“After careful consideration, we found it imperative to disqualify the photographer from the contest. The principle of World Press Photo is to promote high standards in photojournalism. Therefore, we must maintain the integrity of our organization even when the outcome is regrettable.” -Michiel Munneke, managing director of World Press Photo
Lens, PetaPixel, and BJP all have good coverage of the latest photo manipulation scandal in photojournalism: World Press Photo has disqualified Stepan Rudik, 3rd place Sports Features in the 2010 contest, for an ethics violation. Rudik removed an element of a picture (see the slideshow above) in violation of World Press Photo contest regulations against image alteration, specifically this rule: “The content of the image must not be altered. Only retouching which conforms to the currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed.” The object seems to stem from the removal of a person’s foot from the background of the picture, which Rudik defended to the BJP, saying, “the photograph I submitted to the contest is a crop, and the retouched detail is the foot of a man which appears on the original photograph, but who is not a subject of the image submitted to the contest.”
I’ve got to echo Asim Rafiqui: What a laughable extreme crop and toning job. Color and tilt correction in photoshop is one thing, moody vignetting in photoshop is another, but this is a whole new level of turning a crap photo into something entirely different. Wow. This, rather than the offending foot, is the bigger problem for the credibility of photojournalism.