Many McCurry fans are disheartned and these discoveries are casting doubt on the genuinuity of some of his other works. Photojournalists adhere to strict principles that what’s in the frame was actually in the scene. When a photojournalist is caught manipulating images it comes across as deception. McCurry defends his actions by claiming that he has transitioned from photojournalist to visual storyteller. However, I find this answer to be a feeble attempt to soften the damage to his reputation. Steve McCurry is an iconic photojournalist. At no point did he announce that he was no longer going to follow the stringent, ehtical principles of photojournalism.
Once a photojournalists integrity has been brought into question, that damage may be beyond repair. A shadow of doubt is cast and one begins to wander how far back this may have gone. Photoshop and manipulation is a major part of my own workflow so I hold no qualms about it’s usage. However, I am open and upfront about my use of digital editing. I do not try and decept people into believing in an alter reality. On the other hand I would expect a photojournalist to present an honest reflection of the moment, especially someone of McCurry’s calibre.
On a lighter note, in reading up on this ongoing saga I came across a National Geographic Tv video on Youtube about Steve McCurry being selected to shoot the last role of Kodachrome film ever produced. The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUL6MBVKVLI I really enjoyed watching this. It puts things into perspective – 36 exposures of the last role of film to come off the production line. A challenge in selective shooting if there ever was one, definetely no room for error. It’s a shame Kodak didn’t hold out a bit longer because it’s now 2016 and everyone want’s to emulate film.
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