The power of the still image.

Photographers are facing tougher working conditions.  For example there are several spots in London – unmarked on maps – where police have the power to remove cameras from members of the public, merely because they are using them near somewhere deemed at risk from a terror attack.  (It is interesting to note that neither the 9/11 attackers, or the 7/7 London tube bombers photographed their targets prior to the attacks.)  The integrity of work is also under threat.  The phrase ‘photoshopped’ has now come to mean something artificial or fake in common parlance.

A few weeks ago a French rugby player was convicted of eye-gouging an opponent, a nasty practice that still goes on.  He appealed on the basis that the video evidence did not conclusively show the incident and questioned the authenticity of one photograph that did, as it was taken by a photographer working for the other team.

(photo courtesy of BBC Sport)

A panel of experts reviewed the photograph to see if it had been edited or manipulated and concluded that it had not.  The player’s ban was upheld and the photographer’s reputation intact.  As a photographer I found it re-assuring that that, sometimes, it is still true to say ‘the camera doesn’t lie’.

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