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Never Presume

Canon 20D with 17-85mm f/5.6 IS lens at ISO 3200

The old saying has it that pictures don't lie. Well, of course they do. They have ever since the invention of photography. Today's digital technology just makes it easier.

But I'm not thinking about darkroom or Photoshop trickery this time. Instead, just an illustration of how ones presumptions can be just as misleading.

Look at the above photograph, including an enlarged version, which can be seen by clicking on it.

Who are these people, and what are they doing? Are they prisoners? Are they refugees? Why and where are they being detained?

Think about if for a few minutes, and then click here for the answer.

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The Reality

This photograph was taken just outside the arrivals area of the international airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The people are waiting behind a barrier for their friends and relatives to get off the pre-dawn daily British Airways flight from London.

Nothing sinister, just ordinary folks waiting.

My point? Just that we each bring to the images that we see our own preconceptions, and we need be cautious about the presumptions that we may make. A photograph may be an unmanipulated record of a particular place and moment in time, but we all still bring our own particular baggage along when we view it.


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Concepts: Photography, Bangladesh, Image, Click, Thought, English-language films, Lie, Click

Entities: Dhaka, London, British Airways, Bangladesh, Michael Reichmann, Photoshop

Tags: British Airways flight, photograph, old saying, enlarged version, Photoshop trickery, ordinary folks, particular baggage, arrivals area, digital technology, unmanipulated record, particular place, international airport, cautious, darkroom, Dhaka, Airways, minutes, Bangladesh, illustration, photography, daily, pictures