Thursday's New York Times will include a startling admission. Several photos in a Sunday magazine photography essay on abandoned construction sites were digitally doctored -- or, as the paper puts it, "the images did not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show." The paper says it has confronted the photographer, Edgar Martins, who admitted to altering the images.
The correction was prompted by a sharp-eyed Minnesota reader named Adam Gurno. He's a computer programmer from Rosemount. His proof of the alteration was widely discussed in the blogosphere this week - including MPR's News Cut blog. Gurno describes the image that raised his suspicions to MPR's Tom Crann.
The NYTimes sent MPR a note saying they would be running the following correction:
A picture essay in The Times Magazine on Sunday and an expanded slide show on Nytimes.com entitled "Ruins of the Second Gilded Age" showed large housing construction projects across the United States that came to a halt, often half-finished, when the housing market collapsed. The introduction said that the photographer, a freelancer based in Bedford, England, "creates his images with long exposures but without digital manipulation."
A reader, however, discovered on close examination that one of the pictures was digitally altered, apparently for esthetic reasons. Editors later confronted the photographer and determined that most of the images did not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show. Had the editors known that the photographs had been digitally manipulated, they would not have published the picture essay, which has been removed from NYTimes.com.