‘Blade’ Photog Who Altered Photo Quits Paper

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By: Daryl Lang, Photo District News

Photographer Allan Detrich has resigned from the Toledo Blade as the newspaper continues an investigation into his work.

Last week Detrich admitted manipulating a photograph that ran on the front page of the Blade, but said he meant to use the doctored photo for personal use and transmitted it to the paper by accident.

The Associated Press reported that it removed access to 50 of Detrich’s images that are in the AP photo archive.

In an e-mail Monday, Blade assistant managing editor for administration Luann Sharp said Detrich had resigned effective April 7.

“He has not taken any photographs for the newspaper since his fact-finding meeting last Thursday, regarding the A-1 photo published March 31, on the return to baseball for the Bluffton University team,” Sharp wrote. “We owe it to our readers to complete a thorough review in order to determine if there have been any other photos that were altered prior to publication in our newspaper. Once we have completed that review, we will let our readers know what we found. We expect to complete our investigation this week.”

Reached by phone Monday, Detrich said he was planning to start a new business with two friends. He described the venture as a weather disaster training service, a project not related to photography.

Asked if the Blade would find other examples of manipulation in his work as part of its investigation, Detrich said, “I don’t know what they’re going to find. I’ve put that behind me.”

Sharp said the paper has frozen Detrich’s images in its archive pending a further review.

Detrich has been writing about his situation on his personal blog, PictureThis. In a post Thursday, he repeated the explanation he gave in an interview with PDN, writing that he transmitted the manipulated photo to the newspaper by mistake. He also said he did not alert his editors that the wrong photo had run because he didn’t see the newspaper that day.

On his blog, Detrich apologized to the other newspapers that had picked up his photo, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the newspapers in Cincinnati.

Friday, Detrich wrote, “I realize now, that this might be the end to my newspaper career, I am so sorry this incident happened plain and simple.”

In Detrich’s March 30 photo ? which showed the Bluffton University baseball team praying before their first game after five of their teammates were killed in a bus accident ? a pair of legs had been cloned out of the image. It attracted attention because photographers at other papers had shot the same scene from a similar angle. The controversy was first reported Thursday by the NPPA’s News Photographer magazine.

Detrich had worked for the Blade since 1989. He has won numerous awards, including an individual nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in feature photography in 1998.

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