The Weirdness of News

The idea that news photographs might be taken in any way other than at face value has turned out to be surprisingly provocative. I have discovered this in the course of several years of occasional postings to Usenet newsgroups. Therefore in presenting these images as a collection, I decided to arrange them as a series that goes from "easy" to "difficult." The easy ones have something about them that anybody would recognize as odd, such as a caption that doesn't agree with what the image shows, or the inclusion of obvious digital manipulation. Further on in the series though, interest centers on subtle aspects of the scene that would be overlooked by casual viewers, much as they might overlook the man in the gorilla suit walking among a group of people passing a basketball around in the famous psychology experiment It is for these images in particular that I am developing a theory.

Images are hyperlinks: click on image for a page containing further details and discussion of it.

Same face, different rubble
Unusual umbrella or altered photo?
What is this, really?
Iconic status via digital manipulation.
A case of botched digital manipulation.
Mysterious weather phenomenon?
Fooling the caption writer
Worker, stone, road...sure.
When the photographer gets there late...
When the photographer's attention is captured...
When two photographers are there...
Ever wonder whether war rubble pictures are posed?
Another pair of posed pictures
Posing more than just people?
Alive? Dead? Crash-test dummy?
Physics of an Agence France Presse picture
Another Agence France Presse puzzler
A tease on multiple scales
Looney architecture & more
Real building or graphics fantasy?
What is she daydreaming about?

Last modified: July 17, 2008

Charles Packer
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