RECENTLY, Nikon Asia created waves of reaction from netizens after they posted a photo of Chay Yu Wei in their Facebook page. The photo passed through judges and eventually won. After all the praises and thank yous, the photo turned out to be edited. Not only edited but badly edited.
I’ve done a lot of judging for photo contests and lucky shots like the one posted by Nikon raises a flag every time. There was one time I was judging for a festival photo contest and a perfect picture with blur effect drew all praises and had an almost perfect score. The contest rule was a jpeg submission, so we had no way of checking the raw. Our only chance of verifying the shot was to check the metadata of the image. It turned out, it was shot at 1/60. There was no way the image could have gotten those long streaks of motion.
I have no qualms with being there at the right place and the right time. I’d be envious, yes, but faking it is the worst thing you can do to your reputation as a photographer. Believe me, your next photos will undergo a lot of scrutiny and negativity. There’s nothing wrong with composite image as long as you declare it. We do that a lot of time in commercial shooting.
Same case with a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who was fired from Associated Press after he admitted he edited his published photos taken during the Syrian war. There is a huge difference between a photograph and an artwork. Maybe editing photos today is as easy as a few clicks, and you can even do a decent editing with your mobile application, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the misrepresentation that kills it.
After seeing a lot of comments from the infamous Nikon case and saw some proof about the editing, I downloaded the image myself and tried to apply an adjustment to draw out the composite element, and yes, sadly it was edited. Badly edited too.
Nikon already acknowledged their mistake and apologised publicly about it. In their statement, they said they read all the comments and that even if some applied some funny exaggeration out of fun, they believe that Nikon shooters are creative. They said that the mass flow of reaction about the winning photo only shows that photography market is growing in numbers.
Oh, about Nikon, they now have a showroom at Escario, Vibo Place. I have yet to visit the place, but if you’re a Nikon user, you must be having a good start of the year. Apart from the showroom, they also launched their new flagship camera, Nikon D5. They don’t call it flagship for no reason, so if 150 focusing points with 99 cross-type sensor gets your attention, then this camera is flagship alright.
Keep on shooting, everyone!