Even the most experienced professionals can make mistakes. However, Nikon, with its 10 million fans on Facebook, made a big one.
The firm recently announced it was giving a prize to Chay Yu Wei for catching “an airplane in mid-air.” However, the original didn’t actually have a plane, as it was Photoshopped into the image, leaving Nikon red in the face and scrambling to apologize.
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) January 30, 2016
— Hype Malaysia (@HypeMY) January 31, 2016
The photo was poorly edited and was easy for anyone with experience in Photoshop to find the “levels” or “curves.”
The photographer also added fuel to the fire. On Twitter, someone asked him: “How long did you wait for that plane?” to which he replied: “Not too long! I was lucky! Thank you so much!”
User Kang Heong noted the Photoshop error on Nikon’s Facebook post, saying: “I believe the story behind the image is closer to: ‘Yu Wei chanced upon a set of ladders and thought the view above would look nicer with a plane,” according to The Mirror.
“He went home and digitally manipulated the picture to add an airplane.”
A number of people added their own flavor to the image.
Nikon has since apologized for the gaffe.
Oh Nikon Singapore, your follow up response is even worse than your first. Time to put out a RFP & hire new agency. pic.twitter.com/5d6DBu2iHM
— Jason Lioh (@jasonlioh) January 31, 2016
Here’s the apology, in full:
At Nikon, we believe that innovation and imagination are at the heart of every image. While innovation is driven by the technological advances in our devices and cameras, we see imagination as the ability to see greatness and use each and every tool at your disposal to make them real.
NikonCaptures is a casual photography contest that focuses not on the devices or props you use, but on the imagination and creativity that each photographer exudes while capturing and sharing their images. We have taken in every feedback received, and we sincerely apologise for the oversight on our part. We are now in the process of carefully revisiting the contest’s rules and regulations, for the benefit of all our current NikonCaptures members. We will update everyone of the contest rules once we have revisited all of them.
At the same time, we welcome the funny and witty entries being shared in response to our recently awarded image. It’s with joy that we acknowledge that the global photography and image community is alive and thriving. We thank you for the numerous spontaneous contributions and encourage everyone to keep the imagination alive.
Also, Chay Yu Wei has since apologized, saying “I crossed the line by submitting the photo for a competition.”
Hello everyone, This goes out to everyone who has seen my Chinatown plane post. I’m sorry! This is going to be quite a read so that’s the first thing I would like you to read if you don’t have time to read below; I would like to apologize for the mistake I have done. 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.