After Photography

Here’s an excerpt from a new book called “After Photography” by Fred Ritchin on the designobserver blog.

It’s looking at perceptions of truth in a digital photojournalism sphere with references to many well known images and media events. Easy to read and points to further research materials if this is an area you’re interested in…well worth a read.

Cover of After Photography by Fred Ritchin (W.W. Norton & Company), from which this essay is excerpted

Cover of After Photography by Fred Ritchin (W.W. Norton & Company), from which this essay is excerpted

“Unmasking Photo Opportunities, Cubistically

In a 1994 photograph we see U.S. soldiers invading Haiti, lying on the airport tarmac pointing their rifles at unseen enemies. The heroic image supports the claim of the U.S. government that it is invading to support democracy, liberating a neighboring country from a dictatorship.

The curious reader [of the future], however, might want to place the computer cursor on the image. Another photograph appears from beneath it; it is of the same scene but from another vantage point. U.S. soldiers are pointing their guns not at any potential enemy but at about a dozen photographers who, lined up in front of them, are photographing them. In fact, the photographers are the only ones doing any shooting.

The contradictory “double image” is cubist; reality has no single truth.” READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON THE DESIGN OBSERVER SITE

Reprinted from After Photography by Fred Ritchin. Copyright 2008 by Fred Ritchin. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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