Digitally Removing A Plastic Bag Loses A Photographer The National Geographic Photo Contest Places Win

What is digital manipulation? It’s pretty simple: if you digitally add to or remove from your photo in any way, it’s manipulation. Case in point: Harry Fisch, the announced winner of the prestigious National Geographic Photo Contest in the Places category for 2012, received a shocking email after sending in his original photo titled ‘Preparing the prayers at the Ganges.’ Upon verification of his original photo, he was disqualified.

His fault: he digitally removed a plastic garbage bag lying at the right side of the frame. Mind you, if he had cropped the plastic bag out, I don’t believe the photo would have unduly suffered composition-wise.

Comparing the original and edited images, it looks to me like there was an attempt to crop the photo on the left side too, and some detail there also ended up being digitally edited out.

All in all, the photo is superb and the digital editing is wholly justified for the piece of art it ends up as. Some photo contests couldn’t care less about photo manipulation, others (where the integrity of the picture is very important, as in photo journalism and travel photography), it matters a lot.

View the pictures and read the photographer’s blog explaining the unfortunate event.

via digtalcameraworld