Observer photo was altered improperly Picture in Observer was in violation of accuracy standards RICK THAMES
Accuracy is among our most sacred journalistic values. That goes for the photographs, as well as the words, that we publish.
So, it is with much regret that I inform you that the color in a photograph in Thursday's editions was inappropriately altered before it was published.
The photo, taken by Observer photographer Patrick Schneider, appeared on the front of the Local & State section. It depicted a Charlotte firefighter on a ladder, silhouetted by the light of the early morning sun.
In the original photo, the sky in the photo was brownish-gray. Enhanced with photo-editing software, the sky became a deep red and the sun took on a more distinct halo.
The Observer's photo policy states: "No colors will be altered from the original scene photographed."
Schneider said he did not intend to mislead readers, only to restore the actual color of the sky. He said the color was lost when he underexposed the photo to offset the glare of the sun.
In 2003, Schneider was reprimanded and suspended for three days without pay after editors determined he had inappropriately increased the intensity of colors and darkened backgrounds of several photos.
Because of the most recent violation of our photo policy, Schneider no longer works at the Observer.
We apologize for this misstep. Your trust is important to us. We will do all we can to ensure the integrity of all of our photos going forward.
Wow, talk about a zero tolerance policy! May your weekend be better than Schneider's.