Webster University Journal
Policy for the Ethical Use of Photographs

Generally Allowed:
Brightness/contrast control
Burning & dodging to control tonal range
Color correction
Cropping a frame to fit the layout
Retouching of dust & scratches

Never Allowed:
Adding, moving, or removing objects within the frame
Color change other than to restore what the subject looked like
Cropping a frame in order to alter its meaning
Flopping a photograph (left/right reversal)
Printing a photograph in other than "true" orientation

Special concerns that may require further discussion when their use is being considered:

Any images that are staged or fundamentally altered will be prominently labeled as Photo Illustrations, and will be credited following the format, "Photo Illustration by Lillian Bassman, photographer and Alexei Brodovitch, designer." Photo Illustrations will never be represented as news photographs. Color-enhanced photographs (e.g., duotone printing of monotone images) must be prominently labeled as Photo Illustrations. Color enhancement should never alter the meaning of the picture. Photo Illustrations should be used sparingly.

Archive photos should be clearly labeled and credited following the format, "Photo by W. Eugene Smith/Journal File Photo." Archive photos are previously published pictures, and should be used sparingly, e.g. when an earlier event is again in the news. A photograph that was taken significantly prior to publication, but was not previously published, must be clearly labeled through the caption. (Captions must always accurately reflect the content of the photograph.)

Overlapping of photographs should be avoided in a layout unless absolutely necessary, and even then must never alter the meaning of a picture.

Back to Advanced Photojournalism

Back to The World on Reserve

Back to Bill Barrett's home page