A picture says a thousand words, but does Realism make the list? While photos are meant to portray unbiased truth, the myth of photographic truth still lingers in our culture today. Digital editing software allows normal photos to be altered in both positive and negative lights. According to the French theorist, Roland Barthes, “...myth is the hidden set of rules and conventions through which meanings, which are specific to certain groups, are made to seem universal and given for a whole society” (p.20).
Option 1: In Figure 1, Time magazine darkened the skin tone of then suspect, O.J. Simpson because of the “...historical convention of using darker skin tones to connote evil and to imply guilt” (p.25). At the time of the release of the Time magazine, Simpson wasn’t even on trial yet, and before he even had a fair chance, was viewed as a murderer because of his darkened skin tones, stereotyping him as a criminal.
As a starting point, some of these questions may help you think about how color and digital editing affects our culture. Why do you think a world renowned magazine, such as Time, went to such lengths to darken Simpson’s skin tone? Do you believe the darker image makes him look like more of a criminal than that of the lighter image? Do you think American’s would have reacted more positively to Simpson had the original image (on Newsweek magazine) been placed on news stands? How do you think the colors affected readers of Time? If you saw this picture as an adult in 1994, would you view Simpson as a criminal? Why or why not?
Figure 1, Digital editing done by Time and real picture on Newsweek magazine
Retrieved from: http://jonmwessel.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/oj-simpson-time-magazine-cover-controversial-darkened1994.jpg?w=604
|Figure 2, before and after photoshopping, still from video|
Retrieved from: http://dslrs.net/dslr/dslr-photography/movie-shows-photoshop-body-retouching-taken-to-extreme/
Figure 3: Photoshop makes anything possible video
Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cPnfjwKfkSk
"Image Authentication and Forensics | Fourandsix Technologies - Photo Tampering throughout History." Image Authentication and Forensics | Fourandsix Technologies - Photo Tampering throughout History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. "Images, Power, and Politics." Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2009. 1-46. Print.