Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words...

...but not always the truth. Or perhaps, when meaning isn't clear it's easy for people to read things into a picture that aren't there, or bend the meaning to their own ends.

This story on Slate.com is a prime example. In the foreground are five people sitting and talking, while in the background a huge bloom of dust and smoke rises where the World Trade Center towers were. The date is September 11th 2001.

Five years later the photographer then put a slant on the picture which is basically a fabrication, inferring that he knew the nature of their discussion and how they were reacting. Two of the subjects decide to hit back with the truth.

It's a worthwhile reminder that you can't believe everything you see and read.

5 comments:

Ur-spo said...

indeed!
hard to believe any photo these days as 'real'.

The Other Andrew said...

True, there is that also. Photoshop (and other programs like it) have made it easier to change the nature of a photo.

Thanks for your comment - things have been quiet around here for the past few days. I wasn't sure if I'd gotten boring as hell or this thing was broken... :)

Q - 60's girl said...

Oh bless you gorgeous thing, thinkin' somethin' was broken :)you are sweet, never boring.

Michael said...

It's SO true that a picture can be deceiving, but I think the article is slanted as well. Frank Rich was only parroting what the photographer had to say about his subject. Rich then went on to comment about the short attention span of American society (from its roots) and how it is both the best and worst of what we are. I guess he doesn't need defending, but Frank Rich been one of the few voices of reason in this turbulent, imperialistic time in the US, so I tend to view misplaced criticism of him as another example of the current administration's deft/deplorable manipulation of the media.

The Other Andrew said...

I'm not familiar with Frank Rich, it's like an American thing, right? :) I thought the slant the photographer put on the photo, either through assumption or through cynical means to sell the photo, was interesting. He could as easily have described it as concerned citizens discussing the implications and what they could do to help.