Photo journalism, and manipulation

A very interesting blog post from thestar.com photographer Richard Lautens entitled "Ethics, Computers and Photojournalism". The blog itself, Toronto Star Photo Blog, seems simple enough.  While it features staff photographers' work, that work is also accompanied by a written blog entry.  We are allowed a glimpse into the photographer's world, an area unfamiliar perhaps when all we get sometimes is a caption.  While their work can be found throughout thestar.com, we don't find out very much about the people who took those photographs or about their experiences capturing those moments, aside from a credit line or maybe a bio.

"We take a lot of pride in our work and spend many hours of learning new technique, working on stories and frankly just plain waiting for the right moment." - Lautens

This is why I'm enjoying the Toronto Star Photo Blog, especially Lautens' post on photojournalism and photo manipulation controversy.  He defends normal darkroom practice for improving the image quality of photographs, even when, of course, that translates to using digital methods today, like Photoshop.  While Photoshop lets you do some crazy things to photographs, many of the basic image manipulation features in the program are just translated from the dark room.  Just because it's analog doesn't exempt it from the same manipulation ethics, right?

Lautens' post is a nice reminder that there are people behind those photographs, that care about the content they are producing.  I'll think of this the next time I see a photo, especially one from him.