Photoshop, Photos and Ethics: Softball

Written by Bill Hankins

Sports shots typically need a ball in the picture. To the far left are two of about 50 shots I took recently at a local softball game. The first shot is sharp with good action, but no ball. The second is not a peak moment, but the ball is sharp.  Presto/chango! I took the ball out of one picture and put it near the bat on the image above. I did this in about five minutes; a little longer and it would blend even better. Ethical? No. I would not run this composite photo and call it reality. If I cannot capture an image to be proud of while I am in the field, I am surely not going to be proud of an image I have manufactured on my computer. Truth matters.

Another lesson here: By shooting 50 images at the game, I had four or five hitters with the ball close to the bat. Shoot a lot. Give yourself some choices in editing and you will not be drawn to the edge of an ethical cliff.


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Bill Hankins

Bill Hankins taught scholastic photojournalism for 26 years, advised student publications for 29 years, and instructed more than 1,600 photojournalists, mostly at Oak Park High School in Kansas City. Before retiring, Hankins received the Missouri Journalism Teacher of the Year Award, the Pioneer Award from the NSPA, the Certificate of Merit from the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the JEA.