A couple of days ago, the Sacramento Bee was caught in a bit of a bind when they discovered that longtime staff photographer Bryan Patrick had spliced a photo that they published on their front page. It wasn’t an earth-shattering type of image that involved any politics or major world event. Rather, the photo, which was taken during the Galt Winter Bird Festival, merely showed an egret with a frog that it had captured in its mouth.
The manipulation was discovered after a reader noticed it and pointed it out to the editors. The Sacramento Bee quickly issued a notice saying that they had suspended Patrick. But the latest word is that the Bee has now fired the offending photographer after they discovered that this wasn’t the first time he edited or digitally enhanced his photographs.
The image that you see below is another one that Patrick manipulated. If you take note of the encircled areas, you will notice that the flames have been subtly enhanced to appear brighter and bigger than they actually were.
The Sacramento Bee posted this notice on their website announcing their decision to fire Patrick:
“After The Bee published a correction and apology online Wednesday and in print Thursday, editors reviewed a selection of Patrick’s work and found two additional digital alterations that violate The Bee’s standards. […] In a 2009 photograph of the Auburn wildfire that was published unaltered in the newspaper, Patrick subtly enlarged the flames in the photograph submitted for a winning entry to the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association annual contest. An anonymous email to The Bee late Thursday cast suspicion on that photograph.”
It’s a shame that Patrick chose to resort to such lengths, when I believe that he has enough talent to produce amazing shots without the need to manipulate any of his images.