And these are the versions with different framing: https://www.penser-critique.be/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ca...
Looking at the picture of the soldiers with the tired/distressed man, there are two soldiers on either side of the distressed man. A third soldier in the foreground is holding a gun. The angle of the image has the end of the gun directly above the man's head but it possible from the real geometry that the gun is only very loosely pointed at the man, and not at the top of his head at all. I'm not suggesting here that my interpretation is correct, but it again shows how ambiguous imagery can be, even when not edited to make a point.
Edit: Looked at it a bit more, the non-water giving adjacent US soldier is not holding the guy (I think his hands are bound behind his back by cuffs/rope/zip ties/whatever).
Sharpness can drop off quickly outside the focal plane, depending on the aperture and other camera settings, so the gun barrel being blurry doesn't mean much. Whether it's 6 inches away from the POW or 6 feet away can be difficult to tell, and a photo could be staged to make either option plausible.
Found by entering "soldier gun water photo" in Google.
The following photo shows this much better: https://imgur.com/a/OkjFI6j
Here's some interesting commentary on that:
the internet turned a lot of that upside down while enabling more to begin with. however in the end many more eyes on the news means it is possible to get to the truth a lot easier than before
Fortunately, some are better about pulling back intentionally to show such things but I still catch it occasionally.
The first, 3 lions clustering over a recent kill, an example of wild, raw Africa.
The 2nd, pulled back, has the 3 lions in the background and about a dozen Jeeps in the foreground, all with heads stuck out the top like me taking photos.
The 2nd one even has someone looking into my lens with a slightly guilty look on their face, as if they knew I was revealing "commercialised" Africa.
The article leads with two side-by-side images. The one on the right, apparently, is the "classic" one. However, it has been cropped, which makes the comparison pointless. The caption is no help either, just giving the photographer's last name but not identifying the "classic."
Was the goal to force the reader solve the riddle for themselves? If so, it ruins the rest of the discussion.
When these are used to manipulate as they so often are, I consider these lies just the same as if they were printed words. Imagine your friend sent you a photo like this with the implication that the people were being aggressive somehow, but it turned out to be an instantaneous facial expression in a completely different moment. Such choice of image is a way for the media to lie with some veneer of deniability, and they do it every chance they get.
It's even worse on Twitter. And don't remind me of the images of the Kavanaugh hearing...
Really helps them frame the narrative in their own spin.
These are beautiful examples. Thanks.
Though, seriously the first one looks like a heated debate on what pizzas to order.
Macron: "Can we just order the damn pizzas?"
Merkel: "We're not getting just pepperoni. We're getting something with variety."
Bolton: "I like anchovies."
Trump: "I'm not paying if there's going to be vegetables on it and you can't make me."
Abe: "I agree with the yankee. Pepperoni or we're getting tacos."
That dude to Abe's right. Really trying for that modeling career.
I like my narrative better.
Einstein put an end to that comforting notion a hundred years ago when he showed that simultaneity (and thus causality) are meaningful only to observers in the same inertial reference frame. How often does that apply in politics?
It was actually an excerpt from a video of Trump bumbling randomly around in the back of the room, sporting his increasingly-common thousand yard stare. There's no indication that he even recognized Putin and MbS, but since digital video is now good enough to supply publication-quality still frames, it was possible to extract a single frame that supported the desired narrative perfectly. Interesting example of a phenomenon we'll definitely be seeing more of.
It was the job of the journalist to do this, eg, pick the best images that convey what really happened.
Along the way the news and journalist changed. Now they are all politically aligned and do their best to pick the images that best align with their political agendas.
At some point we are going to have to put a stop to bias reporting and force news organizations to either not be called "news" or report un framed - unbiased --- facts.
I don't need to hear the reporters, or anybody from the news organizations opinion on the matter. I just what the raw information.
I think it is more honest to admit that we are all highly political... especially the people that claim that they are not, or that a particular question is not political. In fact the latter is one of my bug-bears about HN culture. Frequently it is claimed that discussing politics is divisive and/or uninformative. I consider this to be a veiled (possibly unconscious) desire to claim that there are objective realities about non-physical/mensurable observations.
All is politics.
The most honest journalism is that which admits its bias and makes its best explicit case for how well its model fits the world.
But I think most can read between the lines. These things are on a scale, say from 0 to 9. At some point in the past - bias and political charged reporting and news was was closer to say a 3. But today our news organizations have cranked it up to a 11.
However, Fox News was then created because conservative groups did not like the coverage (it did not agree with their biases). They called the rest of the media "left wing" or "liberal" and so re-framed Centrists as Leftists. Their success prompted a couple of organizations to veer a bit to the Left (e.g.: MSNBC), but that has not taken nearly as much of the viewership as it has on the Right.
And then more recently you have the rise of conspiracy sites like The Drudge Report or Alex Jones/Info Wars that have started to dominate Republican politics. There certainly are similar sites on the Left side of the spectrum (there are always fringe sites), but they don't have the heft or following withing mainstream Democratic politics that has happened in Republican circles.
So we still have the good news organizations, but now we have some really bad ones, and they are screaming the the good ones are bad. It is sad that people are believing this.
That's because the Democratic establishment is scared shirtless of the party being taken over by actual leftists... While the Republican establishment doesn't mind their party being taken over by the fringe right. Business will continue as usual, for them.
So, one side pretends their populist arm doesn't exist (And keeps losing elections, because it has nothing to offer it), while the other side is happy to embrace it.
Honestly, from my perspective those seem like highly biased sources which completely fail to give a fair shake to either the right or the left. They are IMO neo-liberal capitalist propaganda makers. The most egregious examples of this are in coverage of e.g. the completely fake news which provided a fig-leaf for invading and destroying Iraq, or earlier the Vietnam war.
Hermann and Chomsky covered how this works w.r.t. the Vietnam war, and if anyone wants to know why conspiracies seem plausible, it is because of the distrust which the "official" outlets have earned by these methods of media manipulation.
So that leads on to other questions.
Why hasn't photography developed the same delineation between 'documentary' and 'art', that film seems to have developed?
These images seem quite stylised,and emotive in a way that tv news isn't (even those pictures of African kids with flies in their eyes).
Even in text theres stylistic differences between 'news' and 'novel'.
To put it in perhaps a clearer way. I could see these hanging in an art gallery. I wouldn't expect a newspaper to win a literature award, or a news item to win a film award. And yes there are many exceptions to both those examples :)
Lange's body of work definitely consists of many works of "art" but I think it all fits nicely into the category of documentary and photojournalism. Mapplethorpe on the other hand produced many pieces of "art" but rarely did it fall into the category of documentary. There are some artists, perhaps, Diane Arbus, who made art out of documenting marginalized peoples.
The point being, photography has developed a delineation between documentary and art, but there's also quite a bit of overlap. That overlap exists in film as well. There are a variety of documentary films that would also be considered works of art.
That kind of proves my point?
Yes Mapplethorpe's work is definitely 'art', Langes work isn't definitely 'documentary', to the point that if you saw a picture in isolation, I'm not sure you could reliably say which it was /supposed/ to be.
I'm aware the line between 'art' and 'documentary' are very slippery. Thus the inverted commas, and thus (I would argue) the need for clear delineation.
As I said in my prior post, there are plenty of exceptions, but I'm not sure you can get much past generalisations without defining art. And I've yet to see a definition of art without exceptions, to the definition.
To expand further.
Think of films like District 9 or Blair Witch Project. Both are shot in a 'documentary' style, but both are 'art'. But both are A. Notable for being in the opposing style (they're exceptions that prove the rule). B. Understood that they aren't really real (they aren't seeking to mislead).
You don't really get that in photography, although the limitation of the medium doesn't really allow you to do that set up.
However I don't agree with your statement: "Langes work isn't definitely 'documentary', to the point that if you saw a picture in isolation, I'm not sure you could reliably say which it was /supposed/ to be."
Looking at her work, knowing that she's documenting real people and understanding that the "art" in her work doesn't inherently come from the subject, which is what defines her work. It's not supposed to be anything. She took a photo, using her best judgement in that split second, to create an everlasting image. That's the art. I am not going to a gallery to see her work so I can say, ah yes, this is what art is supposed to be. I'm going to see what she saw, and how she documented it, which due to her form and style, is the artwork.
Defining art and the words used to define it, open up an immense rabbit hole that I don't particularly find interesting or worth getting into.
The films you mention I think are terrible examples. District 9 barely falls into a documentary style. Think about a true documentary, something like La Soufrière (Herzog) which becomes a work of "art" due to the laborious efforts of our film maker to show us people who've accepted their incoming demise at the hands of a Volcano on the verge of eruption. The film is considered a piece of art due to nature of the documentary which explores confronting death through the eyes of real people and their real situations.
Also Blair Witch did in fact attempt to mislead people with it's initial marketing campaign and release. It was an incredible marketing campaign that made it one of the most successful Independent films ever.
Actually, photography does allow people to create fictitious stories and narratives, designed to look like documentary and other styles. Look at Cindy Sherman. She spent years, and hundreds of photographs creating fictional versions of herself, in tons of styles.
Edit: The core of what I'm ultimately trying to convey, is that art, can be anything. Any style or genre descriptor your throw at something, can still be a work of art. It's the craft, and thought, and construction of something that makes it a piece of art, whether it's a photograph, an carpentry project, or a line of code.
The point I was trying to get to (badly) in my original post was that images like Lange's wouldn't look out of place in either a newspaper or an art gallery. That's a problem because you don't know if its supposed to be 'real' or not. A film like district 9 despite blurring the boundaries is clearly 'art', in film there is a division between 'art' and 'documentary' which the film plays with, but it can do that because it clearly isn't real.
"The core of what I'm ultimately trying to convey, is that art, can be anything"
Agreed, that's where it gets messy. 'documentary' should try to inform though? 'Art' may try to inform, or may not, so its important to know the difference.
Basically, while fake news is a problem, we should not be too eager to believe the corporate and official media that present a simple, comfortable, easy to believe, self-serving narrative to us.