Thursday July 12, 2007

“Hot tar spilling out of a roofing kettle ignited a fire Wednesday afternoon at an under-construction gate-assignment tower at Miami International Airport.” No, not the main tower, and yes, everything’s fine. Here’s the story, but do you see something peculiar? In the photo, by Herald photographer Tim Chapman, there’s a little halo around the top of the tower, which is often a telltale sign of photoshopping. I guess the Herald considers a little digital burn-n-dodge Kosher, but you’d think at least they could be a little less sloppy about it. Here’s the photo, for when the Herald yanks it.

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  1. CL Jahn    Thu Jul 12, 12:04 PM #  

    As a photographer, I agree that the image WAS photoshopped (the forrect term is “post-processed”) – but for a good reason. With the bright sky in the background, details of the damage would have been lost without adjusting the brightness and the contrast on the tower itself.
    They SHOULD have used the wand tool to select the sky, and then used the ‘select inverse’ command to change the selection to the rest of the image. They could then have adjusted the contrast and brightness without creating the odd halo effect.
    But all they did was make it easier to see the damage. I’ve seen the tower damage, and that’s what it looks like.

  2. alesh    Thu Jul 12, 12:14 PM #  

    They only ‘shopped the top half of the tower, but the bottom half seems to be pretty easy to see?

    No biggie I guess, but if you want the tower to be lighter, why not lighten the whole picture and let the sky blow out? With all the hysteria going around about newspaper photographers manipulating digital images, I’d think erring on the side of caution would rule the day.

  3. CL Jahn    Thu Jul 12, 02:12 PM #  

    The bottom half doesn’t have any detail. Prior to processing you would not have been able to see the men moving around on the roof, and even in this version they are difficult to see. The print edition uses a much better photo; it’s a much tighter zoom (or possibly a crop), and the PP is much less evident, although I can see that it has been done.
    But enhancing the brightness and contrast of an image for clarity isn’t considered tampering, and has no negative connotation in the field. The Herald gets a clean slate from me on this one.

  4. that guy    Thu Jul 12, 02:21 PM #  

    They just highlighted the damage. The only thing I would ask is that maybe in the caption put “enhanced to show detail”, or something.

    Shooter probably couldn’t get close in, so he had to make do with being far away, and in less-than-ideal lighting.