Monday, July 19, 2010

The Quickest Way to Lose a Job

The photo is a simple one - a pro golfer acknowledges the applause during the final round of the Reno Tahoe Open last weekend. Only problem is, there's a distracting person behind the golfer wearing a white cap that ruins the otherwise clean shot.

Veteran photographer Marc Feldman who freelances for Getty Images shot the photo and inadvertently sent two images of the same frame. One was a photoshopped version with the distracting person (the golfer's caddy) eliminated.

A sharp eyed photo editor noticed the discrepancies and alerted Getty Images who put an immediate kill on the manipulated photo and after talking to Feldman, severed their relationship.

I know Marc. We've covered some of the same golf tournaments in the past. When I first heard about the manipulated photo, I was in disbelief. I knew Marc would not purposely deceive the readers and manipulate his photos.

What happened was this.

Feldman was in the press tent after the golf tournament when the golfer Matt Bettencourt and his caddie stopped by to see some of the pictures. Feldman said the caddie, looking at the image in question, said it would be better if he wasn't in it. "So I showed them how easy I could do that. I thought I just saved it to the desktop, not to the send folder," he said. "I certainly did not mean to send both of them to Getty."

"There was absolutely no intent to pass this off as a real image. Only a moron would have sent both," he said. "And I would've done it a lot better too."

"I understand Getty has a reputation to uphold. I certainly don't blame them for letting me go," he said. "I know the ethical standards for editorial clients. I just wish my long relationship with them didn't have to end like this."

"I've been doing this for 26 years," he said. "Sometimes you make a mistake and it's fatal. I made a fatal mistake."

I feel bad for Marc. I believe he made a mistake and did not try to deceive the public. What he did is something I've done in the past only never on deadline and I was always very sure to delete the photo, to make certain it did not get transmitted. And that's the strange part about all of this. As a photographer working for a news publication, you try your best to get the photos sent before your competition. You take pride in being faster and better than your competition. Marc was both however how he had the time to manipulate that photo and send it with the rest of his photos is beyond me.

What a shame.

No comments:

Post a Comment