Photographer Apologizes for Retouching a Vietnam War Photo

Before being discovered as a fraud, the image appeared in the International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan and was published on the Lens Blog.

72 year old Vietnamese photo journalist Doan Cong Tinh apologized for presenting a photoshopped photo from the war in Vietnam.

The image was displayed last year at the International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan (France) and was published in The New York Times Lens Blog. The original photo was made in 1970. It depicts a group of the soldiers climbing a cliff with a waterfall in the background. In the new version some of the figures were removed and waterfall is enhanced. Soon after the fraud was discovered The New York Times removed the image saying that it did not meet their standards of journalism.


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According to Tign, the negative was damaged so he had the picture restored by a service. The photographer says he did not intend to send the photoshopped image to the photo contests, but the photograph was “mistakenly” taken with the other images for exhibition.

The fraud was discovered by Danish photographer Jorn Stjerneklar who was invited to Tinh’s house to look at photos. Stjerneklar noticed the differences and wrote about it in his blog. He says that would not blame Tigh because the photographer was working in propaganda, but he wondered why the jury of the prestigious contest and famous magazine allowed publications of a photoshopped photo.

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