Photographer Stripped of Award for Fraud
July 19, 2010 /PN/ The top prize winner of the 2010 "Human and Water" international photography competition, Zhang Ziping, was stripped of the title after he was found to have plagiarized his work, the Yangtse Evening News reports Monday.
The original photo was taken by a Lanzhou-based newspaper photographer, Ren Shichen, and it features two people carrying water along a mountainous road.
"I took this photo on February 22, 2007 in Zhengning county of Gansu Province. Local villagers at that time had to fetch water from downhill because the well dried up. When I stood on the mountain road and looked down, I saw the villagers' silhouettes and was inspired to take the picture," Ren told the Global Times Monday. "I was astonished when I heard of the award."
Zhang Ziping – who won the award – reversed and cropped the original image.
Ren said he has spent 10 years visiting more than 100 villages in the provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi and in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. He said he has taken more than 3,000 photos.
Ren said he would demand 50,000 yuan ($7,353) in compensation from Zhang.
"The photos are my painstaking work and Zhang's behavior has infringed on my copyright and right of honor. I feel offended," he said.
The organizing committee issued an online notice Friday to cancel Zhang's award and also issued an apology to Ren.
Zhang has reportedly taken part in many photography contests and won several prizes.