the time, too.

It is kind of odd that magazine photo covers are usually edited, but the newspaper photo covers usually are not. The New York Times has an article about what type of things magazines edit out, and what the limit of crossing the line is. It's interesting how editing photos in magazines is tolerable, but editing photos in newspapers is not.

I  do not think it is fair that magazines can get away with editing photos, but newspapers cannot. Being a photojournalist for a newspaper is much more difficult than being a photojournalist for a magazine.

A magazine photojournalist can take a mediocre photo and make it much better. A newspaper photojournalist is screwed if they take a poor photo. They have a slim window to get that great photo to make their boss happy. It is kind of unfair how much more difficult it is to to be a photojournalist for a newspaper, than a magazine.

Since newspapers rarely edit their photos, that makes them more real than magazines photos. Magazines photos portray the perfect image that is impossible for a person to attain. Newspapers portray the average person with whatever flaws they may have. I would rather have real than an impossible perfect image any day of the week.

The fact that newspapers' photos are much more of the common person or of a famous person in the heat of the moment makes buying a newspaper much more attractive to me. I think that is also why newspapers tend to be more popular than magazines because not only does their text tend to be more honest,so do their photos.

I think magazines should try to edit their photos less. Doing that would cause a lot of angry celebrities, but they will still want to be on covers because being on the cover is great publicity for them. I do not think it would hurt their sales. I think it would increase them.

At the end of the day, magazine companies will do whatever they think will sell the most copies. And most newspapers will continue to not use edited photos, so they can keep their integrity. I respect newspapers for doing that.

Newspapers could make more money if they edited their photos to make them outstanding. However, most newspapers have to much integrity to do such a thing. Whenever a newspaper is accused of running an edited photo, the photojournalist is usually immediately fired.

In the end, magazines and newspapers operate completely different. Every person is different so every person's opinion varies on the edited photos debate.

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