Activity 8: Authenticity (VC)

The objective of this activity is to gain an understanding of the importance of authenticity in photography and what the ramifications are when it is challenged. Give an example of two photographs that have been challenged.

With the development of software the question “can photos still be trusted” arises more often and authenticity of a photograph is now a well known problem. There are even some companies, like the Fourandsix, who concentrate of developing software that will help to examine the authenticity of a photograph. But what is actually meant by the authenticity? There has been many cases of published photographs that were manipulated. Manipulating the truth might have a large impact on a social, political and other public views or cause misunderstanding or civil litigations. Manipulation can be achieved by adding or increasing contrast of elements in a photo, placing two images together while leaving only some features of each in a final image or leaving some elements of the photo out (great example was a cigarette taken off of one of the photos of the Beatles).

Example 1:

Feb1994-hardingkerrigan

New Tork Newsday. 1994. Fire on Ice.
Available: http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/?currentPage=3

 

This photograph was taken/created in 1994 before Olympics figure skating competition and represents two rival skaters showing them as they practiced together on a cover of New York Newsday in . This photo has been manipulated and it has been published right after an attack to one of them by associate of the other’s husband. So of course this raised a big interested of a public and helped the magazine to get the attention of their buyers as no one would expect them to practice together. This photo has raised a massive discussion about ethics in photography. But the magazine was not claiming this photograph is true, it was actually released day before these two skaters were suppose to meet and the magazine was just ‘joking’ about how their joint practice might look like as they as rivals would never be caught together like that. But even though it has been questioned for ethics especially because it is not clear to the viewer immediately that this is not a true image. But if the reader would read the small writing on the right side that it is clear it is a manipulation, so the magazine was not hiding it. I do agree that the first impression of the viewer is that they skate together and it creates the attention to their cover, so the ethics of this photo is very questionable. 

Example 2:

capa_essay_01

Capa, R. 1936. Falling Soldier.
Available: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/robert-capa/in-love-and-war/47/

The very famous and also controversial photography due to its authenticity is a photo of The Falling Soldier photographer by Robert Capa who was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist who documented many wars during his life. He has taken a photograph of a falling soldier during the Spanish Civil War and this photograph has been questioned for many years by many people – you can find many articles about this photograph. Until 1970’s people believed this is a true image but then they started to question if it was staged and also the authenticity of the individual in the picture. There has been a massive research on examining the place and individual through other photographs taken. People have also examined the expression, position of the hand, any proofs of current location, etc. Wikipedia is confirming this photograph has been manipulated but article written by Richard Whelan is finding proofs for the photo to be genuine. This photo is actually a masterpiece of a challenge for its authenticity as up to today they are people believing in both stories. That’s quite interesting – good example is the discussing below the article from Richard Whelan.

References:
http://academics.smcvt.edu/dmindich/photoshop.html 
http://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/07/how-to-determine-the-authenticity-of-a-photograph/ 
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photo_database/image/fire_on_ice 
http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/?currentPage=3 
http://www.cnet.com/pictures/pictures-that-lie-photos/9/ 
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/robert-capa/in-love-and-war/47/ 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Capa 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Soldier

 

Activity 5: Memorable images (VC)

The purpose of this activity is to list and discuss the visual aspects of images that come to mind when we think about the following:

1. Art Work                      2. Musical Performer                    3. Advertisement

1. Art work

turquoise-marilyn-62

 

Marilyndiptych

I really like this art work created by an American Pop Artist known as Andy Warhol (Andrew Warhola). Andy was using a process called screen-printing:

In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time.” AW

It was a very original idea and very interesting choice of colours used together. This was made from a picture originally shot in 1953 by Gene Korman for the movie Niagara. The series has fifty photos while 25 are coloured and 25 black and white. This work has been created shortly after Marylin’s death and interpreted as the contrast between her life and deaths (life is coloured and death is black and white). This painting has been named as the third most influential art work of modern art in the Guardian survey published in December 2004.

2. Musical Performer

First thing that comes to my mind is a cover photo of the magazine Rolling Stones when I think about a powerful image of a musical performer. The one that I remember the most is the one of Janet Jackson published in 1993 when Janet was 24 years old.

download (1)

This image was very provocative and that is what this magazine likes (if you think of other covers like the Pope or Yoko Ono with John Lenon who is naked and was shot few hours later, etc.). It is black and white which takes away any distraction by colours of the photo and only focuses on the theme. It creates curiosity about whose are these hands. It provokes by its part nudity and sexappeal. This is also controversial as it was not shot as picture for the album cover but its one pf the photos taken by Patrick Demarchelier for new Janet’s album that was to be very sexually charged. This image has been so famous that it got recreated by other as a photo or picture or caricature.


images (1) jsc1hTeyanna-Taylor-Recreates-Janet-Jackson-Rolling-Stone-Cover5-500x389

 

3. Advertisement

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This photo of a Czech born top model Eva Herzigova became very famous when it got placed on a billboard and started to stop traffic in the streets of London – it was said that this photo has caused crashes of cars. It was then named as the most iconic outdoor advertisement of all times and won a tenth place in a competition “Poster of the Century. Also in this photo the colours are subtle and it was cropped in an interesting way to place the bra in the middle of the photo. It is very clean photo. It creates a bit of curiosity about its background – it looks like Eva is standing in front of a glass or window (maybe a store).


 

Links to resources for information and photos:

http://www.artquotes.net/masters/warhol_andy/turquoise-marilyn-1962.htm

http://www.webexhibits.org/colorart/marilyns.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol

http://www.musedmagonline.com/2012/07/teyana-taylor-mimics-janet-jacksons-iconic-rolling-stone-cover-dope-or-joke/

http://countergeek.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/janet-jackson-rolling-stone-cover-1993.html

http://theentertainmentnut.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/gimmicks-of-yesteryear-the-13-variant-covers-of-gen-13-1/

http://www.oohlalablog.com/celebrity-style/2012/07/teyanna-taylor/

http://metro.co.uk/2011/03/30/wonderbra-poster-featuring-eva-herzigova-named-most-iconic-ad-647530/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderbra