I’m a retired Photojournalist. My introduction to photography came in 1990 with a photography class freshman year of high school.were taught the complete functionality of a Pentax K1000 (A 35mm camera basic manual controls) along with the one unbreakable rule in Photography, “f/8 and be there”. The f/stop being a suggestion. After that one class I found my way to the football field and without understanding what I was doing I managed to impress the photo editor of the school paper. Fast forward to my Junior year and I was busy Stringing for the two local news papers (see Peter Parker), learning photojournalist practices and a journalistic integrity. While I lost my taste for ambulance chasing by my early 20’s and left the job I kept the camera, and more importantly I kept the photography principles that guided my work for the Fourth Estate.
In photojournalism there’s a simple rule, display the image as it was taken. What that really means is photojournalists should only report. There images should not be augmented to be any different from what was actually and literally in the camera frame. I follow this rule for my own work. It’s something we take for granted in sports photos. No one doubts the truth in a photo of a slam dunk. But how do we know the truth about that gorgeous sunset photo? Much like that old timey gentlemen’s magazine, we have no way of knowing if that centerfold is real or an airbrushed creation.
I state here plainly that every photo posted on my website is unharmed by photoshop. My limits on altering a photo are the same for digital as they are for film in a darkroom, I correct for color, contrast, exposure, and sometimes saturation. I do not layer, combine, or in any way collage images. If an image seems impossible, thank you, that’s exactly why I try as hard as I do to capture the image as a true photograph. I leave the cut and paste for those who can’t get it done with their photography skills. (Note: This rule does not apply clients booking a personal photo shoot. I’ll gladly Photoshop a pimple or a tan line out of a portrait if requested.)