DIYP was one of the first to report about Nikon Singapore awarding a trolley bag to a Photoshopped photo (you can read the full story here). While both the internet and Nikon SG have been having a great deal of fun with the photo, Yu Wei have been taking quite a deal of abuse. From something that was supposed to be a fun photo contest, this has become an open season on Yu Wei.
His Instagram account (which is quite awesome) was flamed with bad comments, some bordering on harassment.
If you have not been around here is the original image Yu Wei submitted
Yu Wei has made a huge apology on his Instagram account and he also sent us the following letter.
Yu Wei’s Letter
I am the one who submitted the Chinatown plane post, and I would like to address it.
I’ve been quiet so far because I’ve been trying to contact Nikon and have been waiting for them to contact me back to discuss about this. I understand that what I would say might affect Nikon’s brand hence I decided to wait for their advice. However, since more than 24 hours have passed and I have not managed to have discussions with Nikon, I think I shouldn’t wait and it’s important for me to come out to address this issue.
Like one user commented, I was on a photo walk in Chinatown and I chanced upon that set of ladders. I snapped a picture of it, and subsequently felt that a plane at that spot would make for an interesting point of view. Hence, I inserted the plane with PicsArt and uploaded it to Instagram. That’s how I use Instagram, sometime it’s to showcase the work I’m proud of, sometimes just to have fun. This case, that small plane was just for fun and it was not meant to bluff anyone. I would have done it with photoshop if I really meant to lie about it, but no, it was a playful edit using the PicsArt app and uploaded to Instagram. When my friends commented with some questions, I also answered it jokingly, saying it’s the last flight of the day and saying it was my lucky day that I did not wait too long. At that time, of course everyone who read it took it as a joke, before this issue arrived and it is taken seriously.
However, I made a mistake by not keeping it to Instagram as a casual social media platform. I crossed the line by submitting the photo for a competition. I meant it as a joke and I’m really sorry to Nikon for disrespecting the competition. It is a mistake and I shouldn’t have done that. I also shouldn’t have jokingly answered Nikon that I caught the plane in mid-air and should have just clarified that the plane was edited in using PicsArt. This is my fault and I sincerely apologise to Nikon, to all Nikon Photographers, and to the photography community as general.
This has been a great lesson to me, and I hope I will be a wiser person to use this as encouragement to polish my photography skill. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I also appreciate all the supports from friends around me.
I think this got out of hand.
I think that if someone wants to have some fun, he is totally entailed to do so. And I think that the creative vision in this photo outweighs the fact that it was poorly shopped. Comeon’, if he wanted to cheat, his compositing work would have been much, much better, no?
Where do we go from here?
Photographer and digital artist Mezame Shashin-ka (who made the title composite) has some ideas:
Being a digital artist myself, I understand the urge to create something really beautiful using software, bringing to reality the fantastic what reality could not in my images.
I left comments on Nikon’s Facebook page, suggesting that perhaps they could launch a contest that allows digital artists such as myself to submit composites instead.
Others have recommended that Nikon take a second look at their rules and regulations to ensure fairness and authenticity amongst participants.
Very few photography contests offer such rules, and I think it would do great service to the photography community to have such contests, as long as the rules and regulations or guidelines for the competition are clear.
At the end of the day, I have come to realize that Yu Wei is just like any of us creatives.
We all want to take beautiful pictures and share amazing images with the rest of the world.
To Yu Wei, keep on creating amazing images.
looks like Nikon are taking the image down after discussing with Yu Wei. That would be pretty sad, as the comments on this photo are golden (good thing we have screen shots) Here is what Nikon says:
We are heartened that the community is so passionate about maintaining the highest standards of pure photography. We recognise that the image “Look Up” has drawn a lot of commentary from the community largely because it is not a reflection of photography. As such, “Look Up” should not have a place beside other good contributions from the community that represent this standard.
We have engaged with the contestant on this, who has offered to withdraw from the competition in agreement with this conclusion. These reasons compel us to do the right thing by our community and by the standards that are expected of Nikon, and as such, we will shortly be removing “Look Up” from our pages