Doctored photos caught by Reuters

Pipeline 'fix' comes after photographer in Mideast is punished

Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Reuters news agency said Monday it has cut its ties with a Beirut-based freelance photographer who it found had manipulated two photographs from the ongoing fighting in Lebanon. It also removed all 920 pictures by the photographer from its database.

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One of the photographs by Adnan Hajj showed the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on an area of suburban Beirut. It had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more and darker smoke rising from the buildings.

Also on Monday, The Associated Press recalled a photo transmitted Sunday night of a worker in Alaska examining an oil pipeline.

The worker appeared to have four hands, and there were other elements such as a section of pipe that appeared to have a double image.

Lyon said the distortions by photographer Al Grillo were unintentional and resulted from careless use of a software feature in Photoshop called a "cloning tool." The photographer had used the feature in an attempt to clear up a glitch in the picture caused by a dirty sensor, the part of a digital camera that records the image.

AP's ethical guidelines permit use of "cloning" in limited circumstances to clean up dirt or scratches from an image.

Lyon said the error was not caught by either the photographer or the editing desk before it was transmitted on the AP's photo service. He said the company was reviewing disciplinary actions against Grillo and others involved..

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