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I'll say it again.

He did no more than the dodging and shading we all used to do in the darkroom and there is nothing there that wasn't in the original file.

My view as well.

 

As to some coments in the thread about it turning misery into "art". Sorry, I don't agree. It was a photojournalism award for goodness sake, not some art competition. The photographer was on an assignment to tell the world a story, and one that needs telling. And he did it superbly.

 

As to some comments about keeping the image true (or words to that effect). No image from any camera, film or digital, is true to any actual scene. We all know that there is a vast dynamic range differential between any capturing device, and what the eye/brain combination "sees". One could easily argue that the post processing done to this image increased the visual impact more towards what the photographer saw in that scene, at least in an emotional impact context.

 

Ken

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He made three raw exports, to best capture shadow and highlight detail, and used techniques in digital pp which are exactly analagous to those used in the darkroom by W Eugene Smith (and well documented with his marked-up contacts and prints for 'Minnemata' etc), and little different from the darkroom print methods used by: The Guardian under Frank Herholdt as Chief Photographer (Don McPhee, and many others), Magnum darkrooms, or by Sebastiao Salgado.

 

It's complete hypocrisy to slam into digital photographers who try to make their images look right and reproduce well in all media, while accepting the darkroom hand printing manipulation used (but without the sin of cropping...) in 35mm photojournalism over the years.

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