WaPo Photo Editor on 'Composite Exposure' Photo - iMediaEthics

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(Credit: Washington Post, screenshot)

In mid-January, the Washington Post addressed reader concerns about a Jan. 13 front-page photo.

According to the Post photography director Michel du Cille, readers — and Poynter — had questions about the photo’s caption, which said:

“A jetliner flies high over a tranquil scene at the 14th Street bridge, where 30 years ago winter weather and human error conspired to bring down Air Florida Flight 90 in a disaster that claimed 78 lives. This image is a composite created by taking several photos and combining them with computer software to transcend the visual limitations of standard photography. See stories, B1. For more photos, video and other coverage, go to postlocal.com.”

In an “Ask the Post” blog post, du Cille explained that the Post was trying to be “transparent to the reader  and convey that we had performed a technological task outside of our normal process” but two wording choices instead “created confusion.”  Du Cille explained that the Post should have written “exposure limitations” instead of “visual limitations” and “composite exposures” instead of “composite.”

Du Cille noted that the Post is “very ethical about photography” and won’t “manipulate photos.”  He added: “When we use technology for illustration imagery, we try to be transparent to the reader.”

Hat Tip: Peta Pixel

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WaPo Photo Editor on ‘Composite Exposure’ Photo

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