Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The reality of photos and image manipulation

Most of you have probably heard of online photoshop contests, where the idea is to modify an image in a creative way, ideally without the manipulation being obvious.

Well, an entry to one of these somehow got out and became a big, public hoax. (Despite a fairly obvious cue to the unreality of it in the caption, which includes the statement "Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work".)

Here's a story concerning one of the several people-who-should-have-known-better to fall prey to the hoax. And another (scroll down some for the relevant part of the article). There were also a lot of reports of people's teachers, bosses, etc. getting hold of the image and thinking it was real on the forums of the site it came from.

And here are the comments of the creator of the image.

And then there is the new image hoax story; apparently some terrorists took a picture of an action figure, and claimed they had a captive soldier and were going to behead him. Here's the AP story, and here's a story about it being a doll.

Just thought it might be relevant!
- Emily Bond


Blogger Alice said...

I think it would be really interesting to see how viewers of the captive image see it before and after they know about the possibility of a hoax. Personally, I saw it after I read the articles and I found myself looking for signs that the captive is actually a very lifelike doll and becoming more and more convinced that it is one (oops, I meant "he"). This is a case where the context is very important in determining the impact of an image upon its viewers and how it is viewed (whereas perhaps the image itself has little importance), which is probably true for all hoax images.

February 2, 2005 at 10:13 PM  

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