Shibnath Basu from India entered what many think was a fake photo in the 2008 International Photography Contest at National Geographic–and won “Viewers’ Choice.” Once his alleged deception was reported on Photoshopdisasters, National Geographic withdrew the photo without comment or correction on the contest page.
Basu’s caption said, “These shallow waters are mainly famous for flamingos at Nal Sarovar near Ahmedabad,Gujarat, India. The picture shows the reflection of clouds on water.”
Even though Photoshopdisasters declared the image a fake, Ellen Stanley, Vice President, Communications said they are still investigating and sent StinkyJournalism a statement.
It said, “The International Photography Contest from National Geographic has sparked unparalleled interest from photographers around the world, with some 220,000 submissions this year worldwide. The rules of the competition clearly state that no altered images can be submitted. It has come to our attention that one of the Viewers’ Choice winners of the English-language competition might be an altered image. When we asked our panel of photography experts to review it, they believed it to be questionable. To give the photographer the benefit of the doubt, we asked him to send us the source negative, which we have not yet received. For now, we will remove the image from the Web site until the matter is resolved.” A Dec 17 blog post by Rob Covey on Nat Geo web site repeats this same official statement.
iMediaEthics will let readers know about the outcome of Nat Geo’s investigation.