Appropriate or Not?

Where should photographers, reporters, editors and publishers draw the line in altering content? We generally think it's okay to crop photos to better frame our subject, but what if you crop a photo in such a way that makes a reader form a particular opinion about a subject? Is that fair?

Read one photographer's thoughts about his photo of former vice-president Dick Cheney and the cropping job that went wrong (in his opinion). What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

49 comments:

rachel said...

I dont think its fair to crop photos. The whole photo conflict with Dick Cheney is totally unfair. The journalists manipulated the photo to show they wanted their readers to see, not what really happened. Cropping photos should never be allowed. If its for entertainment, fine, but as long as it doesnt harm the cropped person. When photos are cropped, journalists are, in a way, lying to their readers.

Terilyn said...

"Photo fakery" in photojournalism is the same as misquoting in written journalism. Basically it tricks the reader. If writers are condemned for using a quote or part of a quote out of context, photographers should be held to the same standards. Both misquoting and "photo fakery" can potentially ruin the reputations of the people being quoted, the people in an altered picture, and potentially the photographer,too.

Savanna said...

Cropping a photo for most circumstances is appropriate to do, but in the case of the Dick Cheney picture it is not. For someone to crop a picture that displays a man having a good time with friends and turning it into a photo displaying an "evil" man is ridiculous. When a photo is cropped just to get the main focus and not alter the intention of the photographer that is a circumstance that is okay, but when it changes the "story line" or the purpose of it, that is when it gets to be a controversial issue. I personally don't agree with cropping a photo for any intent other than to cut unnecessary objects.

Stacy Chan said...

I am against cropping photos simply because it undoubtedly distorts people's view on the situation. This can seriously be injurious to the subject's reputation, as well as to the photographer's.

Jen said...
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Jen said...

I think its completely against journalism ethics to crop a photo to fit your needs. As journalists, we try to give people accurate facts and information on what is going on in the world. That being said, it would be inacurrate to mislead people into thinking one thing about a picture, when in truth, it is something entirely different. This is just as bad as editing quotes or using them out of context to fit the needs of a story, or intentionally putting misleading facts in their articles

Sabrina said...

Sabrina_S_A period

I'm in the middle when it comes to cropping photos. The Dick Cheney photo cropping just appears to be a political cartoon in my eyes because it appears numerously in history books. There have been political cartoons since newspapers have been printing, so I do not see why journalists complain now.
On the other hand,I do believe that if the cropping gets out of hand, that is when someone should draw the line. If the picture is completely far-fetched from the truth, then it should not be published. I guess this would be at the discretion of the editors.

sarina said...

I think it is unfair to crop a photo just due to someones opinion. The full picture shows exactly what is going on and hidding a part of it is not fair to the people who want to know exactly what was going on during that time period.
People should not be allowed to crop photos at all unless is takes to much room out of the layout or if there is an empty space in the photo that might need to be removed due to its insignificance.

Leah said...

Cropping photos is usually acceptable, however in the Dick Chaney conflict it undoubtedly gives readers a false idea. It is fine to crop photos, but when journalists are changing reader's views of the story, it is unacceptable.

Barbara said...

I think that it is okay to crop a photo. The picture was taken, and cropping it is just zooming in closer. What if the photographer had taken the picture originally the way it was cropped? then itd be the same thing. The person still did the same thing. Cropping is just proving a point. A picture says a thousand words.

Edison said...

I think just cropping a photo to make it fit the newspaper or some other simple change would normally be fine. But in this case the photo is cropped to misinform the readers and distort what the actually image was so in this case I don't think it would be ohkay because photo should be used to inform people the truth.

colby said...

Cropping a photo for any reason would be completely inappropriate. News is supposed to be about getting the truth to the people. Cropping photos to make the it look the way change what the photo really has and to affect opinions on the people is not right. It is truthful of the paper to make the opinions of the reader to what the paper wants. People can be hurt by photo cropping even if they did not do anything wrong. Photos should not be altered in such a way it alters the the opinion of the reader in which it originally wouldn't

Kimmy said...

I am against cropping photos because cropping a photo means to take away the full and true meaning of a photo. In political matters, they crop photos for scheming, which causing a photo to lose its meaning.

alec said...

Cropping photos may seem appropriate to many for its summoning of relevant pictures to show the public, however, I believe this action to be irrelevant and not a significant source of information. The photo of Dick Cheney forced people to judge the picture by its cover, not by what truly lied behind it. A picture is worth a thousand words and a million interpretations, therefore, journalists should not crop photos because it may produce incorrect and false news.

Samson Tong said...

Photos are originally taken in memorial of an event. Cropping and altering a photo in a way can change the meaning of a photo. Not only offense but these cropped photos are extremely harming for some people's reputations. For examples, the Dick Cheney situation.

baloobear said...

I don't think it is fair to crop a photo without the photographers consent. The photo journalist should have the same rights as a writer to edit or keep the entire photo as they took it. It compromises their artistic vision. If they agree to crop the photo, then it is their choice to do so. The newspapers, and magazines should not have the right to change a photo without the photographers consent.

Chris Mendoza said...

Photos must inform, not misinform. As altered as this picture is from a family setting to a butcher , it is reasonable since it supports the Newsweek article of Vice President Dick Cheney's red blooded values. However i do not support it because it undermines the photographer and their profession.

Davidson said...

Cropping photos have been a huge advancement in the photography industry. Although it has helped many people turn good pictures into great one's, it has also been a huge problem. For example, Dick Cheney's cropped photo was not acceptable under any circumstances because it led to the humiliation of someone's and their reputation.

Jackie Cuevas said...

It's definitely not okay to crop a photo with editorial purposes in mind. It may convey a particular view that is completely different from what the full, original picture is actually showing. Thus, it sends a completely different message, maybe even slandering the subject of the image. Furthermore, it kills media credibility. It's difficult enough to truthfully inform the public already, because the people are so skeptical. CROPPING IS BAD. IT MISINFORMS. IT'S MEAN. DON'T DO IT!

Giselle said...

Cropping should only be permitted as long as the subject of the photo is not misconstrued. If you are cropping to eliminate a boring sky out of an otherwise lively scene below that sky, that should be fine. It does not take away from the point of the photo. Cropping anything beyond that point should be unacceptable.

katie said...

No, I dont think its fair to crop photos. Cropping photos will lead to something that really didnt happen manipulating the reader and starting rumors that are not appropriate.

Cathie said...

The cropping of photos is done at the moment the picture is taken.

Sure, sometimes the size of a photo-box might lead one to crop the edges off a photo, but the subject and the image captured by the photographer is usually not altered.

The idea of taking a photographers image (the photo) and altering the message the photographer portrayed is not fair. (Especially if it's done to turn the photograph into a negative image)

nicholas said...

I don't think it is the right thing to do. The opinion that was derived from the edited photoby most people hgad no idea what was really happening in the real picture.

Jordan said...

i believe cropping photos is good at sometimes and bad at other times. Cropping can help show a point but can take away the validity of the photo by not being able to see what is around

Wendy said...

Wendy_C_A
I personally think that cropping photo is acceptable as long as the product photo did not destroy the truth of the story. Although the cropped photo may bring curiosity and entertainment, when the readers find the truth, they may choose not to believe the media. however, the result of cropping photos can be disasterous and may cause serious destruction to the reputation of the media.

Wendy said...
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Indep_Elim_Y said...

News is based on facts, not opinions. A photo can be cropped, but not so much as to change the real story. The picture should tell what the story tells, nothing more, nothing less.

Carla said...

Photo cropping is usually used to pull out the main focus and enhance a photo, but altering it by tricking the readers it is something else, is a whole different story. This is the case with Cheney. The photo is extremely biased and the cropping should not have been done. Cropping and editing pictures are fine, as long as it doesn't pull out something different from what it is.

Stephanie said...

Photo cropping in journalism should be prohibited; it's opinionated and often misleading--like celebrity gossip photos, for example. These photo alterations prevent photographers from delivering fact-based information and thus cause Americans to mistrust what they read and see on newspapers and television.

Teresa-Mae said...

Obama publically called Kanye West a jackass. He chose those certain words in order to effectively express his opinion. Just as it is in writing or speaking, cropping a photo helps in effectively presenting an opinion. Unless a writer is trying to accurately report the news, cropping a photo in order to express an opinion is acceptable.

Donovan said...

Most of the time I am ok with cropping however, when cropping is used to change an opinion,I think otherwise. Cropping should be only used to centralize a photo and to take the little things out. When it changes an opinion, cropping can harm reputations. Therefore, it isn't fair to crop a photo to change an opinion.

simaran said...

Cropping photos is understandable under certain circumstances. If someone crops a photo as a innocent joke, it is alright, but if they crop a photo that they want to publish for all to see, that is unacceptble. This can destory someone's reputation and cause problems for the photographer and the victim. The vitims can sue the photographer because his reputation is questioned.

FLORAINE KYLA said...

Either way, people will interpret text and pictures differently. However, when one purposely alters a photograph to send a specific message or point of view, the picture becomes tainted and biased. It's just wrong. People turn to the media for solid written and pictured truth, but when it's biased, who wants to read lies? Crop a photo for one's own purpose, but when it affects others negatively, don't do it or at least take the consequences that come with one's actions.

Henry said...

I think that cropping photos should be done with caution but still should be legal. Sometimes cropping a photo can take it out of its original context which can change its meaning. The cropper should ask the orginial photographer if what he or she is croppint is ok

Chloe said...

Cropping photos in a way that distorts an image or leaves it open to different interpretations than its reality is the equivalent of writing deceptions in articles, or even slander. For example, when quotes are cut short, they can be misunderstood. Similarly, cropped or distorted photos can lead the audience to assume ideas completely opposite to its actual meaning. Thus, photo cropping is inappropriate, particularly when it changes the meaning of a photo.

Christopher said...

Under amusing circumstances cropping photos is humorous, but in politics, it is always controversial. With Dick Cheney, the matter was completely inappropriate and unfair. It turned a nice, family gathering into a political issue. This doesn't really lie to readers, but gives them a bad impression of the person in the photo, which is bad.

Myron said...

Photojournalism is one of the forms of media that should be minimally altered, as it shows an event frozen in a single image. If an image is edited significantly, the meaning of the image may be altered too much to resemble the original scene. Cropping images should be allowed in order to save space or place a focus on the main subject of the photo, as long as the picture does not misrepresent anything.

Emma. said...
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Henry said...

There will always be a reader, flipping through the newspaper, who has a particular opinion about a subject. However, it is not fair to crop a picture as it leaves out crucial information. Cropping photos should not be allowed, unless under permission.

Jennifer D said...

In certain cases, I think cropping photos is admissible, but most of the time, doing so isn't acceptable. Cropping photos may convey the wrong message, especially if a certain someone or something was cropped out. Along with that, it is as though the journalist has somethign to hide, lying to us readers. As a result, the wrong message may be receieved and cause a huge controversy, and must not be done.

Stephanie said...

It is not appropriate to crop a photo unless, under permission. Cropping photos defeats the purpose it was meant to convey. Ultimately, it dissapoints readers and viewers.

A_Yueming_W said...

In most cases, there is nothing wrong with cropping a photograph. Whether it is to emphasize a particular element or to fit a photo within a given frame at its best quality, photo cropping can be beneficial. Furthermore, it is a way for photographers to express their artistic creativity. However when it is taken out of context, like the Dick Cheney photograph, cropping can become problematic. Thus is it essential to maintain a good balance when editing photos.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious said...
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Darlena said...

Cropping pictures for journalism is like hiding a piece of the truth. Although it is acceptable in some cases, such as an uneeded background distraction, cropping to fit an opinion is not okay. Especially in the Dick Chaney controversy, the photo editor was abasing Chaney's reputation. Cropping should be used to remove distractions only.

athena said...

Since the line between cropping photos to better frame and image and cropping a photo to create an opinion is so thin, cropping shouldn't be an option. By allowing it to keep occuring, it could lead to a lot of misinterpretation and misrepresentation.Photojournalists "fight the credibility battle" so they should be more careful with croppping in the first place. Journalists shouldn't be one sided in any form.

Haley K. said...

In my opinion, cropping photos for illegitimate purposes is extremely uncalled for. This "photo fakery" not only has the ability to misrepresent the objects in the photo, but it also disrespects the work of the photographer. I understand the need for cropping when distractions are in the background, but when one crops a photo and the entire purpose of it is diminished, it is extremely unfair.

Renee said...

Media has social responsibilities to report the truth or underlying facts. As a result, they are in battle everyday to strive for objectivity. However, cropping photos is necessary in some occasion as long as the original message is preserved.

Tracy said...

Cropping photos is something that should be done only to better frame a picture or focus, but not to be done to trick their audiences into believing an image that may not necessarily represent the full truth. To crop photos in such a way is not only poor judgement, but also in a sense, dishonesty.

Crystal said...

As journalists we have to be careful about what we are writing about and how we write things. Words can be twisted in ways that implies inappropriate things. Pictures can show a thousand words; therefore, pictures can imply many different things - both good and bad. If a picture is cropped, it may spark controversy and give unwanted images.

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