Camera giant Nikon have been left red faced after they awarded first prize in their monthly amateur photography competition to a photo that had been altered with Photoshop. 

Singaporean photographer Chay Yu Wei submitted his entry Look Up, which appeared to capture a plane just as it flew over the fire escape of a building. He commented to users when he submitted the image that it was a really lucky shot and he didn't have to wait long for the plane to fly overhead. 

However, after awarding first prize to Mr. Chay, Nikon were bombarded with thousands of messages pointing out that the plane had very clearly been edited in. 

It also emerged that another photographer put up a similar image on Instagram. 


The classic lookup #putaplaneonit @instagood #featuremeinstagood

A photo posted by Yik Keat (@leeyikkeat) on


That was taken by Singaporean photographer Lee Yik Keat who doesn't know if Mr. Chay used the same image as his but has said that he has always admitted that his photo was a composite. 

Nikon issued an apology over the incident over the weekend and attempted to play down the importance of the incident by labeling it a "casual competition". 

However many feel it's unacceptable for one of the largest camera manufacturers in the world to make such a mistake and try and brush it under the carpet.

Mr. Chay also issued an apology on the same day on Instagram. 


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.

A photo posted by Yu Wei (@yuuuuuwei) on

Nikon have promised to take further action to rectify the problem since then and have removed Mr.Chay's image from their Facebook account.

The Internet's response has naturally been glorious. 

Pic by Naoki Tsukumo

Pic by Alex Hauck/Facebook

Pic by Gx Chua/Facebook

Pic by Glenn Guan/Facebook

Pic by Render Brant/Facebook

Pic by Hui Ying/Facebook