More Photo Funny Business at Vanity Fair

How hard is it to state that your journalistic “photograph” is actually a photo illustration or composite?

We’ve been over this ground before, but here we go again — with Vanity Fair’s Bono-inspired publicity stunt of 21 public figures posing “together,” with a little help from Photoshop.

As PDNOnline reports:

The print magazine, in which all the cover photos are reproduced inside, offers clues that portraits are composites, but never says so directly. “We decided that 20 different covers had a nice ring to it. That meant 20 individual photo shoots,” Graydon Carter writes in his editor’s letter.

Um, no — 20 covers doesn’t mean 20 different photo shoots, necessarily.

Vanity Fair has been known to blur the line between standards of photojournalism and those of the advertising world — last year adding the picture of an absent journalist to a group photo of Vietnam War correspondents.

While to some the failure to explicitly state that a photo has been Photoshopped may seem a trivial matter, where does it end? When do the offenses that get photojournalists fired today become a normal way to do business?

It may be sooner than we think. I’m sure that 20 years ago, the journalists at CNN never thought — in a million years — that their network would become a 24-hour Paris Hilton talkfest. But little by little, that’s what’s become of it.

[tags]Vanity Fair, Bono, Photoshop[/tags]

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