Conservatives have often complained, rightly, that New York Times photographers and photo editors frequently portray them as grotesques. But did anyone notice the Times Magazine’s cover photo of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner on Sunday? What did he do to deserve that? Among other things, the photo’s colors were clearly manipulated. So in today’s Times comes an “Editor’s Note” that puts the blame on the paper’s equipment, and a “misunderstanding” by its editors:
The cover photograph in The Times Magazine on Sunday rendered colors incorrectly for the jacket, shirt and tie worn by Mark Warner, the former Virginia governor who is a possible candidate for the presidency. The jacket was charcoal, not maroon; the shirt was light blue, not pink; the tie was dark blue with stripes, not maroon.
The Times’s policy rules out alteration of photographs that depict actual news scenes and, even in a contrived illustration, requires acknowledgment in a credit. In this case, the film that was used can cause colors to shift, and the processing altered them further; the change escaped notice because of a misunderstanding by the editors.