Reynolds wrote that while looking for a picture of golfer Matt Bettencourt to accompany a story, he noticed “two versions of that particular moment” when Bettencourt had played the 11th hole at the Reno-Tahoe Open tournament.
Initially, Reynolds wrote that he thought the two pictures were taken by different photographers “because the background was different,” but later he noticed that the same freelance photographer – Marc Feldman – was credited with taking both photographs.
In the original photo, a man is pictured in the background behind Bettencourt. In the edited photo, the picture is cropped and the man is edited out.
Reynolds wrote that he called Getty Images’s New York picture desk and let the editor know of his discovery. A mandatory photo kill was put on the photo “a short while later,” Reynolds reported.
Bettencourt won his first PGA Tour victory at that Reno-Tahoe Open, the PGA Tour website says.
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The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics advises to “never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations,” and to “avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news event.”
Getty Images is a “creator and distributor of still imagery, footage, music and other premium content.”
iMediaEthics wrote July 7 when the Economist edited its cover image to show only President Barack Obama, cropping out one person and removing another from the original Reuters photo.
iMediaEthics wrote May 21 when the West Virginian newspaper The Dominion Post edited three politicans out of a photo on its front page.
In 2008, Mark Fraeunfelder blogged calling out Getty Images for this photo which ran in The Washington Post. The picture shows golfer Phil Mickelson standing both “behind and in front of Tiger Woods.”
iMediaEthics has written to Getty Images and will post any response.