Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Looks Can Be Deceiving!

At first glance, what would you think was happening in this photo?

Nope. Baxter is NOT snarling or growling, or even unhappy for that matter.

I captured this picture of him at the end of his yawn (which Sarah is mimicing). He's only yawning while Sarah is leaning against him.

That's all. Honest.

But, boy-oh-boy, it doesn't look that way.

The false assumptions we could make about this photo make me wonder: how much of what we see in the media (print, digital, electronic...doesn't matter) is actually what's happening?

I could, if I wanted to, take this photo and present a case for the aggressive behavior of Labradors (how silly, really, knowing the breed as I do, and knowing they don't have a single aggressive bone in their bodies). The picture sure seems to make that point, though.

Knowing its context and knowing the real action in the picture, I could never use the photo that way.

But unscrupulous journalists certainly could.

Just how accurate is what we see on TV and on the news and in magazines and newspapers?

I suspect a healthy dose of skepticism (or at least critical thinking skills) is in order when it comes to photography and implied lessons or arguments made from photos.

Baxter's yawn is a case in point if I ever saw one.

'Til next time,
Joan Posted by Picasa


M-Fax said...

glad I stumbled upon this blog, great read.

I am going to add you to my blog roll

have a great day

Sheila said...

My Lab Sophie smiles and people think she;s snarling. You can meet us at
I'm glad I found your site!