Bravo, World Press Photo – Now, Tell Us Who the Liars Are

Nearly one out of five images that made it to the final rounds of the the World Press Photo competition were lies. ONE OUT OF FIVE.

I applaud what Lars Boering is doing and how World Press Photo is now requiring the original, untouched images from entrants that make it to a certain level in the competition for comparisons sake. I’m horrified that the percentage of images deemed unacceptably altered is at 20%. Horrified.


It seems some photographers can’t resist the temptation to aesthetically enhance their images during post-processing either by removing small details to ‘clean up’ an image, or sometimes by excessive toning that constitutes a material change to the image. Both types of retouching clearly compromise the integrity of the image.

If you can’t resist the temptation, you’re not a photojournalist. If you can’t resist the temptation to alter the image, you’re not seeking truth and reporting it. If you can’t resist the temptation to retouch, you are no longer portraying the reality of our world.

If you can’t resist the temptation, you are a liar.

I want to know what the standard is for World Press Photo. I want to know how far they were altered. I want to know whose images these were.

I want to know who the liars are.

Mark E. Johnson

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