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balajisrinivasan

Telling the truth in Editorials

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9 hours ago, Phil Lowe said:

you are not just a stock photographer anymore, but a photojournalist, and SS expects....

I'm sure of it. 
We, the poorly paid but creative stock photographers stalk on quiet soles through the world history.
We are already on the spot before there is anything to uncover and hold the camera (with the 50 mm lens) right in the middle of it. 
We are active worldwide, always on the side of the good, beautiful and true. 
Because we, not those sleepyheads in the editorial offices, know exactly what is right. 
We are the real and honest bearers of the news and remain humble. 
At least that's what our pimp says. 


A beautiful imagination, as beautiful as Santas and unicorns. 
Of course, one does not like to hear that one is in the lower caste.
But in fact we are nothing more than the curbside girls in the photo business with our pictures. 
We are bought cheaply, used cheaply and after a short satisfaction of the needs of the market we are thrown away with a grunt. 
We are stock photographers.

 

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We are not photo journalists. That is a profession with years of training and professional pay. We do not have those responsibilities. We are ordinary people who take a photo in a street and hope to be paid a few cents for it. We have no idea where, how or to whom our photos will be sold and used. That is the buyer's responsibility not ours. Our responsibility is to create an accurate title/description. Then we create keywords as a tool to attract buyers to our image. Those keywords don't have to just represent what is in the image but also its associations. We follow Sstock rules. Those are the parameters of our responsibilities as I understand them.

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15 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

We are not photo journalists. That is a profession with years of training and professional pay. We do not have those responsibilities. We are ordinary people who take a photo in a street and hope to be paid a few cents for it. We have no idea where, how or buy whom our photos will be sold. That is the buyer's responsibility not ours. Our only responsibility is to create an accurate title/description. Then we create keywords as a tool to attract buyers to our image. Those keywords don't have to just represent what is in the image but also its associations. We follow Sstock rules. Those are the parameters of our responsibilities as I understand them.

Yeah, I miss that kind of clarity in my speech. 
I'm 110% with you, but I think my unicorn is more romantic. 

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1 hour ago, Studio 2 said:

We are not photo journalists. That is a profession with years of training and professional pay. We do not have those responsibilities.

As I see it Debby, anyone submitting editorial images is automatically accepting those responsibilities. We are not supposed to materially alter editorial images, but detecting such changes if they have been skillfully done, I'd say is very difficult. There is no doubt that a proportion of images submitted and accepted as editorial have been changed (against the rules) and I'd suggest that if there were some future legal fall-out due to the use of such images to misrepresent a news story, the photographer might find him or herself in very hot water indeed. 

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5 minutes ago, Mark Godden said:

As I see it Debby, anyone submitting editorial images is automatically accepting those responsibilities. We are not supposed to materially alter editorial images, but detecting such changes if they have been skillfully done, I'd say is very difficult. There is no doubt that a proportion of images submitted and accepted as editorial have been changed (against the rules) and I'd suggest that if there were some future legal fall-out due to the use of such images to misrepresent a news story, the photographer might find him or herself in very hot water indeed. 

That is just following the S'stock rules which I said we must do along with accuracy in title/description. 

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4 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

That is just following the S'stock rules which I said we must do along with accuracy in title/description. 

Definitely. Follow the rules and the risk of any future issues are minimal. 🙂 

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23 minutes ago, Mark Godden said:

There is no doubt that a proportion of images submitted and accepted as editorial have been changed (against the rules)

I submit many editorials. In fact, at the very beginning, I have so far changed one picture where I darkened the sky afterwards (before submitting). This was a violation of the rules, so there are indeed the cases you described. 
However, I believe that, like me, these are rare exceptions.  What is the point of a stock photo in changing it afterwards?
I don't know who buys it or what it is used for, so it doesn't make sense to direct the image statement in a certain direction. 
We are not journalists here and we are not artists. We are commercial photographers of the lowest level. 
Bored retired people, who spend the time until the coffin lid falls, with a few snapshots to show off. 


And that's why we are allowed to do editorials from a beach with a 380 mm lens. 

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32 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

That is just following the S'stock rules which I said we must do along with accuracy in title/description. 

Shutterstock has also written ‘guidelines’ about keywords being accurate and truthful:

Creating Keywords

Since editorial images are used to illustrate newsworthy events and subjects of human interest, it is important that keywords for these images be accurate and truthful. Never add keywords that could be misleading. For example, if an editorial image features a product manufactured by Magnavox, do not use pair the keyword “Sony” with the image.”

If people are submitting photos as editorial with the expectation of the photos being used by media outlets and being paid then they are acting as a photojournalist, regardless of whether they’re paid 33c or $333, and should act with integrity in respect of both descriptions and keywords.

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19 minutes ago, geogif said:

We are commercial photographers of the lowest level. 
Bored retired people, who spend the time until the coffin lid falls,

It is nice to see such a positive outlook 🙂

 

Check out: http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/walski

The tweaking of images happens. 

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On 5/17/2020 at 8:53 PM, Phil Lowe said:

Putting keywords like COVID-19 and coronavirus in the metadata for an image not taken during the pandemic is false and misleading.  CBS News here in the states recently got its hands slapped for using uncredited footage from an Italian hospital (file) to describe conditions in New York City.  

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cbs-news-italian-hospital/

It left CBS News executives apologizing for the "mistake".  It was not a mistake.  I know exactly what happened.  They needed to fill that piece with hospital footage, were probably under a tight deadline, and the producer grabbed the first footage they could find.  It would've been acceptable to chyron the footage as file from Italy, with date, time, and a brief explanation ("scenes like this from Italy are now common in New York"), but using file footage the way they did was misleading, and they got called on it.  

If a buyer wants to use a generic photo of a vacant building or empty streets to describe a pandemic, that's their choice, but the photographer should not encourage such use in the keywords.  That would make the photographer as culpable as the buyer for any misuse of, and blowback from, the image.  IMHO.

First of all, SS doesn't save the metadata of any file.

Second, public televisions are using the same footage and different channels present it as happening in different places (countries/ towns). Then, you see an inscription, a label or smth. in another language than the mentioned location and you realize it is fake.

I am too lazy to check my old files to see what could be used for corona documentation but I don't think that we, pennystock photographers should be more catholic as the pope.

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9 minutes ago, Mark Godden said:

It is nice to see such a positive outlook 🙂

 

Check out: http://www.alteredimagesbdc.org/walski

The tweaking of images happens. 

Do you really believe that using a telephoto lens is as shameful as using a photomontage as an editorial?

And is the photo in your link really a stock photo? Are you sure about that?

I got used to the fact that apples and oranges are constantly being compared here. But you throw things into a pot here that really don't fit together. 

Using a fake only makes sense if you have a purpose. You can only have a purpose if you know what the photo is being used for and where it's being used.  A photojournalist knows. A stockphotographer does not. There is no sense in faking editorial stock photography. 

 

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On 5/17/2020 at 11:58 AM, Phil Lowe said:

I would not.  Editorial is all about integrity: integrity of the image, integrity of the caption/information, integrity of the photographer, and the integrity of Shutterstock.  It's your responsibility as a photojournalist (that's what an editorial photographer is), to convey accurate information about the photo you took so that those who use it can have confidence in its use.  Using keywords or descriptions like "COVID-19" or "coronavirus" for images that were not taken during the pandemic is not only dishonest but unethical.  As importantly, inaccurate or misleading descriptions on editorials can get your account suspended.  All it takes is for one customer to use your image as you've described it, only to get called out on it publicly, and that crap-train is going to roll down on you via Shutterstock.

Why risk it?

IMHO.

 

 

Have to agree with Phil, though i would point out that Coronavirus is generic word, so you could fairly have the KW used for image prior to 2019.... The bottle of hand sanitizer from the SARS epidemic could be labelled "Coronavirus Pandemic impact" truthfully  

 

And this brings another point for KW, it would be appropriate to update old image with new "buzzword" searches.....  Images of "Social distancing" do not have to be only in last 3 months...  

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13 minutes ago, Whiteaster said:

First of all, SS doesn't save the metadata of any file.

Second, public televisions are using the same footage and different channels present it as happening in different places (countries/ towns). Then, you see an inscription, a label or smth. in another language than the mentioned location and you realize it is fake.

I am too lazy to check my old files to see what could be used for corona documentation but I don't think that we, pennystock photographers should be more catholic as the pope.

you mean the guy who takes an image of wine and claims it's blood?

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10 minutes ago, jean-francois me said:

you mean the guy who takes an image of wine and claims it's blood?

Yes, I find it very strange to even mention ethics and morality at stock agencies where stealing each others work is a common occurrence.

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1 hour ago, Ricoh Mirai User Club said:

If people are submitting photos as editorial with the expectation of the photos being used by media outlets and being paid then they are acting as a photojournalist, regardless of whether they’re paid 33c or $333, and should act with integrity in respect of both descriptions and keywords.

Exactly my point.  Thank you.

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29 minutes ago, jean-francois me said:

the guy who takes an image of wine and claims it's blood?

It's even worse in the churches around here.
To protect the alcoholics and children, they use grape juice instead of wine.
Doublefake.

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When 'Forum Reactions' was invented last year two of the people on this thread who are taking the high road where 'journalistic' ethics is concerned systematically went through ALL the posts on the forums of another person on this thread and marked them down in order to wreck his reputation.  High moral double standards indeed.

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1 hour ago, geogif said:

Do you really believe that using a telephoto lens is as shameful as using a photomontage as an editorial? At which point did I say that? I didn't actually say anything like that. 

And is the photo in your link really a stock photo? Are you sure about that? I know it was not a stock photo, I was attempting to make the point that fakery happens even at the top of the photographic profession? If it happens there, you can bet ti happens to some extent in stock photography as well. 

I got used to the fact that apples and oranges are constantly being compared here. But you throw things into a pot here that really don't fit together. I was never a very good cook. 

Using a fake only makes sense if you have a purpose. You can only have a purpose if you know what the photo is being used for and where it's being used.  A photojournalist knows. A stockphotographer does not. There is no sense in faking editorial stock photography. Maybe you are correct but I believe that there could be many instances where a bit of tweaking of an editorial image (the removal of distracting elements for example) could make it more attractive for buyers. On this we will have to agree to disagree...   🙂

 

 

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7 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

We are not photo journalists.

Well, some of us are, and some of us are not. And not all of us are retired either, Geogif. But as someone with a few decades of news under my belt I can tell you that shooting for news (whether as staff photog or freelance) is not all that much different from shooting editorial for stock. If you are working for a news outlet, you get an assignment to cover something. Then you go out and shoot everything interesting you see. Then you go through what you shot, cull it down to the best and present to your editor, who then chooses the pics to publish.

Shooting for stock, the difference is that nobody assigns you. You just go out and shoot what you feel is interesting. And instead of having one editor breathing over your shoulder to come back with decent results, there is no pressure, and you are free to do whatever you please. But in the end, you still cull your work, and you throw it on the virtual table for the unknown editors out there to pick from. There is no promise that anyone will bite, but that's the same if you are working news on spec or as a freelance stringer.

And so it comes down to this, which I completely agree with:

4 hours ago, Ricoh Mirai User Club said:

If people are submitting photos as editorial with the expectation of the photos being used by media outlets and being paid then they are acting as a photojournalist, regardless of whether they’re paid 33c or $333, and should act with integrity in respect of both descriptions and keywords.

 

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I just don't have a life, lol.

Nah, seriously - I run my own business these days, so I work when there is work, and in between I have time on my hands. But right now there's nothing but time, as Covid-19 has pretty much flatlined my industry (corporate video production and live events / conferences).

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