PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM THREE
HAROLD EVANS, New York Daily News, US News and World Report : The thing which has always fascinated me has been the enduring power of the still image, because were all very movie conscious today, we watch television, were used to swift cut, jump cuts and theres absolutely brilliant work being done. And yet, and yet...the still image has this fantastic power of surviving and making an impact.
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: You know if I mention World War II to you, right away you think of either Capas picture on the beach at D-Day or you think of Joe Rosenthals picture. Everybodys mind thinks that way. So the still image is still the way we catalog lifes history in our minds.
GRAHAM NASH, Artist/Musician: I think the frozenness of the image, representing exactly what it was that was going on is more powerful than seeing a movie of it. When you capture a tremendously brilliant image, you have frozen the very essence of what it was that was going on. And it only gives you this much of a slice of what was going on, but it was the right slice.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: You see the still picture, its there and you look at it, and you study it, and then you see it again some other place. You see it in the newspaper, you see it in a magazine, so you not only have the first impact, but then theres the second impact and the third impact, and pretty soon, that picture is just imbedded in your mind as fully and as completely as it can be.
SERIES TITLE: AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY A CENTURY OF IMAGES
PHOTOGRAPHY TRANSFORMED 1960-1999
DANNY LYON, Photographer/Filmmaker: This was the summer of '63. All across the South, the South was on fire. It was really the peak of the Civil Rights movement and some people have said that I photographed the golden age of the Civil Rights movement.
TITLE: GETTING THE STORY OUT
DANNY LYON, Photogrpaher/Filmmaker: I wanted to make photographs, and I wanted to make photographs of that because it was just a compelling subject. I went to Albany, Georgia. I soon found movement headquarters and ran into James Foreman, and he said, "you got a camera?" He said, "go into the courthouse. They got a big water cooler for white people and a little one, a little bowl for black people," he says, "go take a picture of that." Things like that existed all over the South. There must have been thousands, thousands! You know, all these segregation signs, and so few people took these pictures, you know.
DORIE LADNER, Social Worker: The initials SNCC stood for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It was formed by a group of students from across the South who had come together to integrate public facilities. Lunch counters, busses.
JOYCE LADNER, Brookings Institution: Many of them went on the freedom rides into Mississippi and they were arrested and sent to Parchman State Penitentiary. So when they got out of prison, some of them stayed on in Mississippi to organize for voter registration.
It was very, very difficult to continue because the local police and all the towns had almost crushed us. They were closing in like...
They murdered people, they beat people, arrest was about the least harmful thing to occur.
DANNY LYON, Photographer/Filmmaker: There were terrible beatings, brutalities. We flew to a black hospital. I said, I didnt know there were black hospitals. I mean, there were wounded people on the floor, people with broken noses, lacerated breasts, real horror scene you know. It was one of the most brutal, police attacks in the civil rights movement. It wasnt covered by anyone.
The civil rights movement had been raging, and Im talking raging for years before that occurred. Otherwise, there is no way that a that a white boy from Queens, 20 years old, could have gone down to these places and been the only photographer there.
JOYCE LADNER, Brookings Institution: We had no friends in the local media. Our story hadn't been told.
DORIE LADNER, Social Worker: They weren't covering us.
DANNY LYON, Photographer/Filmmaker: The Civil Rights Movement didnt become a big media subject until Birmingham.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: We heard about various things going on down there and suddenly we see police turning police dogs loose on a crowd in Birmingham, and the stories take on a new extra dimension of reality that they did not have without the visual documentation. The use of dogs in that situation just turned public opinion dramatically against the authorities in the South.
DORIE LADNER, Social Worker: If you had not seen those water hosed being put on the people...
JOYCE LADNER, Brookings Institution: ...on the children especially...
DORIE LADNER, Social Worker: ...you would have no idea as to what was happening. And seeing the water hoses knocking people down, I mean, can you imagine how the world felt when you saw this...
DAN CZITROM, Historian: Those photographs circulated internationally at a time when the United States was really trying to make a pitch for the emerging nations of Asia and Africa to ally with the United States. They had a big problem with the wide reprinting of these photographs of police dogs in Birmingham or freedom riders being attacked. That was the moment when the growing civil rights struggle and the tensions around it began to have implications for American foreign policy, implications that were worldwide and I dont think that came from television, I dont think that came from the movies, that came from still photographic pictures.
RAYMOND M. BROWN, Trial Lawyer, Court TV Anchor: Horrors perpetrated before World War II were far worse. I mean, lynchings were, if not an everyday occurrence, an every month occurrence around America. But those photographs weren't whisked around the world by UPI, and AP and Reuters, pre-war. And they were not part of a panoply of protest against the moral underpinnings of segregation. And so, when they were linked to a movement and propelled around the world and around the country, so that people of goodwill could have to move out of denial, and it wasn't just foreigners, it was Americans and white Americans in the South, like the people of The Atlanta Constitution said, "We don't want to be associated with this. We don't think we can engage in intellectual and other kinds of commerce around the world when we are painted with this." And it forced some change.
DAVID FRIEND, Vanity Fair: For certain subjects, still photography is the most powerful medium, and I think war is one of those subjects.
PHOTOS FROM VIETNAM
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: You know, it's a common wisdom to believe that television had a great impact on the American psyche during the Vietnam war -- the visuals of television. I disagree with that. I think that pictures, still pictures, had a much greater impact on American readers than the television did. No war will ever be covered the way the Vietnam war was covered. There was no censorship in Vietnam of any kind, photographers had greater access to that war then they did either Korea or World War II. And it was that intimacy with the war that came through that has not come through in any other war photography before or since.
TITLE: VIETNAM: FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS
1 Quang Duc
MALCOLM BROWNE, The New York Times: It was the night of June 10, 1963, I had a call from Tic Quang Duc saying, Mr. Brown, come out to such and such a pagoda tomorrow at six in the morning, something really important will happen.
And I could tell instantly that something very unusual was afoot because of the huge crowd of Buddhist monks and nuns who had gathered in this pagoda, many of them weeping. Two young monks brought out a plastic gerry can of gasoline, and poured it over the old monk, stepped back. Tic Quang Duc then lighted a match that he had in his lap and set fire to himself.
With a vivid imagination one can, one can think of what it would look like, to see a monk burning to death, but the actual image there, sort of in the flesh, has a different impact. I was stunned, a cold sweat had broken out on my head and I could, you know, it was only with the greatest difficulty that I kept my attention focused on the exposures and focusing and mechanics of picture taking, because it was horrifying. I had never seen, anything, anything to approach it.
The New York Times wouldn't print it because they regarded it as such an offensive photograph, that it was not suitable for a breakfast newspaper for families, but most other newspapers did print it and President Kennedy saw it the following morning and Ambassador Lodge was about to go out to Saigon, told me later that, Kennedy had pointed to this picture of mine and said, this just won't do, it's time to get rid of the Diem regime.
2 GENERAL NGUYEN NGOC LOAN
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: When Eddie Adams' picture of General Loan executing a suspect on the street of Saigon, appeared first on television and the next morning in the front pages of the paper, people were stunned, because they had never before seen this moment of death. We'd had this accumulation of demonstrations, and deaths and burning hooches, and television footage, and suddenly it all came down to a policeman executing suspect. At that very moment the bullet was entering this man's brain. He was dying in front of our eyes. And it struck home in some terrible fierce way. And became symbolic of everything that had happened in that long war.
3 Phan Thi Kim Phuc
HAROLD EVANS, New York Daily News, US News and World Report: The famous photograph of a young Vietnamese girl running down the road after having been napalmed by the American Army. Now you can say words, a young girl was badly burned yesterday, and actually suffered severe wounds, so on and so on. And you're kind of shocked by that. Say she was screaming, she was anguished. You can get some idea. But what you can't get is the emotional force. And actually the reenforcing and corroborative element also in the photograph of that girl coming towards you. Because she was photographed head on. And so you are seeing her, you were there, you were on that road.
4 Mary Ann Vecchio
GRAHAM NASH, Artist/Musician: A perfect example of a photograph that changes the way you feel about a certain situation was the John Filo photograph of the murdered student at Kent State. It happened May 4, 1970. The students at Kent State were doing what they thought they had the American right to do, which was to protest governmental action. And they were slaughtered for it by the National Guard. Four of them died. This photograph shows a girl leaning over the prostrate body of one of the slain students with her arms out questioning, what the hell just happened here? Neil Young saw the image, had his guitar, went off into the woods and came back an hour later with a song called "Ohio". Written from absolute anger that we would do this to our students. So that was a great image that reached deeply into your emotional soul and showed you what had happened.
BARBARA BAKER BURROWS, Life Magazine: During the Vietnam war, we covered the war endlessly, week after week after week and we decided, you know what we should do, why don't we run just the faces of a week's dead. Just the faces...
[THE PHOTOGRAPHS - ONE WEEK'S DEAD]
BARBARA BAKER BURROWS, Life Magazine: And the entire nation mourned those soldiers. You know, you could hear it on the news, you could be inundated with it. But until you saw those faces, that's what brought it home to everyone. And I think that's what changed everyone's mind...
[MONTAGE: PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ANTI WAR DEMONSTRATIONS & END OF WAR HEADLINES.]
STEWART BRAND, Founder, Whole Earth Catalogue: This is a 60's story -- where did the idea of the photograph of the whole earth come from?
TITLE: Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?
In January 1966 I took some LSD and sat around the roof of my apartment in San Francisco, and watched downtown San Francisco. That's what you did with acid in those days, you just took some and then watched, see what happened. And what I saw was that the buildings of San Francisco, tall, and apparently parallel, were actually diverging slightly, like a wide angle lens. I realized, oh, I'm looking at the curve of the earth from an altitude of three stories. I just started thinking, well, you know, if we had the photograph of earth from space people would change their mind about the infiniteness of the earth, and realize it's very finite, and I started selling a button saying, "why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole earth yet?" Which is kind of a paranoid question. We had been in space and the Russians had been in space for ten years at that point and there were still no photographs of the earth as a whole from space, although we could have done it in the first year. Scientist said there was no use for images from space, even before they actually had it. They thought it was too far to see anything important. Some of these buttons sifted into NASA. Some I sent there on purpose and a few Congress people here, and actually in Russia as well. And a few years later we got the photographs.
Astronaut: Apollo 8, Houston. I can see the entire earth now.
NARRATION: On Christmas eve, 1968, astronaut William Anders was circling the moon. Along with his fellow astronauts in Apollo 8, he became one of the few human beings ever to see the moon's dark side.
But as the space capsule rounded the horizon, Anders saw and photographed an even more astounding sight. The half-lit planet earth rising over the bleak landscape of the moon.
NEIL de GRASSE TYSON, Hayden Planetarium, NYC: It was the first real occasion where people saw earth, not as you see it on the globe you buy in the map store, with political boundaries color coded. All it was, was oceans and continents and clouds. And it was at that moment that people started calling our planet, "Space Ship Earth", because we're all in together, moving through space.
STEWART BRAND, Founder, Whole Earth Catalogue: The planet seeing itself from the outside was a major self-realization of its existence as a planet, as a beautiful thing, as a kind of fragile appearing thing. It is clearly alive. Photographs with the moon in the foreground are like, emotionally dramatize the difference between a dead planet and a living planet. It's not hard to imagine, well, you know, a living planet can become a dead planet unless steps are taken. This photograph, this is spring 1969, a year later, spring 1970 you have the first Earth Day, and the real taking off of the ecology movement, which did not exist as a movement before that time.
[MONTAGE: ECOLOGY PHOTOGRAPHS]
ETHNIC SELF REPRESENTATION
TITLE: DEBORAH WILLIS: PICTURING OURSELVES
DEBORAH WILLIS, The Center for African American History and Culture: One of my photographs, in my family album, my father actually photographed my sister and I seated on a sofa, I'm smiling, my sister's smiling. I have a black doll, my sister has a white doll I was really interested in that photograph, because I began to think about it, as a way of, a starting point to identify my own interests in African American culture.
TITLE: "To manipulate an image is to control a people." Carolyn Gerald
DEBORAH WILLIS, The Center for African American History and Culture: You know, in terms of memory in photographs, I think that that's where we all as families, and as individuals, began to find out where we are.
Contemporary photographers today are actually reflecting on, and looking at the history of images of black subjects. Redefining from the caricatures and the stereotypical images that were made earlier, about African Americans in photography. They were always kind of humorous images, eating watermelon, or seen as alligator bait. During the 20's and 30's there were always kind of the images that were projected of, of black children who wore tattered clothes, or unhappy, or homeless kind of images. It really kind of told a story that was not necessarily true of black families, but they were the images that were pervasive.
The contemporary photographers today, they're really interested in telling another story. We can actually turn the image around. There's not one image of blacks, Americans, but there are a range of images that we can all reflect upon.
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: You cant take a picture of something that is not in front of the camera. You can slant the angle wrong, you can light it wrong, you can lie in what you set before the camera, but the camera itself does not lie. You can fiddle with the picture afterwards, you can develop it, but we implicitly know that there had to be something in front of that camera, and so we tend to believe it since we tend to believe our eyes.
TITLE: PHOTOS AS EVIDENCE
CLIP FILM ANNOUNCER: The position of the body, and all other physical details of the crime, are photographed by the police for further study, and later use in court.
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: The photograph began to be used very early in crime detection and the solving of crimes. We think there were mug shots within a year or two of the invention of photography. But photographs have continued to be evidence, and they were presented in court, often, to show what had happened, and for very good reason. There are certain things you can't find out any other way.
[CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHS]
RIKKI KLIEMAN, Court TV Anchor: I think that the prosecutor's greatest tool, in photographs, in a criminal case has to be crime scene photographs and autopsy photographs. And for very good reason. Although prosecutors like to say they are engaged in a search for the truth, the reality is, is that they are engaged in a quest to win. And one of the ways that prosecutors win cases, is that they also affect the sympathy, hearts as well as the minds, of the jurors. And the photograph is such a critical element of that.
RAYMOND M. BROWN, Trial lawyer, Court TV Anchor: Most skillful prosecutors will make sure that they try to get in at least a photograph of the victim at the scene, and hopefully some snapshot, showing the person in good health. So they contrast between this living being that was, and this person who no longer is that makes it real in a way that has no logical evidentiary importance. But which in an emotional way draws the jury closer to the person who's deceased.
RIKKI KLIEMAN, Court TV Anchor: The trial that took place of Joel Steinberg who had been a lawyer in New York City -- he, and a woman he lived with named Hedda Nussbaum, were accused of the horrendous death of a child that lived with them. The photographs told us so much about what had happened to this child. But, I think the pictures of Hedda Nussbaum, told me more about the case even than the pictures of the child. What you see of Hedda Nussbaum is a woman who had suffered massive, massive physical abuse, at the hands of Joel Steinberg. And it made you understand, she had really been as much his victim, as the child was both their victims.
So if you can show a jury a photograph which does represent a truth, but it also gets the feeling of the jury of anger, and outrage, and perhaps even vengeance, that's worth a great deal. We forget, over time, the graphic description, of what happened at the crime scene. We can't forget if it stares us right in the face.
NARRATION: In trials, photographs are used to convict individual criminals. But until recently, mass murder perpetrated by entire governments had gone unpunished.
RAYMOND BROWN, Trial Lawyer, Court TV Anchor: There were horrible photographs that came out of the concentration camps of the Nazis that were used at Nuremberg.
NUREMBERG CLIP: You must plead guilty, or not guilty.
(VOICES SPEAKING GERMAN)
RAYMOND BROWN, Trial Lawyer, Court TV Anchor: And then there were other photographs that came out of Cambodia in the late 70's, the killing fields that show human skulls piled up in evidence of obvious atrocities. In the 90's, atrocities again in the Balkans and in Rwanda in the great lakes region of Africa. The collective experience of humankind, especially in the West, where those photographs have been so widely published, led to a political momentum to force the U.N. to set up two tribunals. One on Rwanda, and one for Yugoslavia. Which wouldn't have happened, had you left it to the interests of the great powers to do. But it was the impetus of people throughout the world, saying, 'look, we won't countenance this kind of wholesale slaughter.' And the visual reality, that these were not just tales of slaughter, but photographs. If I had to point to one source, of the power that drove humanity to try to set up courts to deal with these issues, I would point to the photographs as the primary source because it carries that human misery across the seas and it makes it real to people.
GAIL BUCKLAND, Photographic Historian: An innocent snapshot photograph of a potential presidential candidate, Gary Hart, stopped his campaign dead. Donna Rice, sitting on Gary Harts lap, on the boat Monkey Business, wearing the T-Shirt that said "Monkey Business" destroyed a potential candidate. The picture or the action? What actually did it? Probably it was the picture.
MICHAEL DEAVER, Former Reagan Aide: I never let a cameraman get on his knees in front of Ronald Reagan because [POINTING TO HIS JOWLS] all you see it this. You kick him, and it doesnt take too many of those before they understand that Deaver isnt going to allow somebody to get down on their knees before they take a picture. I didn't have to kick people very often.
TITLE: THE PHOTO OP
HAROLD EVANS, New York Daily News, US News and World Report: American presidents, of any real intelligence, have always known the power of the photograph. There's a wonderful photograph of the 332 pound President Taft, playing golf. And Teddy Roosevelt wrote to him and said, "You're an absolute idiot for allowing yourself to be photographed in that posture".
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: The word photo op comes into these conversations, but all presidents had an element of control, it is a question of how they used it.
[MONTAGE OF PRESIDENTIAL PICTURES]
HAROLD EVANS, New York Daily News, US News and World Report: Here we have a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt. What did Roosevelt do to America in 1932? He reinvigorated the country with confidence, "you have nothing to fear but fear itself." And, the ebullience, the gaiety if one could use that word, of Roosevelt is captured in this photograph which is the epitome of resilience, of optimism, of enthusiasm, of cheerfulness in the face of adversity. And that quality contrasts with the passivity and dourness of Hoover, which was also caught in photographs, and reinforced people's feelings that they were in an impossible situation. Because, look, the President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, looks absolutely miserable.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: Kennedy had the love affair with the camera and Nixon had the hate affair with the camera. And if you could put those two side by side they make a marvelous study in photography.
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: Kennedy was the first modern master of the photo op. Photographers used to call Kennedy "Jack the back". And the reason that they called him that is because Kennedy had this habit of turning his back to photographers the minute they came in, and not turning around until he was totally composed and ready to do the picture. And he knew exactly what persona he wanted to project.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: Nixon was just the antithesis of that. He didn't photograph well. He had a bad beard, and he looked out from under his eyes, and he just didn't register photographically speaking.
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: That face, was constantly in rebellion against itself. The eyes would say one thing, the mouth would say something else...the moisture...and it didn't matter what the line was, that the White House was trying to spin, everybody could see looking at this guys face that this is a deeply disturbed person.
DAVID FRIEND, Vanity Fair: Johnson believed that, that candor and photographs that conveyed this wonderful sense of candor, would speak volumes.
DS: He was shameless. Driving through Texas out in the desert, and he'd jump out of the car, with photographers around, and urinate. I'm sure there are pictures all over America, of Lyndon Johnson peeing. They are up on people's walls. But they clearly, never got run in the magazines.
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: I've never seen anybody in that job who was more comfortable in his own skin than Ronald Reagan was because over the period of being an actor he had built up the stage craft. It was so seamless, the stuff that he would do. The East Wing was the trailer, and so, you know, he'd get up in the morning, he'd put on his costume, and he'd come out of the trailer, and he would go to the set, and he would do his lines, hit his marks, but every day it was like being on this movie set. And the set was being directed by Mike Deaver.
MICHAEL DEAVER, Former Reagan Aide: There are photographs, obviously, millions of them that just happen that are very dramatic. That there is no pre thought to the photograph. It's instant and it happens. It's an action. That is the last thing I ever wanted to happen when I was in the White House. I didn't want any kind of a surprise. So, everything I did was preplanned, premeditated. The lighting was all set. The background was perfect. The camera angle was selected. I'll give you an example. There was this feeling that Reagan might be more likely to get us into a war, that he was hawkish. I was forever arguing with the Pentagon people about getting him to christen a new sub, or go on to an aircraft carrier, or all of these military symbols. And in 1984 when he was running for re-election, they convinced me that there were 40,000 jobs in California that were dependent on the B-1 bomber and we had to go out and do something about that. And so the night before he appeared, we draped the bomber with a sign that said, "Prepared For Peace." So that the photo of the President the next day was making a speech with a sign behind him and the words, p-e-a-c-e were really all they saw. If there was a television camera and they got a wide-angle, you saw "Prepared For P-e-a-c-e." And I really do believe that people absorb impressions rather than substance, particularly in this day and age.
[CNN GULF WAR FOOTAGE]
CNN ANNOUNCER: ...was hit after a night long bombing campaign against Baghdad.
DAVID TURNLEY, Photojournalist: Well, the Gulf War was really, by far, the most sophisticated marketing scheme I'd ever run against, in terms of government censorship of images.
TITLE: CONTROLLING THE IMAGE
DAVID TURNLEY, Photojournalist: And it was first exercised in Grenada, and then in Panama, and by the time they got to the Gulf War they were really good at it.
DS: The government policy toward the press or media in the Gulf War was appalling. The whole sense that America is getting the straight story -- the sacrifice, the bloodshed, the heroism, that was just a sham, in the Gulf War. We got what the government wanted us to get.
PAUL FUSSELL, Author: It had learned from the Vietnam War how powerful photographs of war can be. And they didn't want to risk, that sort of, diversion, let's call it, or complication of its mission, at that point.
DAVID TURNLEY, Photojournalist: When I arrived in the Gulf, the press corps was presented with, really sort of the following option: if you want to work in the theater of war you have to join a press pool. And the rules of the press pool are the following, that you will be attached to a public affairs officer, and as photographers, it was essentially very clearly delineated that we could not photograph casualties of war, and this was a frightening dynamic. I could see pretty clearly I wasn't going to be able to do my work. And I essentially went AWOL, at that point. I left this unit, because it made no sense to me, to work under those conditions. While I had been on the border, I discovered an elite MASH unit, which is what put me in a position to then be on a Blackhawk helicopter on the last day of the war in which I made a photograph which become very memorable. The photograph is a moment depicting the medics just having placed this body bag in the helicopter, and the soldier on the left of the frame understanding for the first time that this was his best friend who had been killed.
RM: It was a remarkable picture. Turnley found it on the desk of the censor, and it would never have been sent out. It would never even have been taken except for the fact that David managed to evade the minder who was given him.
DAVID TURNLEY, Photojournalist: And my worse fear was realized when I got back to the rear two days after the war was over to find out that the picture editors had never received my film. So I went to the public affairs people and said, let's be straight with each other. You're denying these young guys their due right to be heroes. They did risk their lives and this photograph's gonna show that. And if people are going to send their brothers, and their sons, and their children, and their relatives to war they should at least know what the reality of war is.
MICHAEL DEAVER, Former Reagan Aide: I don't know, I think it's very dangerous for a free society to have all the information distilled and packaged by our government, and given to us. Do we know to this day who we killed, in Iraq? I don't think so. If bringing war into the living room means that, that we as a people will say we don't want to do it that way anymore, we want to figure out other ways to solve these conflicts, then I would say, photography and television has done us a great service.
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: When, photography was invented, it was thought to be an equivalent to truth. It was truth with a capital T.
MONTAGE OF FUNNY ALTERED PHOTOGRAPHS
[TITLE: TALES FROM THE DIGITAL AGE]
NARRATION: While photographs could always be altered, until recently, it was a matter of cutting and pasting. The results were sometimes crude, and the deception was easy to detect.
The computer changed all that. Through the magic of digital technology, the US Postal service seamlessly transformed the painter, Jackson Pollock, into a non-smoker.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: The handling of pictures digitally has brought with it a great benefit and there are also some problems. The problems are the pictures can now be manipulated a great deal. You can actually put people in pictures that weren't there, you can take people out of pictures that are in there. You can change color, you can change composition...
(7) NARRATION: On June 27, 1994, two magazines appeared on the newsstands with exactly the same photograph on their covers -- a mug shot of O.J. Simpson, taken by the Los Angeles police department. Newsweek printed the photograph exactly as they received it. Time Magazine changed it digitally, giving him an unshaven look and making his skin tones darker.
The alteration caused enormous controversy. One paper suggested that Time Magazine was deliberately changing Simpsons appearance to make him look more sinister.
DAVID FRIEND, Vanity Fair: Magazines for their covers digitally manipulate the skin color of some of the subjects or digitally manipulate the teeth of some of their subject, well youd think would be a subject that only editors would care about, but in fact cab drivers are talking about it, and spinmeisters on television. And when some of these changes have been made on covers of magazines you betcha this culture is talking about it.
HAL BUELL, Former Photo Editor, AP: There are strict policy regulations that AP photographers make, the photo people will not alter photographs. The reason that that's the case -- and that's true among most papers -- the reason that that's the case is because if you begin altering the photograph and this newspaper or magazine alters it this way, and this newspaper or magazine alters it this way, you have the same picture appearing in different ways in different publications. The reader looks at that and they say, who's kidding who? Someone's lying in that equation. And the newspapers will lose credibility and the whole role of good journalism is lost if there's no credibility. We have enough trouble maintaining credibility without having pictures that look like this side by side.
TITLE DIGITAL IMAGING: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD?
NARRATION: The digital manipulation of photographs has an important new application -- finding missing children.
Cheryl Morrien was seven years old when she was kidnapped by a stranger. Her family hasn't seen her for 10 years. Today, she would be seventeen. Steve Loftin is a forensic artist with an unusual skill. He can alter a photograph to produce an image of how Cheryl's face might have aged. He uses a picture of her sister as a guide.
STEVE LOFTIN, Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Her sister is nineteen in this photograph. And the computer will stretch the face, I'll go back now and merge Cheryl's sister's face here, and I'll line those two images up, using the eyes as a plane of reference simply because the orbits will not change position. And I'm gonna borrow those mature features from her sister. What you see is two images, but I've attained the maturity here in the cheeks and the mandible area, and have applied that to Cheryl's face. We're going to go ahead and assume if she were still out there and alive and walking around she'd have a nice set of teeth. I'm borrowing those teeth. I'm placing them in Cheryl's mouth here. I'm also going to borrow the neck and dress, and as you can see the skin, tones aren't the same. I'll come back with the air brush and match up the skin tones. I will consider giving her a more mature hair style, more in keeping with a seventeen year old.
NARRATION: Tragically, Cheryl Morrien is still missing. But the center has had its successes. And it is because of the distribution of millions of pictures like these -- computer created photographs of the adolescents these children might have become...
[MUSIC HAIL TO THE CHIEF.
WHITE HOUSE ROSE GARDEN WITH DIRCK HALSTEAD TAKING PICTURES]
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: As a photographer here at the White House, I find it harder and harder to borrow a roll of film from somebody because all the photographers are all now shooting digital.
TITLE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: DELETING HISTORY
DIRCK HALSTEAD, Time Inc. Contract Photographer: I have the opinion that a little piece of photographic lint stays in the mind of a photographer. When I first saw the video of Monica and President on the lawn of the White House, I said to myself, 'I've seen that face, I don't know where but I've seen that face. I've photographed that face somewhere.' I hired a researcher, Andrea Fisher, she went through over five thousand transparencies and after three days came across this one picture. It was taken just before the election in 1996 at a fund-raiser. And I was just shooting what was going on in the crowd and there was this person who embraced the President and I didn't think anything of it at all. But the truly interesting thing about that -- on that stage with me that night was a photographer from Reuters, a photographer from AFP, a photographer from AP. I have a hunch that almost all of them shot that same picture. In fact I sort of remember flashes going when I think back on it. So the question is, where is the AP picture, the AFP picture, and the Reuters picture? My guess is that three photographers deleted that Monica picture that night because they want to save space on their hard disk and so what they do, they delete everything that doesnt seem to be worthwhile.
Today, we're in the time of the digital camera. We see photographers who work covering the White House, covering major news events, things that are history, throwing two-thirds to three-quarters of their pictures away from their desktop, just to clear the space with no sense, well maybe tomorrow, maybe one of these people will turn out to be really important and you don't know it today. The still image is still the most powerful tool that we have insofar as how we remember things. We're in the memory business. We're losing our photographic heritage and the question is, how can you enable people to collect those memories? Thats the question.
PHOTOGRAPHY AS ART
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: Still images do stay with us, and particularly if we have a long time to look at them, and if they get repeated. That kind of reinforcement really burns something into the mind and thats what happens with photographs, because they are infinitely reproducible, they are infinitely reproduced.
DAVID FRIEND, Vanity Fair: There are some statistic that the average urbanite sees something like 11,000 images a day, that there are 46 million pictures taken by Americans every year. You would think that this dilutes the power of the individual picture. That somehow the power of pictures has dissipated, I disagree. I think that were more...that the society is visually astute. That this proliferation of pictures has made us more comfortable looking at pictures. There are certain cultures that look at calligraphy and they understand the nuance. We understand the nuance of pictures. We understand when a pictures telling the truth.
MARIA MORRIS HAMBOURG, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: In the 60's, at the very beginning of the 60's, there were a few prescient souls, and of course many of them were artists, who were perceiving that photography had so completely infiltrated our perceptions that there was no way to create a great work of art without a photographic aspect.
TITLE: APPROPRIATING PICTURES
MARIA MORRIS HAMBOURG, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: People like Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol reached out to the camera. They took images from the newspapers applied them or incorporated them within their canvasses.
MARVIN HEIFERMAN, Curator/Writer: Someone like Rauschenberg rips out a picture from a magazine, right? And douses it with lighter fluid, and slaps it down on a piece of paper, and the ink from that photographic image as it's reproduced in the magazine transfers to the paper. Okay? And he takes it away and he looks at it, and he says, I made a drawing. That's a huge step!
MARIA MORRIS HAMBOURG, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: They were trying to, sort of, get direct overlays of the photographic interpretation of the world, which is how we see the world now, into the very substance of their art.
MARVIN HEIFERMAN, Curator/Writer: Andy Warhol gets completely, completely fascinated with photographic images and how they work. What do movie stars mean? What do fashion pictures mean? What's glamour about? What makes something so ethereal, so wonderful and so weird that you can't stop looking at it. And he takes those pictures and he drops out the detailing, and makes them abstract and kind of spacey looking, and makes silk screens, and doesn't make a single painting, but makes 10 paintings. 20 paintings. 30 paintings. All based on the same image. And he paints them, and one's a little bit different than the other, but basically he also is looking at the photographic images in the world as many people after him did, and realized, there's plenty of pictures in this world, I don't need to make more pictures. Let's think about what photographs mean. And that changes art.
MARIA MORRIS HAMBOURG, The Metorpolitan Museum of Art: And in the 70's, the residue from the tradition of painting, that is, paint, [LAUGHS] and, the sort of gesture of the hand, dropped away almost all together.
VICKI GOLDBERG, Author, critic: One of the things that happens throughout this century is that information is increasingly coded into photographs. Artists began to think that if life came at us exclusively in photographic images on the media then they would both use those images in their art and comment on the media in so doing.
Cindy Sherman began making photographs of herself -- of herselves really. The photographs looked like the stills that the studios released for B movies. And the roles were the standard ones; housewife, librarian, sex pot, little girl lost, bitch.
Laurie Simmons, who had grown up on television, was trying to say that our image of life was what we saw on television, in magazines, what have you. And she looked at it through plastic figures playing house. And she took photographs of this as to say that life is so second hand that even plastic figurines could represent it.
Richard Prince investigated the role of masculinity in American life. He re-photographed the Marlboro ads and the he removed the text so you have this beautiful image of the West which had once been an advertisement and had now been turned into a work of art.
MARIA MORRIS HAMBOURG, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: In todays world, in the end of the 20th century, artists are clearly aware of photography as always manipulated. No matter what it is, if it's a perfectly straight photograph, it is a version, of a truth. It is not the truth. People think of it as a window on the world. It is and it isnt. It is real, but its a new reality.
Title END STORY: A HUSBAND REMEMBERED
HILDA GORE, Vietnam Wall, 1999: I went to Europe, and I visited, graveyards there, which is something that tourists do, and although you have no connection to the people, on many times and many countries, the custom is to leave a photo on the gravestone, and the photo's usually surrounded by flowers, and there are little, you know, things underneath that belonged to the person, so that was really, something that I thought was a wonderful thing to do. Because when I looked at those photos, I became intensely interested in those people. And I thought about them a lot. And I wondered who they were. And I made up little stories in my head about who they were. And the wall, the Vietnam Wall, is very powerful and wonderful in its own way, but in a sense, they're unknown soldiers. They're anonymous. We don't know anything more about them than their names. So it's like a sea of unknown soldiers. And I wanted Leo, not to be unknown. And, so I brought this photo to the wall. I mean if you look at this photo, you can see that he, that he was a baby. He was just a kid. And you can see a kind of kid like almost bewildered expression on his face, and that's what the wall doesn't tell you. The wall doesn't tell you that they were all kids. You know when you look at the wall you think of men behind those, those names. But they weren't. They were just, they were just babies, like Leo. And he was very handsome, and very smart, and I think the photo gives you, a photo captures someone's spirit. And it conveys that spirit to other people. And so that's why I wanted to put his photo on the wall. And I think that the main feeling about putting a photo on the wall is that, when people look at this photo, and they see him, I think I want them to love him. Because I loved him. And, and I think when you look at a photo you can have those feelings. And that's why I wanted to leave it.