What are some of the most misleading photos ever taken?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by https://www.blvdartists.com/, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. The fact that the camp director was Adams friend doesn't prove much by itself. I don't see some conspiracy in it. Maybe the camp director felt obligated to ask Adams because he was his friend (and despite the fact that Adams wasn't a documentary photographer). Maybe when asked Adams saw in it a chance to do something that he felt was honorable in showing the daily life of the prisoners persevering in difficult circumstances (or to quote Szarkowski "in spite of the injustices that they had suffered, had maintained their cohesion, their dignity, and their will"). Did Adams show them socializing or did Adams show them how they should socialize? Maybe both? And how should one socialize (or not) with the country one is a citizen of or wants to be a citizen of?

    These are complex issues and we would be misleading ourselves if we don't treat them as such because of ideological views (which are always blinding as a collective).
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. Well, according to Adams it was that the released prisoners should not be heading back to the "Little Tokyos" after the war, and instead spread out and assimilate. For me, that's a GTFOH, and none of your business on how people should associate with others (or not) and where they should choose to live. I'm sure Adams went about his project with good intentions and without malice. But he was way in over his head with both his photographs and views as an armchair sociologist.
  3. Heh, Eminem's song and video Beautiful which is set against the backdrop of a decaying Detroit and where he also grew up comes to mind, whether you're black or white or purple,...or a city in decay.

    But don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful. They can all get f*$ked just stay true to you.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  4. Not yet. I'm planning on seeing it. Thanks for the reminder.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  5. When taken as a general statement I wouldn't put it that lightly. Clearly the freedom of the individual is one of the hallmarks of Western society (and capitalism which makes this freedom possible and despite its many flaws is the best and most stable system so far when historically compared to other systems and their consequences on societies) but it can't be without a sense of individual responsibility when it comes to the very upkeeping of the society one chooses to live in. A healthy and stable society is one that utilizes both conservatism and progressivism in the plotting out of its future. Any other way will lead to an inevitable corrosion. Yin/Yang.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  6. Politicians are adept at selling themselves. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Many are genuinely sincere in their relation to the public.

    Okay, that may be nonsense. But this I know - you have to like what you're doing to make an honest job of it.
  7. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    I am at a loss for words...

    No wait, I have one! Trying to knowingly serve two purposes and not being true to either one?


    Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall's, Mr. Adams... :eek:
  8. every photograph is misleading, and manipulated as soon as the camera is set up. shutter speeds
    are decided, depth of field, processng or post processing / printing styles ( burn dodge filtration ).
    NOTHING made with a camera is unadulterated / completely objective, not even survelience photographs ...
    it has nothing do do with modern technology ether ..
    michaellinder likes this.
  9. There's a fairly well known photo of Truman, Eisenhower or someone of that era, that was of several people. It was cropped, eliminating at least one of them, to suggest a relationship that didn't exist. IMO, many automotive advertising photos are misleading, making everything lower, faster, better fitted and with larger interiors.
  10. ...........
    We women can have duplicitous protuberances (on the chest, if I need locate them for you), but men ...??? I think men are usually monoplicitously protuberant, but I would be interested in any examples to the contrary (scientifically interested, of course). I agree that such a non-female duplitousness would be capable of being misleading, especially to the owner.
    michaellinder likes this.
  11. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    In a similar form, Uncle Joe was famous for ordering people removed from photographs--eliminating relationships...

    Auto manufacturers have long ago mastered conveying prestige, power, privilege--along with sexuality and 'freedom' in auto marketing images. The auto world delights in displaying artificially inflated female protuberances (no, I have no difficulty locating them) and suggesting that the vehicle itself is a harbinger of a larger male protuberance. In these cases, none of it is misleading, disingenuous, duplicitous, or egregious. Rather the size of the former, and the fantasy of the latter is farcical. Someone cue Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

    What the devil were we supposed to be discussing anyway?

    Oh yes, what brand of toothpaste Ansel Adams used, and what Susan Sontag thought about Diane Arbus and the authenticity of her freak show... :rolleyes:
  12. PapaTango, PapaTango ... *sigh* This is photo.net. We always and only discuss only what we are not supposed to be discussing. Do I have to explain everything to you?

    I don't think that's very authentic. In the "backyard" thread in your posted picture where you are holding a protuberance, your face isn't quite that color.
  13. Carrying generalities to the absurd, perhaps anything shot with a large softbox is deceptive. People, cars and those
    "protuberances" mentioned above just don't look the same in real life as when lit by a huge source.
  14. You could make a case that advertising is our modern day, unofficial mythology, or at least draws on the same impulses. One of the ubiquitous characters in mythologies across time and cultures is the trickster, who is, by definition, 'misleading.'

    I was reminded of this because many of the tricksters have such enormous protuberances as to need a wheelbarrow to carry the thing. Some even have detachable protuberances, which may be sent here and there to do tricky things.

    Rather than being condemned as dishonest, tricksters are often the most enjoyed, and even cherished of the characters in a mythology. Parents teach their children the stories of these bad boys. If you scroll down the Wikipedia page for trickster, you'll see the many, many incarnations of the trickster that there have been. We may be missing him. Real ones are no fun.
    PapaTango likes this.
  15. Per Wikipedia...

    "egregious (comparative more egregious, superlative most egregious)
    Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion.
     [quotations ▼]
    The student has made egregious errors on the examination.
    Outrageously bad; shocking."
    This may not be the last word (LOL), but my usage was consistent with this definition, which is consistent with current usage in the news and elsewhere. With due respect to #PapaTango, Wiki doesn't cite the Marine Boot Camp version ;)
  16. You've just made my point for me. (LOL)
  17. I used it for added emphasis on the original premise, "misleading.". I also applied it in the adverb form, "egregiously", to modify the adjective (participle), "misleading."

    "Please go directly to Jail. Do not cross Go and do not collect $200" - from the game, "Monopoly." If English is your second language, review your grammar book and all is forgiven, but you still don't get to collect ;)
    michaellinder likes this.
  18. If NOTHING made with a camera is unadulterated, why would that make every photo misleading? Assuming one actually knows the difference between "photo" and "reality", one wouldn't be expecting a photo to be an exact replica of some sort of objective reality (if such a reality even exists). When I look at a photo, since I already know it's a two-dimensional image on paper or screen, that settings have been chosen, and that a perspective has been adopted, I'm not being misled in most cases. I know what I'm looking at . . . a photo. I am only being misled if a photo is purporting to represent something with reasonable accuracy or I think it's purporting to represent something with reasonable accuracy and it's not.
  19. Fred, ever seen a sunfish held close to the camera so it looks like a trophy fish? No tricks are used, other than governed by simple geometry. Every photograph distorts. Whether the distortion is intended to please the viewer or deceive him is a matter of degree and intent. I don't find "intent" in the metadata, and some people are fooled despite your best efforts.

    I recently saw a photo of a bear's paw held to the camera, appearing bigger than the man's head. Oh wait! A big brown bear paw is bigger than a man's head.
  20. Yes, I have. And, yes, it's a distortion. And because I have just slightly more than half a brain, I know it's a distortion when I'm looking at it, so I'm not misled. I said NOTHING about intent being necessary to be misled or not be misled.

    There's nothing inherently misleading about a distortion. If I go to a funhouse and see my reflection in one of those strange mirrors, I see a distortion. But, unless I'm an idiot, I'm not misled into thinking I've now in reality got a neck that would make Modigliani pale.

    Manipulation does not equal misleading. Distortion does not equal misleading. They can certainly be misleading, but they don't have to be. Because we often assume distortion is at play, which means when we see the distortion and know it's a distortion, we're not misled by it.

    Misleading is a photographer feigning accuracy and supplying distortion instead when the viewer doesn't know the product. Misleading is a photojournalist cloning out people from his photograph without divulging that, because photojournalism comes with the expectation of some degree of accuracy. But, you won't convince me that the mere act of taking a picture is misleading or that the mere act of looking at a photo is to be misled. That would be utterly ridiculous and would render the term misleading useless. Everything we see comes from a perspective. Forget photography for a minute. If I look at my house from one angle today and another angle tomorrow and it looks slightly differently to me from the different angles, I don't call each of those views misleading, unless I have the mindset of a 17th century rationalist (who's convinced his senses always mislead him), which I don't. Likewise with a photo. Just because a photo adopts a particular perspective and may have been altered doesn't mean it's misleading unless I'm deceptively given a reason to believe it hasn't been altered when it has been or can be reasonably expected to believe it hasn't been altered.

    If I pretty up a hamburger and pass it off as what you'll get if you come into my fast food chain, that's misleading, though by now I would assume most rational people know they're not getting the burger advertised.

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