Editors' BlogApril 19, 2007

100 Greatest Photo

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100greatest_pinevalley

They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum. --Tallulah Bankhead, in* The 2548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said*

Steve Buist from Hamilton, Ontario questions a photo that ran on pages 132-133 of the May issue as part of our 100 Greatest Package:

__I suggest to you that the flagpole and the flagstick which appear in the distance in this photo have been altered to make them appear more visible. I'm in the newspaper business, and we consider it a no-no to doctor a photo without pointing it out to readers. If that's what happened here, please assess yourself a two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect photo. (We won't disqualify you.)

__Interesting that Steve should point to that photo. The final calculation of the 100 Greatest, based on panelist evaluations, ocurred in January. Between then and when the May issue closed in March there was not time to update photos on file. It was still winter in Pine Valley.   But Ron Whitten's story focused on changes even the best courses were making to keep up and the most dramatic change at Pine Valley was at No. 18, in the bunkering along the right side of the fairway, and our photos depicted the hole prior to those changes. In order to be completely accurate, we put out a call to other photographers. The best photo, it turned out, was taken by Charlie Raudenbush, the head professional at Pine Valley. It belonged to the club.

Photo Editor Matt Ginella takes it from there:__

So this came to us from Pine Valley.  It's always dangerous to pick up images - especially course photos because they aren't a "news" photo and there is a better chance the photographer or course has altererd the image to make it look better.  That being said, a course photo is not held to the same standards as a news photo.  In other words, removing a rake, greening the fairways, etc happens more with course photos (instruction photos and portraits as well) than it does with a news photo (altering a news photo more than a crop, sharpening or varying the exposure is always a no-no).  I'm not sure anyone made any changes to this picture, but even so I'm not sure making the flagstick more visible is a two- stroke penalty.  That is something that could have been done in a darkroom (burning more light into a certain portion of the image) and that, even in the newspaper business, usually makes it okay.  The general rule being - if you could have done it in the darkroom you can do it in Photoshop without guilt.__

Steve, what's your ruling now?