Monday, October 27, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This, the November 3rd issue of Time Magazine, has on its cover a Diebold voting machine, shot on a white seamless. Or, was it?
(Continued after the Jump)

It looks like it wasn't. Here's the first issue - the two adjusting clips on each leg do not form a cross-bar, yet the "shadow" that was laid down suggests that it is a cross-bar. If the light were coming from the left, as the shadow suggests, there would be nothing that connected the two legs. Each of those clips wrap around the leg.

Next up is the leg highlight. It is coming more from the center, and ever so-slightly from the right, as shown in the highlight on the leg. That shadow that Time created, clearly skews significantly to the right. Further, the shadow clarity - the edge and so forth, is just much too crisp and clear.

None of this would be a problem if the photo credit inside read "Photo Illustration", yet here's how it reads:

Clearly, it's listed as a photograph. Once I did a little more research, and I couldn't find it on the Getty site, I stumbled across the exact image in an article here, from 2006.

Here, we see that the shadow is at the top, in a severe fashion, and not likely a cover candidate. Further, the background seamless that photographer Henry Leutwyler used is right up against the back of the machine, not in some spacious studio, as appears in the cover image.

Time Magazine had an issue a few years back with the alterations of shadows, as commented on by the NPPA here:

Now, this shadow adjustment on the Diebold machine here doesn't have the racial implications of the OJ cover, or does it? Are we to believe that Diebold will be the reason that Barack Obama loses? That somehow the Republicans would dictate to Diebold how to throw the election? That that is even actually possible?

I am of the opinion that this image does not meet the ethical test of being a photograph. It is a photo illustration, and should have been identified as such.

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