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Altering photos ... red eye

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bigpern23, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    So my photog hands me a photo of a key player for a gamer with some vicious red eye. I mean, between the kid's red hair and his blazing red eyes, he could be beelzebub himself.

    So I asked her to remove the red eye and she said she couldn't because she would be altering the photo. She pointed out that her predecessor was fired for altering a photo (in that case, he took photos of two people on separate days and then put them into a photo together because he couldn't get their schedules lined up -- much different case). I argued that since the kid's eyes are not really fiery red, she's not altering the photo so much as restoring the reality to it.

    We take it to our interim ME, who proceeds to say, 'Well it's really not that good of a photo, why not just avoid using it,' basically skirting her way around the question. I called her out on that, and she said, yes, that's what she was trying to do.

    I just walked away shaking my head.

    While I agreed that it wasn't a great photo, the bigger point is whether it's OK to fix red eye.

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with and, frankly, I'd be shocked if my regular ME (who is out for an extended time after surgery) didn't agree with me.

    I'm just annoyed by the whole damn situation, but I'm also curious about what others think of the red eye argument. I view it as no different than lightening or darkening a photo.
  2. Dangerous_K

    Dangerous_K Active Member

    I asked this question in a thread a few weeks ago. I think using Photoshop's red eye tool is just fine. It doesn't change the context of the photo. Agree with the "lightening/darkening" stance.
  3. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Agree with you. It isn't altering the photo since when the photo was taken, the subject didn't have red eyes.
  4. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Cut out the eyes.
  5. Rhouston

    Rhouston Member

    How is removing red eye taboo? Unless the subject really had red eyes, then I don't see why it's a big deal. In fact, adjusting the brightness and contrast of a photo is more controversial than removing red eye.

    Hell, even printing photos in black and white is altering a photo. We don't live in a black-and-white world.

    Well, maybe some people do, but in the figurative sense.
  6. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    Isn't that why shops have a photo editor. To make those type of decisions and back him up when he makes them?
  7. statrat

    statrat Member

    I agree. I don't think removing a piece a dust that was on the lens or getting rid of the red eye is a problem. It just puts the photo back in its natural state.
  8. Flash

    Flash Guest

    What if you replaced the eyes with someone else's?

    Just kidding ... red eye? No big deal. Same as colour balance, unsharp mask and lighting.
  9. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    The photographer altered the scene in the first place by placing the light source, in this case a flash, too close to the axis of the lens. (That's the same reason deer and other animals' eyes shine in your car's headlights.)

    The ultimate solution is to not use on-camera flash, that is, to light the entire scene.

    If that isn't possible, removing the redeye might be an acceptable compromise (depending on your paper's policies) because the redeye was caused by the photographer's method of lighting the photo.
  10. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Removing red eye is in no way unethical.

    I can't believe we have to work with idiots who would think that. People like that are why instructions are on shampoo bottles.
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Better still, find a photographer who can actually think.
  12. Dangerous_K

    Dangerous_K Active Member

    I was always a fan of the photogs in my prep days who'd get 15 photos of a scrub who played 45 seconds in a basketball game, but 0 photos of the kid who scored 40 points.
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