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National Geographic disqualifies contest winner because he removed a bag from the picture!


Want to report a story that happened to a photographer who won a National Geographic photo contest with his [shoplink 6136]Fuji X-Pro1 (price & specs)[/shoplink]. Harry Fish sent the following message to Fujirumors:

I won the National Geographic 2012 Photo contest with a FUJI X-PRO1 and was later disqualified. Should you find this news interesting for your Comunity and/ or readers, here you have a link to my blog article
And here another
In case you would like any other kind of media (Word and or images),  please let me know.
Thank you in advance for your time. Regards, Harry”

Of course, you’re welcome. And here we are with the big dilemma. Is removing a single object from a picture such a strong alteration of the artistic value of the pic? See the pictures below, first the winning picture, next the picture with the removed object (the bag on the far right).

He then wrote to the magazine:

I lunged to the computer and sent a mail to [the] editor of the magazine, arguing that a crop, perfectly allowed by the rules, would have done away with the object without further alterations, the bag would have melted with a slight burning-darkening, that  it was unnecessary to remove anything digitally (the rule that bans deleting or adding  tries to  safeguard the spirit or nature of  the photograph. Here the nature nor spirit of the original photo was not altered) and, most of all, that the minimal, slight modification did not alter the picture.

The magazine editor answered:

“.. it is unfortunate you did not crop the bag or just leave it  in, as it really had no impact either way….”.

“no impact”… Well, no comments here. It is the old question about how much you can alter a picture, and when a picture stops to be an original picture. Check Harry’s post to learn all the details about this misadventure. Great pic Harry, in any case!