Is seeing believing


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Based on a lesson plan by Frank Baker. Teaching students to question the images they see in the Media.

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  • Robinson's) most famous photograph “Fading Away” is a composition of five negatives, in which he shows a young girl dying of tuberculosis surrounded by her family. It was very controversial, because many felt that it was acceptable for the painters to approach this kind of tragic and intimate moments, but it was not appropriate for a photographer to do so. ( Source )
  • Composite photograph of John Calhoun's body and Abraham Lincoln's head. (1860s) ( Source )
  • Photographed by Alexander Gardner, July 1863. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Reproduction number: LC-B8171-0277)
  • Photographed by Alexander Gardner, July 1863. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Reproduction number: LC-B8171-7942). Frassanito studied six photographs of this dead soldier made by the photographers Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan at the Gettysburg battlefield in July 1863. Geographic features place four of the six photographs at the southern slope of Devil's Den (top) and two at what Gardner called the "sharpshooter's den" (bottom). Frassanito argues that the original location of the body was the southern slope of Devil's Den, suggesting that the soldier was probably an infantryman, killed while advancing up the hillside. After taking pictures of the dead soldier from several angles, the two photographers noticed the picturesque sharpshooter's den -- forty yards away -- and moved the corpse to this rocky niche and photographed him again. A blanket, visible under the soldier in another version of the sharpshooter's den image, may have been used to carry the body. The type of weapon seen in these photographs was not used by sharpshooters. This particular firearm is seen in a number of Gardner's scenes at Gettysburg and probably was the photographer's prop. The amount of time expended photographing this one body indicates that this may have been one of the last bodies to be buried and Gardner may have felt that he was running out of subjects. In his text in the Sketch Book , Gardner recalls seeing the body again about four months after the battle, when the Gettysburg cemetery was dedicated in November 1863. Frassanito points out that the body would not have been left unburied that long, nor would the rifle have survived the hordes of relic hunters who swarmed over battlefields. But Gardner's story succeeded in transforming this soldier into a particular character in the drama, a man who suffered a painful, lonely, unrecognized death.
  • The case of the Cottingley Fairy Photographs In 1917, two young girls in England claimed to have photographed some fairies. The photographs were the subjects of a major controversy and even a book by the famous writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. NOTE: Even though the photos below look very much faked to our 21st century eyes, you must remember that at the time the photos were taken (1917) many people believed that photographs represented reality.
  • The Spaghetti Harvest The most convincing hoaxes, however, are often the ones created by the experts themselves. On April 1, 1957,the BBC's prestigious "Panorama" TV show reported on the "spaghetti harvest" in Switzerland: "The spaghetti harvest here in Switzerland is not, of course, carried out on anything like the tremendous scale of the Italian industry," Dimbleday told viewers. "For the Swiss ... it tends to be more of a family affair." Viewers eager to grow spaghetti were reportedly told by the BBC to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best." (To be fair, spaghetti was an exotic dish in Britain in the 1950s.)
  • The photo of a breaching great white shark was taken by South African photographer Charles Maxwell [see the link to his Web site at the bottom of this page]. The Air Force photo of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter was taken by Lance Cheung. They were spliced together by an unknown person, and reportedly began making the rounds on e-mail in August 2001.
  • Shuttle Columbia, Explosion Photos  An accompanying email claims these photos were taken by an Israeli intelligence satellite. Contacted by email, the folks at NASA's Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Lab in Houston confirmed what some viewers of these "satellite photos" had already deduced: they're fake.  "There is some speculation here at the NASA Johnson Space Center," the message continued, "that those images have been taken from the movie ' Armageddon .'"
  • In 1994, shortly before the much-anticipated women's figure skating competition at the Olympics, New York NEWSDAY published on its cover a photo composite. The image showed ice skating rivals Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding -- at the time embroiled in controversy following an attack on Kerrigan by an associate of Harding's husband -- appearing to practice together. On the bottom of the image, the headline read, "Tonya, Nancy to meet at practice." The caption -- in smaller type -- read: "Tonya Harding, left, and Nancy Kerrigan, appear to skate together in this New York Newsday composite illustration. Tomorrow, they'll really take to the ice together." Read " What's Fair In Changing Photos ?" by Mitchell Stephens
  • May 1970: This Pulitzer Prize winning photo by John Filo shows Mary Ann Vecchio screaming as she kneels over the body of student Jeffrey Miller at Kent State University, where National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine. When this photo was published in LIFE Magazine, the fence post directly behind Vecchio was removed .
  • April 2003: This digital composite of a British soldier in Basra, gesturing to Iraqi civilians urging them to seek cover, appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times shortly after the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Brian Walski, a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times and a 30-year veteran of the news business, was fired after his editors discovered that he had combined two of his photographs to "improve" the composition.
  • March 2004: This political ad for George W. Bush, as he was running for President, shows a sea of soldiers as a back drop to a child holding a flag. This image was digitally doctored by copying and pasting, from this original photograph , several soldiers to digitally remove Bush from a podium. After acknowledging that the photo had been doctored, the Bush campaign said that the ad would be re-edited and re-shipped to TV stations.
  • July 2008: This image of an Iranian missile test appeared on the front page of many major newspapers. The image is from the web site of Sepah News , the media arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. After the publication of this photo, it was revealed that the second missile from the right was digitally added to the image in order to conceal a missile on the ground that did not fire.
  • There was President Obama on the cover of the June 19 issue of The Economist, standing alone on a Louisiana beach, head down, looking forlornly at the ground. The problem was, he was not actually alone. The photograph was just edited to make it look that way.
  • Spot the difference: Keira Knightley's bust was digitally enhanced in the publicity images for the motion picture King Arthur  ( source )
  • This one caused a stink in 1990 when it was revealed that the body in the poster was not that of star Julia Roberts.
  • Once again, that's Julia's head on another person's body:
  • August 7, 2008 NEW YORK (AP) — Cosmetics giant L'Oreal is denying it lightened Beyonce's skin tone in an ad. "We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color," the Paris-based company said in a statement sent to the Associated Press through the singer's representative. The ad is in the current edition of Elle magazine. L'Oreal, the maker of Garnier hair care and Lancome cosmetics, is the world's largest cosmetics maker. A representative for Beyonce said the singer would have no comment beyond L'Oreal's statement. Beyonce has been a spokeswoman for L'Oreal since 2001.
  • Is seeing believing

    1. 1. Is Seeing Believing? P. Denton Winter, 2010 Based on the Lesson Plan of Frank W. Baker
    2. 2. “ We do not get to witness most of the events in the world that are important to us; we have to see them through other people’s eyes…” - Peter Howe from the foreword to the book Moments in Time
    3. 3. Visual Literacy <ul><li>The digital manipulation of images is widespread. </li></ul><ul><li>You need to learn how to “read” photographs and question them. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not believe everything you see! </li></ul><ul><li>Critically view all the images you see and question the reality of what you see. </li></ul>
    4. 4. “ Fading Away” 1858 by H.P. Robinson
    5. 5. Which one is real?
    6. 8. Hoax Pictures Pictures that were meant to fool people.
    7. 11. The Spaghetti Harvest Watch the video: http:// =27ugSKW4-QQ&feature=related
    8. 14. Digitally Altered Photos with a fake story
    9. 19. Digitally Altered Photos to make fun of a politician
    10. 24. Question: If it is a news story, is digitally altering pictures to make them “better” ok (without telling the audience)?
    11. 32. Question: If it is for entertainment only , is it ok to alter images without telling the audience?
    12. 38. <ul><li>Videos About Photoshop and Beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Dove- The Evolution of Beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop- the perfect lie </li></ul><ul><li>The Photoshop Effect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Photoshop Effect: Part 2 Controversy ( Link ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Photoshop Effect: Part 3 Peer Pressure ( Link ) </li></ul></ul>
    13. 39. So, what do you think? Is digitally altering photos ok all the time, none of the time, or some of the time (depending on the situation?). Write your answer in a 5 sentence post on the class blog . Use correct grammar (not texting grammar!). Remember- do not use your last name!