Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,300   Posts: 1,536,042   Online: 1010
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,773

    Photographic Mystery Solved

    The British photographer Roger Fenton (1819 - 1869) was noted for his photographs of the Crimean War. He is the subject of a recent very interesting PBS radio special. One of his most famous photographs is titled "The Valley of the Shadow of Death." He has been accused of faking this photograph by making changes to the scene. Susan Sonntag believed that the scene had been manipulated. Here's where the mystery enters the debate. Another nearly identical photo exists showing no cannon balls on the road. An analysis of both photos shows that they were taken on the same day within hours of each other. Obviously the scene has been altered but which photo is the real one? Conventional analysis of shadows had failed to ascertain which one is the real one. The mystery remained unsolved for many years until recently. Under high magnification a crucial difference was noted, that is five pebbles had moved. Since pebbles do not roll uphill it became obvious which photo was taken first. The famous photograph had been faked by placing cannon balls on the road for a more dramatic effect.

    The first photograph from the site below shows the photograph in question. There are many more interesting photographs.

    http://allworld.startlogic.com/Crime...nton-1855.html
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-03-2013 at 04:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,803
    I like the photographic van.

    Jeff

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,280
    Images
    2
    Maybe a kid came along kicking pebbles.

  4. #4
    Alan W's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    364
    Images
    61
    I don't understand how the photo could have been "faked".He rearranged the cannonballs for the second photo,he also did not destroy the fist photo-both were/are available.Nothing was hidden.Should we limit ourselves to one shot of any particular scene?

  5. #5
    Two23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kubach View Post
    I like the photographic van.

    Jeff


    It was the camera bag for the time.


    Kent in SD

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,773
    Fenton went to the Crimea at the urging of Prince Albert and the Duke of Newcastle (who was the war secretary) to document the conflict. The question remains whether it is ethical for a photographer to alter a scene. It was the second photo which appeared in newspapers of the day and other publications. Altering the scene certainly diminished its historical value. This is what bothered Susan Sonntag. It also puts into question all his other photographs.

    The following site describes the situation in more detail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Fenton
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    3,209
    Images
    46
    Provocative research. Obviously the cannon-balls were THERE at the scene to be scattered on the road.

    The cannon-balls would have been randomly scattered on the road in midst of battle, but right after things calmed down they would have been moved aside by people who wanted to use the road.

    I think Fenton re-created the scene he saw before the road was cleared (or if he didn't see it first-hand, it might have been as it was described to him by eyewitnesses, or he could have seen battles like it before and known what the scene would look like).

    So is it wrong to make a scene look like it would have appeared, when you come upon a scene that was recently altered?

  8. #8
    Ambar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    104
    Wow! If that's considered a "fake" or "fakery".. Most magazines nowadays should be considered hoaxes!
    The most amazing piece of news I read was that someone found 5 pebbles that moved!! Now thats a patient bloke with a keen eye..

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,773
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I think Fenton re-created the scene he saw before the road was cleared (or if he didn't see it first-hand, it might have been as it was described to him by eyewitnesses, or he could have seen battles like it before and known what the scene would look like).
    Interesting points. I would say that we will never know definitively as there is no mention in Fenton's notes. Still I feel he should have left the scene unchanged. If the road had been cleared for use after the battle then that information was destroyed. Again a matter of historical usefulness.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-04-2013 at 11:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    235
    Extremely detailed and philosophical examination of the photographs was conducted in 2007 by Errol Morris.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...part-one/?_r=0

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin