Friday, October 17, 2008

The Politics of the Retouched Headshot

Un-retouched photo of Sarah Palin on the cover of Newsweek
The Atlantic has an interesting post by Virginia Postrel on the politics of portraiture:
As Hillary Clinton can attest, a good portrait is not a random selection of what the camera sees, with no subjective input from human observers. A good portrait offers not mechanical objectivity but what the historians of science Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison in their 2007 book Objectivity call “truth to nature,” the standard Enlightenment naturalists used in their scientific atlases. “They conceived of fidelity,” write Daston and Galison, “in terms of the exercise of informed judgment in the selection of ‘typical,’ ‘characteristic,’ ‘ideal,’ or ‘average’ images: all these were varieties of the reasoned image.”
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