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Re: Photography and the Truth

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 02:51:06 GMT

Not only is John's entire premise flawed, but Dvorak's argument begins with a headline that speaks volumes about himself. "PHOTOS OF THE WAR IN LEBANON WERE "ENHANCED" WITH ADDITIONAL SMOKE. DONE COMPENTENTLY, NOBODY WOULD HAVE CARED.
Getting beyond the ENHANCED bit, just look at his attitude about what journalism should be; and the headline says it all.

There is a children's game in which there is a written story with many of the nouns, verbs and adjectives
removed. Blank spaces are in their place. The child is given a group of words that can be inserted into the blanks to make a funny story. Let's play that game with John's headline:
PHOTOS OF THE ___________ WERE ENHANCED WITH ___________   __________. DONE COMPENTENTLY, NOBODY WOULD HAVE CARED.
Choose from the following, and insert them in the blanks. Make your own headline!
ASASSINATION
POLICEMAN
GRASSY KNOLL
BODIES
CONCENTRATION CAMPS
RED
ADDITIONAL
RIOTERS
PROTESTERS
BLOODY
BLOOD
WOMAN
TORN
BRUISES
DARKENED
CARS
MASKED
TOWERS
PRIEST
IMAM
GUNMEN
CARNAGE
CABBAGES
ASSAULT WEAPONS
BLACK
WHITE
THE MOSQUE
WOODSTOCK
ADOLESCENT
ALTERBOYS
BEHEADING



Re: Photography and the Truth

Mon, 25 Sep 2006 21:40:30 GMT

 EdMacke wrote:Photography is all about presenting reality in a certain light. Every time a picture is taken, choices have been made about how to capture and convey reality: focal length, speed and aperture, filters, B&W or color, what part of the scene is included or discarded, and, yes, even how to position Uncle Dave so it looks like he's holding up the Tower of Pisa.But after those choices have been made, and the camera's shutter is pressed, the true impact of the resulting photograph is that it is, in fact, reality.  Even if it's literally presented through rose-colored glasses, the image is that 1/250th of a second of reality, forever and permanently captured.The disgust with Photoshopped images is not with slight corrections such as cropping or white-balance tweaks - these are similar in nature to traditional photography's burn, dodge, and crop that have more to do with overcoming technical limitations of the medium. The disgust is due to purposeful manipulation of the image, and the viewer, to invent a reality that never happened.John posits that a photograph isn't truth because of the choices made during its composition. But I submit that in the same way a photographer can make choices (subject choice, structure, filters) about how to show reality, John can make choices (word choice, structure, tone) about *he* summarizes reality in his columns.Photography and writing are both art. Both are ways of an artist presenting a vision.  Sometimes that vision is fiction - and labeled as such - and sometimes it is the artist's interpretation of reality. But if it's not fiction, the end result can interpret reality, but it should never lie.John can present his interpretation of truth using curmudgeon filter ("man, that conference was drivel!") but he'd better not outright lie and say he was at the conference if he wasn't.There's a difference between writing about an interpretation of what happened, and making up events that never happened. And everybody who's ever written "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation" knows when they're crossing that line.There's a difference between using Photoshop to "correct" a photo, and using Photoshop to "invent" a photo. And everybody who's ever used Photoshop knows when they're crossing that line.There is a big difference between art, and outright lying. I know it, you know it, and the public at large knows it.The only person that doesn't seem to know it is John.   I couldn't say it better. John has completely missed the mark.  He's on technology not ethics.  The issue is what is expected from journalist and the news media - i.e., integrity, accuracy.  The fact that we can find many instances where journalists/news media don't live up to our expectations doesn't change the expectations.  To carry it a bit further, the fact that there are criminals doesn't change the law.   The example of someone editing a picture to show someone holding up the Tower of Pizza is ---- pointless? ----- misleading?   Everyone can tell that is doctored. Add smoke to a picture that's supposed to be from a war zone - well, is there a war going on or not?  Couldn't find any smoke?  Hmm, what would that mean?  Or, say, how about reporting on an interview with an Iraqi dissident?  Couldn't find one that made the story?  No problem, you know what the story is, just invent an Iraqi dissident that says the things you know to be true.   Etc., etc.[...]



Re: Photography and the Truth

Sun, 24 Sep 2006 12:21:14 GMT

John is right that massive editing of photographs predates digital manipulation. The Soviets were famous for rewriting history, including large scale photomanipulation. A classic example can be see at
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/photography/hoax.htm
where LeLeon Trotsky (next to the podium, wearing a cap in picture #1) stood by Lenin's side in 1920. In the 1927 version of the very same photo, Trotsky had been edited out of the picture. The tools of the time were razor blades, airburshing, and literally cutting and pasting.

Obviously, editors choices on what pictures, stories and emphasis within the stories have at least as large of influence on the impression imparted to the news reader as the pictures themselves.



Re: Photography and the Truth

Fri, 22 Sep 2006 03:52:29 GMT

I made John C. much wider with my photo-editng software.  I think this is just wrong.  Somewhere there is a line.  The very manageable challenge is saying precisely where.
(image) Jeff Scott Olson




Re: Photography and the Truth

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 17:02:11 GMT

Photography is all about presenting reality in a certain light. Every time a picture is taken, choices have been made about how to capture and convey reality: focal length, speed and aperture, filters, B&W or color, what part of the scene is included or discarded, and, yes, even how to position Uncle Dave so it looks like he's holding up the Tower of Pisa.

But after those choices have been made, and the camera's shutter is pressed, the true impact of the resulting photograph is that it is, in fact, reality.  Even if it's literally presented through rose-colored glasses, the image is that 1/250th of a second of reality, forever and permanently captured.

The disgust with Photoshopped images is not with slight corrections such as cropping or white-balance tweaks - these are similar in nature to traditional photography's burn, dodge, and crop that have more to do with overcoming technical limitations of the medium. The disgust is due to purposeful manipulation of the image, and the viewer, to invent a reality that never happened.

John posits that a photograph isn't truth because of the choices made during its composition. But I submit that in the same way a photographer can make choices (subject choice, structure, filters) about how to show reality, John can make choices (word choice, structure, tone) about *he* summarizes reality in his columns.

Photography and writing are both art. Both are ways of an artist presenting a vision.  Sometimes that vision is fiction - and labeled as such - and sometimes it is the artist's interpretation of reality. But if it's not fiction, the end result can
interpret reality, but it should never lie.

John can present his interpretation of truth using curmudgeon filter ("man, that conference was drivel!") but he'd better not outright lie and say he was at the conference if he wasn't.

There's a difference between writing about an interpretation of what happened, and making up events that never happened. And everybody who's ever written "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation" knows when they're crossing that line.

There's a difference between using Photoshop to "correct" a photo, and using Photoshop to "invent" a photo. And everybody who's ever used Photoshop knows when they're crossing that line.

There is a big difference between art, and outright lying.

I know it, you know it, and the public at large knows it.

The only person that doesn't seem to know it is John.




Re: Photography and the Truth

Tue, 19 Sep 2006 14:56:29 GMT

(image)  runninron69 wrote:
Let's find something more important to worry about.Say,for instance,the disaster that will result if those fascist neo-cons win the white house again.

God help us if they don't.




Re: Photography and the Truth

Tue, 19 Sep 2006 14:54:32 GMT

(image)  Sherwood411 wrote:
We expect truth in everything we consume: food, news media, etc my 2 cents Sherwood

I don't expect any truth from the "news media" any more. Ninety-five percent of what they attempt to feed us is bias, editorializing and slant.

Ironically, you can get more "truth" from the opinion shows these days: they have more time to cover any topic, so they can argue their positions and justify their viewpoints with data. The viewer/listener can then research the data provided, determine its validity and qualify the viewpoints proffered.




Re: Photography and the Truth

Mon, 18 Sep 2006 16:36:39 GMT

Is this something that we really need to worry about?What about that kid down the street with the 400H.P. Toyota.Should  he have to post a disclaimer oh the hood that his car isn't stock?And that hot blond that just moved in next door?Is she going to have to start wearing sweatshirt's that say"sorry Charlie,they  aren't real"?Let's find something more important to worry about.Say,for instance,the disaster that will result if those fascist neo-cons win the white house again.

                                                                (image) (image)



Re: Photography and the Truth

Mon, 18 Sep 2006 16:09:54 GMT

Hey John,

I usually "fix up" photos I want to print - straightening a crooked shot, color balance, brightness/contrast, even dodging or burning to handle deep shadows or brightly-lit portions of an area. I think most folks do it.

Now if I start blending in images of Elvis, then I've gone over the line.

The line is blurry - but I just "know it when I see it".

By the way, the "end-italic" tag after your mention of Newsweek is corrupted so the whole article (and the rest of the page) after that is all italic.

Chuck Somerville
Dayton Ohio



Re: Photography and the Truth

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 16:57:39 GMT

I think today's news media should publish media with a "*Certifided UnAltered" on a per publication or photo by photo bases.

We expect truth in everything we consume: food, news media, etc

my 2 cents
Sherwood



Re: Photography and the Truth

Sat, 16 Sep 2006 00:26:42 GMT

A while back I "tweaked" a photo I took at Zabriske Point in Death Valley by adding a tiny bit more color than the original scene had. It was a nice photo and should inspire a group of us to make a return visit. I know it will look different than my photo but at least I've lost my guilt about it after reading this column. For that matter I could have changed it to black and white and tried to imitate Ansel Adams. So why not make things look a little different. If you make the sky a darker blue with a polarized filter instead of using Photoshop is it any different?



Photography and the Truth

Fri, 15 Sep 2006 18:42:58 GMT

Photography, by nature, is an inaccurate purveyor of the truth. But in the past few years, there has been much consternation over the use of Adobe Photoshop and other photo-editing software to alter photos that are then fed to the public.



Read "Photography and the Truth"...