It helps if the examples to back up the agenda are rooted in truth and rationality. The writer did not make people aware of discrimination by using fallacious examples to bolster a fatuous assertion. The writer is so caught up in proving her assertion that her examples become almost laughable to informed persons.
Originally Posted by markaudacity
She mentions the Polaroid ID2 camera, citing its use as a "tool for racial segregation and enforcement during the apartheid era." She then says it has a flash boost button to put 42% more light on subjects, and says it would "result in a deliberate darkening of dark-skinned subjects." So, throwing more light makes a subject darker? Huh? Does this person really have a clue about what she's talking about? I mean, she's making some very strong assertions, yet seems to not understand something very basic.
I certainly would not see Olan Mills as an example of the best in portrait photography, yet she uses their work as an example of deep racism along with examples from minilabs, fer gawd's sakes. Hell, I never thought Olan Mills made anybody really look good. For most of negative color film's existence, a big problem for ordinary users was getting even decent color from cheap processors. Instead of just looking at those, maybe she could have learned something by looking at the pictures made on transparency film by Steve McCurry or Alex Webb, to name a couple of white guys who know how to photograph dark skin. Maybe then she could see that it was not the film that was the problem.
She mentions the Shirley Card. Apparently she has never heard of a Macbeth Color Checker, or the extent to which real professionals doing product shoots, catalog shoots, etc., would go to ensure accurate color reproduction, because it was necessary in their work. The film they used did not somehow refuse to render brown tones as well as it did others.
To me, her article is little more than a rant, an immature one at that. It does not hold up under serious scrutiny, though it will play well with others who know no better. She came up with a conclusion, and then attempts to use anything she can to support the conclusion.
This sort of thing diminishes how terrible things were for non-whites for so long in this country. The racism was not subtle; it took no stretch such as exists in the article to know it was there. And people still living today suffered from it, relegated to second class or third or fourth class status. Many families have stories of family members who were attacked or killed for their skin color. I just hate to see that real suffering diminished by people seeing racism in everything, as if there could be no other explanation.
The thing is, there is real racism around still; why do people go around digging it up where it doesn't exist?
Last edited by lxdude; 05-02-2014 at 07:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.