Framing The World Through My Photographs

Digital media – Knowledge is power – My response

­Digital media: Knowledge is power- Level playing field or mountainous terrain?

 Sir Francis Bacon when writing in the 17th century was the first who said ‘Knowledge is Power’. He had a desire for and idealistic vision where “generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit”

 Similar to todays times people of Bacons era still had to decide whether the information the received were true or not. For example people used to believe the world was flat until it was proven not to be.

 Is knowledge actually power these days? In the time that we’re are in now anyone can post something online and present it as being true. For example “ Worst Twerk Fail Ever’ which was posted on YouTube. Admittedly I had watched this and believed that it was true as I have seen many a video of people creating Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s, which went viral in a matter of minutes. However this video was a set up by American chat show host Jimmy Kimmel, made specifically to go viral. There is hoax upon on the internet. 4chan are the integrators of many online. pranks such as ‘ the bikini bridge’ which is a similar trend to the thigh gap however you can see the pelvic bones sticking out and the bikini is lifted from the skin.

In photography perhaps one of the biggest hoaxes is food photography. When looking at pictures of food in magazines or cookbook the viewer is made to believe that that is what the food will look like, however in each photo shoot there is a food stylist who has the job of positioning everything correctly. In some shoots the food would be completely inedible because of some of the techniques used.

With the development photographic technology particularly that used in the police force knowledge is power. Gigapixel camera are used by the police in cases of riots and demonstrations/ public gatherings. These camera are incredibly detailed and can show every face in the crowd with zoomed in. In recent police cases such as the horrific murder of soldier Lee Rigby cctv and the use of mobile phones was used to prosecute the attackers.

Photography has changed the way we look at the world we are constantly bombarded with news images. Though everybody would assume what they see on the news is true. However in some cases they have not been true. For example the story that was released about a Syrian orphan. In January it came to light that this story was a hoax, the child in the photograph was helping his uncle out with a photography project. The photos were taken in Saudi Arabia not Syria, the graves were not real and his parents are not dead. The photographer was shocked and horrified that the news had twisted his photograph.

Truth in photography is being question because of the introduction of highly manipulated imaged, manipulated with software such as Photoshop. Though it is not just digital photographs that can be manipulated. Perhaps the earliest known image manipulation was the Cottingly Fairies, which many people believed until it came to light that the images were created by the girls. In recent months Kim Jong Un has had any images of him with his uncle manipulated so that his uncle isn’t in them anymore as his uncle was executed.

I believe that soon real world and the digital world will become too close for us to be able to decipher what is true or not.


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This entry was posted on January 19, 2014 by in Digital Media.
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