In his recent book "After Photography" Fred Ritchin discusses how photographs have been manipulated for years, but that in the digital age trickery is even more prevalent. "The myth of photographic objectivity has concealed fakery as old as the medium itself" he says, and this is indeed true (as the photo here indicates). LONG before Time and Newsweek were darkening O.J. Simpson to make him look scary, and touching up the President for reasons unknown...and long before the average sagging stomachs of hollywood glamor girls and boys were being airbrushed for the grocery store checkout line, the media trusted themselves more than their readers. Witness the harmless, but no less deceiving treatment of "A Big Man in a Big Chair" which is exhibit number one above. An original press photograph of 1921 from my collection, When I purchased it I noticed the jolly fat man seemed to be a less shiny texture. Sure enough, I pried him from his chair and found a tiny fat man underneath the ORIGINAL corpulent gent in his straw hat! For reasons unknown, and which I can not even fathom...some editor decided the consumers of his newspaper should see a slightly larger man in the chair. Odd, since the whole POINT of the story was to illustrate the size of the swivel on wheels. Curious, but no less devious.
Original Press Photograph and paper insert 1921 Collection Jim Linderman