On Spiegel Online, Matthias Krug and Stefan Niggemeier note that with "mounting competition in the market for news images" photojournalists are forced in having their work digitally enhanced to "make their output as dramatic as possible. But where are the limits of cosmetic improvement?"
A week ago Paul Hansen, who took the photo for the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, received the World Press Photo Award 2013 for the image. At the awards ceremony in Amsterdam, he talked about how the photo came about. He was fighting back tears as he described what it was like to visit the surviving family members once again, months after the funeral.
But one thing Hansen didn't want to talk about is how much the power of this image is the result of skillful editing. He had intended to bring along the RAW file, which is essentially the photo's digital original, for comparison purposes -- but he claims that he forgot to bring it. Hansen does not want to participate in the discussion, which he feels is unseemly, but that doesn't stop the discussion from taking place.
Pro-Israeli bloggers and journalists, in particular, had accused him of manipulation and embellishment. Other photographers have also been critical of the photo's selection for the World Press Award. Some fear that the boundaries are becoming blurred between journalistic photography, on the one hand, and artistic and commercial image design, on the other. Industry publications like Freelens Magazin have also voiced criticism of the trend.
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