Truth and Integrity – Is Seeing Believing?

It was a sad day when I read about award winning photographer Souvid Datta infringing on another photographer’s work by using elements of their photographs and claiming that the photos were his. In the age of “fake news” Datta erodes the integrity of the profession of photojournalism and the reputation of dedicated photojournalists who risk their lives taking photographs that create awareness of the travesties in the world.

I was further bothered by Datta’s explanation in an interview he did for Time magazine. Using his lack of knowledge because of his youth and inexperience is no excuse for his actions. There are too many articles online about ethics and copyright to excuse his ignorance, especially for someone who admittedly learned Photoshop techniques on You Tube.

While I’m glad that he eventually told the truth, there’s nothing commendable about doing so after getting caught in a lie. There is no turning back of the clock or enough apologies that will undo the damage this has done to the profession of photojournalism.

It is easy to manipulate images and seeing is believing is no longer true.Arthur County, Nebraska In an age where many if not most images have been greatly altered or composited, we’ve become somewhat jaded by a real image that is straight out of the camera. Manipulation has become the norm but it should never be accepted in journalism.

I’m not a photojournalist and have on occasion altered my images, but I’m most proud of the images that I shot that have not been manipulated.

Marathon swimming, East River, New York City

Nowadays, folks who look at the images contained in this blog will assume that they are composites – but they’re not. It took a lot of skill to produce them along with a bit of luck.

Fear and Manipulation

Parents do it to their children.  Spouses do it to one another with ultimatums. Rulers rule by scaring their constituents.  But guess what?  It doesn’t work.

Children rebel.  Spouses start to despise one another for killing each other’s dreams. And rulers get overthrown.

Two years ago my daughter graduated from college.  I saw her wince every time an “adult” asked her the usual questions:  What are you going to do now?  Did you get a job?  Are you going to grad school?  Pity the kids graduating in today’s economy if they were brought up based on fear.  Pre-conditioning young minds to follow the same unhappy path that we may have taken – for the sake of making a lot of money.

Thankfully, people are starting to question the notion of what constitutes success.  College grads have tens of thousands of dollars in loans that they can’t pay back and on top of that their parents are 50 plus and out of jobs because they are too costly to employ.

What a pity – not utilizing the potential workforce.  What a pity squashing innovation from the start.  What a pity not to recognize opportunities – just because they are “different”.  What a pity to live a life based on fear.

Maybe it’s time we all should start thinking about things differently.

Maybe it’s time to change what we value.

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