By Bastiaan Vanacker
DigitalCustom, a production company in the business of custom editing digital photographs and still images, sponsored the first version (release version #1.0) of ethics guidelines for editing digital images on February 24, 2002. The guidelines reflect comments DigitalCustom received from its users and Web site visitors over the past year. The code is designed to help news, travel and nature editors apply ethical standards when editing digital images. Altering images in the darkroom has been part of photography since its inception, but digital technology has greatly increased the ease and possibilities of changing digital images. Guidelines like these aid editors in maintaining high standards of truth and accuracy while at the same time utilizing the full potential offered by digital technology.
The drafters consider the guidelines to be a work in progress and they plan to release updated versions based on users' feedback. The code is accessible online at