Picture of Clearcut Triggers Debate Over Logging Practices


General Photography, Politics

Scott Klag sent me this following story (thank you!), which contains quite a few interesting aspects: “A single newspaper photograph has triggered a debate over logging practices in the Northwest. The photo shows a clear-cut hillside that slid into a creek during last month’s Pineapple Express storms. Mud and debris in streams and rivers helped contribute to devastating record floods in Southwest Washington. A University of Washington professor and timber giant Weyerhaeuser faced-off Thursday at a legislative hearing.” (source)

While the story follows the usual pattern - the company of course denies its practices are harmful for the environment and goes to attack the messenger - it’s interesting to see this following bit: “The Seattle Times photograph, by Steve Ringman, was taken with a 20-mm wide-angle lens a few days after the storm hit. At the hearing, Weyerhaeuser’s Godbout said the slope looked less steep when seen from a different perspective, and - on a screen - he showed a corporate photograph with a different view of the slides and slope.”

Regardless of this particular case, it is indeed worthwhile to note how the choice of camera lens can potentially create a different impression - people who think that the “manipulation” of images and/or meaning requires digital photography (aka the use of Photoshop) might want to make a mental note!