“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
– Ralph Hattersley
Beth Moon has been caught out cloning stars into her work when it was published in National Geographic over the last few days. Her first book of old trees taken on film is beautiful while her second of light painted trees with the stars is breathtaking. It is photographs in this second book she is suddenly in hot water over.
Her response about her assistant doing them in the process of stitching the panoramas is weak as they are clearly cloned in from different parts of the photograph and in at least one instance from another part of the world.
Disappointing to say the least.
The problem isn’t that creative photographers are using such methods, it is when they don’t bother to acknowledge them. When photographers put thier work in straight photography magazines and pass thier work off as straight photography and the general public notices.
The people who read National Geographic expect straight unadulterated photography. They, as a magazine, have been caught out before, the most notable is an issue with a piece of photo art on the cover and not a straight photograph.
Perhaps it’s time the magazine employed a photograph authenticity checker. Like some of the larger photography competitions in the world.
Own you work. It is really simple. Label it appropriately and no one minds. Pass it off as something else and, well, face the consequences.
Sand Blow. Myall Lakes. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2019