Editor & Publisher noticed that the New York Times had taken down a slideshow of photos by Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins that had appeared in this Sunday’s magazine depicting abandoned house construction projects in the wake of the financial crisis.
Now, instead of the gallery online, there is a short statement from the paper: “The pictures in this feature were removed after questions were raised about whether they had been digitally altered.”
It’s unclear who made the original allegations of Photoshopping, but E&P points to this feed on MetaFilter.com. One of the posters replied with this link, which purports to show evidence of possible digital altering by using animation. Seems like pretty damning evidence to us.
A Times publicist has yet to return a request for comment on the subject.
The question is, do the pictures still have the same impact even if they were Photoshopped? And why would a world-renowned photographer need to do this anyway? It’s not like he needed to airbrush a model or anything. Was the Times right to take the photos off its Web site and should they return them at some point?
Let us know what you think in the comments.
Update: Minnesota Public Radio has an interview with computer programmer Adam Gurno, the MetaFilter poster who discovered the photographic discrepancies. He said he emailed the Times about the MetaFilter conversation and the evidence he found, apparently leading the paper to take the photos down.
“It’s an unfinished house but it would have been fine however he photographed it originally,” Gurno said.