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  1. #31
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    Truth is perception. Facts are now arrived at by consensus.
    And has been thus since the dawn of time.

    The set of "facts" that determined the state of the world 500 years ago are today considered to be at best only quaintly archaic. Turns out the world really wasn't flat after all. And the immutable laws of nature as we know them today are "facts" only until they suddenly aren't.

    Ask if the speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 meters per second as observed from any frame of reference. The answer won't (or shouldn't) be "Yes, that's a fact." It will (or should) be "Yes, that's what the consensus of experimental observations has shown so far..."

    Meaning we are treating it as a fact for now, until the time comes that we discover by consensus a better reason to treat it as merely quaintly archaic. Or perhaps as a newly defined subset of some larger truth that we have come to understand. Or think we understand.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back theyíll still be there looking at you."

    ó Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  2. #32
    blansky's Avatar
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    Sorry I don't believe that just because the world has always been skewed by powerful people that there shouldn't be an attempt to try to maintain some type of "truth" in news.

    Everybody knows that in a country run by dictators, the news is always bullshit. Everyone knows that in a country that was democratic and is turned into a dictatorship the first thing they seize and control is the news media.

    We probably agree that in a democracy a well informed electorate is vitally important and the "news" is almost always the way that happens. The media has probably always been controlled to some degree but most people have BS detectors and at least search for "truth" and authenticity in some way.

    In the US and most western countries the new media is given great access to power to ferret out the news/truth and it's pretty well agreed that this is important and necessary. And we go after them when they fail us. We even use terms like "who do they think they are? Woodward and Bernstein", when a reporter is like a terrier on a story.

    We blame the media for the "yellow cake" story and we blame the media for the "incubators in Kuwait" stories that they foisted upon us which both turned out to be false and partly led the US to two different wars in the middle east.

    So to me, "truth" is important, and for that reason I think that control over manipulation of photojournalist submissions is pretty vital due to the impact of what visual images have on us. And how some people here see this as an analog vs digital debate is beyond me.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #33
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    I don't think that there is a huge problem with the photo-media, Blansky, but yes, the photo-material should be un-manipulated.
    - However, there are people responsible for selecting the "proper" photo to go along with an article, and as you know, two different photos can tell two very different stories.

    I think the media, and in later years, especially in democracies in the west, have had a tendency to have a very political angle.
    - Now days, most large media organizations are shamelessly full of propaganda, they don't even care.
    My BS-detector goes off the chart these days of all the incredible crap the news tend to spew out.
    Everyone sees a terrorist on every street-corner and if you see "a brown man who looks like an arab" on the plane......then that's it, call the cops!

    Where are the critical questions to presidents, prime-ministers and other deciding parties?
    - 60-minutes isn't it!

    I often see in my own country's national media, that the journalists rarely ask the tough questions. If they do, the politician never answers the question and are allowed to ramble on and throw out a lie or three - and the reporters let them get away with it! They don't stop the interview, smack the mike over the politicians head and tell them to answer the friggin question. (they really should start doing that)

    The media go along with whatever political climate it is, -and even participate in pure propaganda: Embedded journalists, alert level green - yellow - red - whatever, beforehand cleared questions to presidents, prime-ministers and generals etc and they even give one side of a conflict air-time to show a g*ddamn powerpoint presentation, fresh from the propaganda-still.

    So, generally most big news networks participate in shifting the news to whatever political "wind" there is at the moment.
    There was no difference watching Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBC or Euro News when it came to the Iraq war and the all-famous "war on terror". Even smaller countries media participate in the "party-line" reporting and angle. Al-Jazeera is the middle-east equivalent of CNN, how come their reportages and angles are so different than CNN and the others, if they all, Al-jazeera included, seemingly "tell the truth" ?

    Smaller news-networks tend to have even stronger ties to what political agenda the owners possess, so they too are skewed and unreliable.

    They all tell the story THEY want YOU to believe in, as long as that involve earning money, pleasing the owners and pleasing whatever (democratic or not) hawks ruling the land.
    So in-effect the media had been seized and controlled already, in our "free world" as well as in your average dictatorship-nation.
    - The difference is more in how they lie to you, I suppose.
    Last edited by Helinophoto; 02-22-2013 at 12:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  4. #34
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    And has been thus since the dawn of time.

    The set of "facts" that determined the state of the world 500 years ago are today considered to be at best only quaintly archaic. Turns out the world really wasn't flat after all. And the immutable laws of nature as we know them today are "facts" only until they suddenly aren't.

    Ask if the speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 meters per second as observed from any frame of reference. The answer won't (or shouldn't) be "Yes, that's a fact." It will (or should) be "Yes, that's what the consensus of experimental observations has shown so far..."

    Meaning we are treating it as a fact for now, until the time comes that we discover by consensus a better reason to treat it as merely quaintly archaic. Or perhaps as a newly defined subset of some larger truth that we have come to understand. Or think we understand.

    Ken
    There is however quite a lot of difference between scientific consensus (facts as we know them), and the new internet driven social consensus (facts as rabble wish them). I agree that it has always been so, but before the Internet, the idea (to plagiarize a favorite) that democracy means 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge never had quite so wide a forum. Now that you essentially have interns and less editing what passes for news one really shouldn't expect much. I'm simply surprised that some people do.

  5. #35
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helinophoto View Post

    I often see in my own country's national media, that the journalists rarely ask the tough questions. If they do, the politician never answers the question and are allowed to ramble on and throw out a lie or three - and the reporters let them get away with it! They don't stop the interview, smack the mike over the politicians head and tell them to answer the friggin question. (they really should start doing that)

    Those political assholes must all go to worldwide seminars to learn how to do this. I didn't realize it was the same in Norway.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #36

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    "But why does it matter? He didnít move elements around in the photo, nor burn elements out of existence.

    It matters because we are essentially saying as a society that reality isnít real enough to garner our attention. That the photo wasnít intended as a factual statement."


    The quote above shows that the author's argument is skewed from the start. He's happy to confuse the verisimilitude of the photograph with the actuality of the event, a move which leads us quickly to a dead end. Since when is adjusting a curve or applying a mask tantamount to destroying the factual basis of a photograph? What about the inherent shortcomings of the specific camera to adequately represent "reality"? Should we not create custom profiles to get a more accurate and pleasing color rendition to our photographs lest we are criticized for being less real? Stupid article.

  7. #37
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frotog View Post
    "But why does it matter? He didnít move elements around in the photo, nor burn elements out of existence.

    It matters because we are essentially saying as a society that reality isnít real enough to garner our attention. That the photo wasnít intended as a factual statement."


    The quote above shows that the author's argument is skewed from the start. He's happy to confuse the verisimilitude of the photograph with the actuality of the event, a move which leads us quickly to a dead end. Since when is adjusting a curve or applying a mask tantamount to destroying the factual basis of a photograph? What about the inherent shortcomings of the specific camera to adequately represent "reality"? Should we not create custom profiles to get a more accurate and pleasing color rendition to our photographs lest we are criticized for being less real? Stupid article.
    I agree with his argument but like you I find his example a bit "subtle".

    But his point I guess is that it looks so perfect and unreal for it to be perceived as a real tragedy. In fact more like a movie poster which transports us to unreality which numbs us to the emotion of the event.

    It's sort of like, most people can tell real violence from Hollywood violence. And as soon as it looks "Hollywood" it loses it's "edge".

    But again, I agree his example is pretty subtle.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #38
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Wasn't it the New York Times that issued a rule against photos filtered by Instagram and similar? Basically, that's what was done to the first and second place news photos. They were given an HDR-ish look. (And I agree with the article's author, the photo, as originally published, looks better) The photos were modified for the contest, not for publication.

    No, that photo, as a contest winner, doesn't bother me. Choosing to run or not to run photographs based on who the photographer is, that bothers me. But of course, if the people wanted top journalism, they could get it. But, as demonstrated in the UK, they'd rather watch Batman reruns than the news. Entertainment is the people's choice, so that's what they get.

  9. #39

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    The example is ridiculous because his stance on photography's claim to veracity is ridiculous. And then he has the intellectual audacity to claim a special purchase on truth for photo-journalists vs. everyone else via the absurd example of an A. Adams photograph. Following his line of reasoning one could just as easily fault the photojournalist for rendering the scene in two dimensions when it's plain to everyone that the actual event being recorded was in three.

    I can appreciate subtlety and it is definitely not to be found in this article's misguided premise and in the author's ham-fisted understanding of the nature of photography.

  10. #40
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    No photograph is a representation of reality. They are always edited. The time the shutter is tripped, the focal length, the angle, all of these thing are choices that distort. Just being there is in fact a distortion. These are all questions journalists used to fret about, but now? Not so much. The Internet and other quickie technology have not enlightened the masses as one would hope. No, it seems that a general lowering of the bar in every human endevour is the new order.

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