Night Parrot debate

Subject: Night Parrot debate
From: Eric Jeffrey <>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:32:31 -0400 (EDT)
A quick view from across the ocean.  It is, of course necessary to distinguish between news media and what are essentially publications for entertainment.  Even many news media will "manipulate" photos when the change has no substantive relevance.  When reading a birding magazine,as opposed to a scientific journal, I no more expect bird photos to be untouched for cosmetic reasons than I do models on magazine covers.
I understand the importance of the discovery, but this quibbling strikes me as essentially a tempest in a teapot among people impatient to see the raw photos..
Just my two cents (or about 2.1 cents in Australian dollars).
Eric Jeffrey
Falls Church, VA
-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Taylor <>
To: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Cc: birding-aus <>
Sent: Tue, Oct 15, 2013 10:16 am
Subject: Night Parrot debate

On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 06:38:59PM +1000, Lloyd Nielsen wrote:
>  The photo (a jpg!) was not for
> scientific consumption but for PUBLIC consumption! What is the drama
> over that? Some people seem to have problems differentiating between
> the two - just read the debate on Bird Forum. It is something which
> happens a million times a day in the publishing world.

Actually it doesn't. This sort of modification of news photos is anathema
to major news organizations . The Australian which published John's
photos editorial policy prohibits such manipulation.

I don't know Australian Birdlife's policy, but I think many of
its readers would be disappointed it has published bird images with
part of the plumage faked (cloned from elsewhere).

No doubt some news organisations are less scrupulous and in other parts
of the media digital manipulation is ubiquitous, but John Young himself
said in an ABC interview (about fig parrot photos) that such manipulation
in this context was inappropriate:

"I lightened them, darkened them, did my own sort of stuff and I was
criticised and probably rightly so."

And in a 2007 story about the fig parrot he said he'd
avoiding even the possibility of such alterations in future:

" [Mr Young] has since bought a special $6000 camera which takes pictures
which cannot be digitally altered"


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