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From the New York Times:

The Racial Bias Built Into Photography

Sarah Lewis explores the relationship between racism and the camera.

By Sarah Lewis
April 25, 2019

Sarah Lewis is an assistant professor at Harvard University in the department of history of art and architecture and the department of African and African-American studies.

Can a photographic lens condition racial behavior? I wondered about this as I was preparing to speak about images and justice on a university campus.

“We have a problem. Your jacket is lighter than your face,” the technician said from the back of the one-thousand-person amphitheater-style auditorium. “That’s going to be a problem for lighting.” She was handling the video recording and lighting for the event.

It was an odd comment that reverberated through the auditorium, a statement of the obvious that sounded like an accusation of wrongdoing. Another technician standing next to me stopped adjusting my microphone and jolted in place. The phrase hung in the air, and I laughed to resolve the tension in the room then offered back just the facts:

“Well, everything is lighter than my face. I’m black.”

“Touché,” said the technician organizing the event. She walked toward the lighting booth. My smile dropped upon realizing that perhaps the technician was actually serious. I assessed my clothes — a light beige jacket and black pants worn many times before in similar settings.

As I walked to the greenroom, the executive running the event came over and apologized for what had just occurred, but to me, the exchange was a gift.

My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University. It also happened to be the subject of my presentation that day.

It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion. He didn’t accept that answer. His pride was so wounded after being expelled that he never went back to high school. Instead, he went on to become an artist, inserting images of African-Americans where he thought they should — and knew they did — exist. Two generations later, my courses focus on the very material he was expelled for asking about in class.

After the presentation was over, the technician walked toward me as I was leaving the auditorium. I had nearly forgotten that she was there. She apologized for what had transpired earlier and asked if one day she might sit in on my class.

What had happened in this exchange? It can be hard to technically light brown skin against light colors. Yet, instead of seeking a solution, the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage.

Strong beautiful black women can never be happy until Becky Privilege is dealt with.

 
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  1. Tusk says:

    That racist technician should be doxxed, and promptly fired, for a factual statement in regard to the technical aspects of their work. One cannot help but wonder if a green-skinned alien was to descend upon Earth and was about to be greenscreened, would it be taboo and bigoted to mention that their skin tone may have an effect?

  2. SnakeEyes says:

    She teaches a course on this subject at Harvard University?

  3. Wilkey says:

    What had happened in this exchange? It can be hard to technically light brown skin against light colors. Yet, instead of seeking a solution, the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage.

    It seems to me like the solution here is backwards. Instead of having the technician sit in on a class on racial grievances, perhaps the racial grievance professor should sit in on a class on lighting and video recording. That’s a skill that doesn’t give a shit about your grudges and gripes but demands, you know, actual results. Then maybe she would have something to say worth hearing.

    But she in her screed shows how closed-minded she really is. She’s proud that the technician asked to sit in on her class, but never once asked to learn about the difficulties face by the technician to do the job properly.

  4. Wilkey says:

    Sarah Lewis is an assistant professor at Harvard University in the department of history of art and architecture and the department of African and African-American studies.

    Ah, now I get it. This person works and teaches in the same department as the asshole who was happy that Notre Dame almost burned to the ground. Good to know.

  5. Liza says:

    It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society.

    Psychotics have taken over, completely. What do our children have to look forward to?

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @Desiderius
    , @notanon
  6. George says:

    This day in Becky history, April 26, 1777: Sybil Ludington warns the Connecticut militia* that Agents of British law and wokeness are coming to redistribute income, protect indigenous rights, and free the slaves, but does not receive any recognition (like that crazy racist Paul Revere), beyond a statue that should be removed, because: patriarchy.

    * Crazy deluded alcoholic racist armed white supremacist male sovereign citizen terrorist tax shirkers who are violently hypnotized by minister of propaganda Thomas Paine’s insane pamphlets.

    Featured article on Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_Ludington

  7. “… instead of seeking a solution, the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage. “

    She’s certainly reading a lot into “We have a problem.”

  8. eah says:

    OT (but speaking of faces)

    Boris Palmer is the Bürgermeister of Tübingen, and while a member ‘die Grünen’, is known as something of a maverick because he often says reasonable but politically incorrect things (the Green Party is not known for that, or for tolerance of it) — the latest being his remark that most of the (deliberately chosen) people currently pictured on the home page of ‘Die Deutsche Bahn’ do not look very German — “Welche Gesellschaft soll das abbilden?”

  9. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:

    Spike Lee has written of how much trouble he had shooting black and white actors together on screen. If you light for the black actor you end up with a washed out white actor. One of his tricks was to lube up the black actors’s faces with face cream so that highlights would show up more clearly, delineating the black actors’s features. I think that’s why e tend to think blacks are … sweaty. A racist trope courtesy of Spike Lee.

    The dynamic range of film and video is much narrower than the eye. Videographers have to make sure that everything in frame is within that range. And you want faces to be exposed near the middle of the range to get the most detail.

    One of the many technical difficulties of 3D is that you lose 1 or 1-1/2 stops just because of the glasses that the theatergoers wear, and that has to be anticipated at the set design, costuming, and makeup stage.

    In general, you want to keep makeup artists and camera people happy. Don’t insult them by implying that they are racist. They can “spit in your food.” Nixon learned that.

  10. El Dato says:

    What had happened in this exchange? It can be hard to technically light brown skin against light colors. Yet, instead of seeking a solution, the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage.

    Quantum Electrodynamics:

    Racist Against Blacks.

    Get over it Blacks. The Universe wants to get rid of you! There is only one solution.

  11. El Dato says:
    @eah

    Especially as I hate people munching sammiches (grilled or otherwise) on trains.

    On the far right, we see The Last Whitey leaving Europe behind for good.

    • Replies: @eah
  12. Seems like light waves are up to their old white supremacist tricks once again

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  13. In my experience, questions of effectively stage-lighting “problem” individuals quickly get resolved by viewing them instead as makeup, costume, and blocking issues. Yawn. Then again, Wypipo invented the Fresnel lens for nefarious diabolical Wypipo purposes, so if POC need different lighting, well… the lab’s that-away.

    btw, our latest complainer is a lecturer in both the Department of Architecture and the Department of African Studies.

    Would love to see the “intersectional” result of that particular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mashup.

  14. @Wilkey

    Sarah Lewis is an assistant professor at Harvard University in the department of history of art and architecture and the department of African and African-American studies. She is an author, a curator and the guest editor of the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture e (2016), which received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography.

    One of these is false:

    1. Lewis is a professor of art, a curator and contributor to Aperture but knows nothing of the technical lighting issues you raised.

    2. The exchange between Lewis and the technician took place.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @George
    , @Mr. Anon
    , @John Pepple
  15. Could be worse: She could be a ginger whose freckles moiré on screen.

  16. “After the presentation was over, the technician walked toward me as I was leaving the auditorium. I had nearly forgotten that she was there. She apologized for what had transpired earlier and asked if one day she might sit in on my class.”

    Be fair to the poor technician – she’d obviously just been told her fortune by the executive running the event, who’d already apologised. While no amount of grovelling is enough, no amount is too much, either.

    “but to me, the exchange was a gift” – well, you got an NYT piece from it and another item to file in the bulging racist incident rolodex.

    Of course it still doesn’t solve the technical problem of lighting dark features in light clothing. But that’s also a gift, because it may yet produce another NYT piece on how her image was literally obliterated – “an experience common to black women throughout history” – see, I can write this stuff!

    “he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion”

    Would a child be expelled for simply asking a question?

    I wonder what form the non-acceptance in “he didn’t accept that answer” actually took?

    • Replies: @TTSSYF
    , @guest
  17. His pride was so wounded after being expelled that he never went back to high school. Instead, he went on to become an artist, inserting images of African-Americans where he thought they should — and knew they did — exist

    https://images.app.goo.gl/K5MyA5L5CHq9mJqF6

  18. technically light brown skin

    there it is: “lighter than yo’s, biatch!”

  19. @SnakeEyes

    A pretty good example of why so many of our problems graduated from Harvard.

  20. @Anon

    Now how is an African-American Studies professor supposed to know that?

  21. Anonymous[804] • Disclaimer says:

    The Jim Crow laws of physics must be amended by a new Civil Rights Act.

  22. Daniel H says:

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.

    The Times accepts this assertion forthright. What can one say?

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  23. Anonymous[171] • Disclaimer says:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Dominique+Apollon

  24. Anonymous[311] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wilkey

    the asshole who was happy that Notre Dame almost burned to the ground.

    Cite?

    • Replies: @Pericles
  25. Anonymous[311] • Disclaimer says:
    @eah

    Try putting “Germans” into Google search.

  26. George says:
    @Change that Matters

    Sarah Lewis at TED, looks really good.

    Search on Sarah Lewis Harvard for more pics, she is good at arranging for pictures where she and other blacks look really good.

    She turned me on to prolific pop artist Elizabeth Murray triumph over patriarchy.

    Fun fact from her wikipedia page, ” Frederick Douglass, who was the most photographed American man in the nineteenth century”. Ya know, I never thought about it but there are a lot of pics of Douglass out there given how few cameras there were.

  27. @Daniel H

    Well, okay, he got drunk during the school day, skipped class and bashed some heads now and then. But that’s essentially the same thing as “asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world” back in 1926, right? I mean when you factor in racism and white supremacy and so on.

  28. “We have a problem. Your jacket is lighter than your face… That’s going to be a problem for lighting.”

    My mother’s cousin was an overweight indoor girl, and thus quite pale. Somehow she married a record producer from Jamaica who was equally dark. It was almost impossible to photograph them together. Except perhaps with professional equipment.

    By the way, will Steve’s next post title begin with “Let’s dish…” ?

    If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me. –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

  29. @Anonymous

    Band-Aids on Negroes are cultural appropriation.

  30. @George

    I would think Mark Twain was the most photographed American man of the 19th Century, considering he lived until 1910 while Douglass died in 1895. Granted, a lot of pictures of Twain were taken in the 20th Century, but he was awfully famous in the last quarter century of the 19th Century.

    Both Twain and Douglass were publicity hounds.

    Okay, it appears that Wild Bill Cody and Mark Twain were photographed much more often than Douglass, but Douglass wins because reasons:

    https://longreads.com/2015/11/10/by-the-reflection-of-what-is/

    • Replies: @bored identity
  31. @SnakeEyes

    After reading this excerpt I have no idea what she is talking about. No idea what any of them are talking about.

    • Replies: @bomag
  32. TTSSYF says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    “he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion”
    Would a child be expelled for simply asking a question?
    I wonder what form the non-acceptance in “he didn’t accept that answer” actually took?

    My thoughts exactly. That story, as told, almost certainly is a lie. So why should we pay any attention to anything else a liar says?

  33. @eah

    This is everywhere now.

    You should see the images they put in our corporate website and internal PC screensaver.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. Logan says:
    @George

    That photo is amazing. I was envisioning a dark black skin disappearing into a dark suit.

    Her actual skin tone is very little if any darker than a good many deeply tanned “white people.” She is “black” only in a cultural sense.

  35. Logan says:
    @Anonymous

    I guess Band-Aid should manufacture, and retailers should stock, bandaids in a dozen or more colors.

    Can’t anybody realize that this is simply impractical.

    I’ve got an idea. Why not stock, next to the bandaids, markers in a spectrum of “skin tones?” Then ALL bandaids can be sold only in stark white, and everybody will have to color their’s to match their skin tone before (or perhaps after) applying it. That’s equally inconvenient for all.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  36. Danindc says:

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.

    Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly how it went down…very plausible.

    After the presentation was over, the technician walked toward me as I was leaving the auditorium. I had nearly forgotten that she was there. She apologized for what had transpired earlier and asked if one day she might sit in on my class.

    Again, very plausible. Lol these people just make sh*t up and expect us to believe it.

  37. KL says:

    Bodybuilders routinely tan and body-paint to look darker onstage. Otherwise, pale skin looks washed out and fat instead of hard and muscular. Light is racist.

    • Replies: @Yngvar
  38. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    45 is probably a little young to have seen this many times before before, but the “negro bandaid” cycle has been rolling on for many decades.

    There will be articles in the press about how horrible it is that there are no black bandaids. Some black entrepreneur will start a negro bandaid company. It will be heralded in the black press. Nobody buys them. Stores don’t stock them because nobody buys them. The company goes belly up.

    It turns out that:

    — Black people are not that good at the entrepreneur/small business start up thing (vd. the continent of Africa)

    — Korean shop owners don’t stock stuff that doesn’t sell; black shop owners expect you to “show a brother some race loyalty,” and give the product away on consignment.

    — Blacks don’t want to pay more for bandaids that match their skin. And guess what? “White” people are not all the same color, but also don’t particularly mind that bandaids don’t match their skin either.

    — If there were a market for black bandaids, the makers of normal bandaids would be all over it. Corporations don’t leave money on the table because they’re racist.

  39. @eah

    Hmmm. Palmer must be one of those Wandervogel environmentalists:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandervogel

    Seriously though, do we have another Thilo Sarrazin in the making here?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thilo_Sarrazin

  40. eah says:
    @El Dato

    It’s actually Nico Rosberg, former F1 driver — he’s part of the ad campaign — here is his cucked response:

    „Herr Palmer, Sie wollen spalten & Menschen ausgrenzen“, schrieb er auf Twitter.

    Stefan Kretzschmar, a well-known former Handball player, talked about this in an interview last year — how famous people, especially athletes, nowadays either toe the ‘multikulti’ line, or keep their mouths shut entirely — to avoid problems, eg with their sponsorship deals.

    Anyone interested can watch that video at the following link:

    Stefan Kretzschmar: „Eine regierungskritische Meinung darf man in diesem Land nicht mehr haben“ — in Germany you’re no longer allowed to express views critical of the government (or ‘multikulti’, which due to Merkel’s Asyl-/Flüchtlings-politik is pretty much official German government policy).

  41. @Curious Person

    Combining light waves equally over the visible spectrum gives us HuWhite light. That’s really raciss. We need to evolve past this fixation on the additive colors, and understand the beauty of subtractive colors, which add up to blackness.

    It’s time to go another step up the euphemism ladder, as “African American” is getting worn out and seems to somehow have gotten bad connotations.

    So: “Negro” —> “Colored” —> “Afro-American” —> “Black” —> “African American” —> “Subtractive Colored”.

    Got it? Good! Now snap that picture already and deal with it in Photoshop.

  42. @Anonymous

    For real I’m holding back tears

    Didn’t your Mother tell you to rip it off quick and get it over with… oh, and not to cry like a little girl?

    (I’m just guessing no Dad was around for that – > 75% chance.)

  43. @George

    Why is she appropriating White people’s straight, smooth hair?

  44. BB753 says:

    Dark colors are harder to photograph in contrast. It’s just a fact. This lady should buy a camera and find out by herself.

    • Replies: @Neuday
    , @Known Fact
  45. Mr. Anon says:
    @Change that Matters

    One of these is false:

    1. Lewis is a professor of art, a curator and contributor to Aperture but knows nothing of the technical lighting issues you raised.

    2. The exchange between Lewis and the technician took place.

    Not at all. Somebody who contributes to the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperature need not know anything at all about photography and likely doesn’t. Her whole bio given above indicates that she is a member of the parasite-class, not somebody who has any real skill or talent.

  46. @Change that Matters

    The first is false. She’s not a professor of art, but of art history. Art historians may or may not have that kind of technical knowledge, depending on their background and training.

  47. Mr. Anon says:
    @George

    Her CV is a pretty typical list of modern academic po-mo word-salad, full of “Evocative phrase – colon – PC buzzwords” type titles. Colons all over the place. A regular colonoscopy of a CV.

  48. bomag says:
    @Father O'Hara

    One summary: you must change to suit her needs.

  49. songbird says:

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.

    Never happened. He probably dropped out. Many people never went to high school back then. Incidentally, NYC in 1926 would be considered lily white today.

  50. bomag says:
    @Liza

    Agree.

    And notice that the things she wants get cast as basic rights:

    My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy…

    She wants the law, the courts, and the police apparatus now turned towards ensuring she is recognized.

  51. Flemur says:

    Some wag pointed out that there’s a racism shortage, so stupid articles like this one complaining about the imaginary meanings of trivial events take its place.

    the executive running the event came over and apologized for what had just occurred,

    Sorry we tried to make you look good on camera! I guess it can’t be done!

    My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm.

    I’m sure your work does exactly that. Maybe it’ll cure cancer.

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.

    That didn’t happen.

    She apologized for what had transpired earlier and asked if one day she might sit in on my class.

    Sorry we tried to make you look good on camera! I’m just a stupid white girl, please educate me!

    the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage.

    That didn’t happen.

  52. bomag says:
    @George

    This changes things a bit. She’s a light-skinned Black with a nice smile. Photographers are going to fuss over her, including the clothes she wears. Darker clothes are going to flatter her significantly in photographs.

    • Replies: @Spangel
  53. peterike says:

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion.

    Amazing that teachers in 1926 could speak the truth so openly.

    • Replies: @Anon
  54. HenryA says:

    Douglass appears blacker and blacker in every photo. 19th century photographs tended to make a person’s skin complexion darker than it would appear to the eye. Look at the many pictures of Lincoln. His skin tone is quite dark in every photo. Likewise Douglass, even though having a white father, looks almost entirely African in most photos, especially those that are reproduced in textbooks. Compare those photos with this early portrait of Douglass which shows a much lighter skin tone.

    • Replies: @res
  55. Amber Heard has an extremely beautiful mug that no Black woman, nor a mulatto woman, nor an off-brand woman could ever match.

    Amber Heard is beautiful because of her genetic ancestry which includes English, Scotch-Irish, Welsh, German, Irish and Scottish.

    Most off-brand broads can’t approach Amber Heard’s beauty because they ain’t got the right genetics for beauty.

    Ask that damn Limey dope Edward Dutton about it.

    Billionaire globalizer dirtbag Jeff Bezos does prove my theory about ancestry and attractiveness wrong because Bezos is an extremely ugly money-grubbing billionaire dirtbag with mostly Northern European ancestry.

    It is my belief that ugly bastard Bezos, who is so full of shit that his eyes are brown, has utilized his dismay at his lack of handsomeness to put all his energies into the ugly business of money-grubbing. Bill Gates is another ugly motherphucka who used fanatic GREED to express the ugliness of his inner and outer soul.

    In short, those of us who are extremely attractive must understand that many non-Whites and Whites who are ugly bastards are using their ugliness as battering rams to attack and destroy the beauty of White people and White culture.

    Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are ugly disgusting globalizer greedy scum who must be considered to be enemies of the truth and beauty of White Core America.

    Yeah, I wrote this to be outlandish. Here is more. Melinda Gates is an ugly greedy globalizer bitch who looks like Buddy Hackett and we’re supposed to pretend that her vile ugliness hasn’t warped her rancid soul? Nonsense!

    Mother Nature Is Giving Us The Green!

    Happy Spring! Except to you ugly greedy globalizer billionaire dirtbags!

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @Alden
  56. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    Scroll scroll scroll backwards for a few days or a week or so here and you’ll find both article and plentiful discussion about this.

  57. “It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him”.

    Log this passage in the category of “Never Happened”. Do you honestly think that if this actually happened, it would be the first time she or anyone else actually mentioned it?

    • Agree: eah
  58. Spangel says:
    @George

    Agree. If she wants to talk about her face, then she could start by being thankful that her face is better than 99% of women who have a skin tone that dark.

    For all the artificial policies in their favor, it’s still got to suck to be a dark black women because of how they look- in particular their hair texture and facial features. But this woman is lucky in that most people of other races will find her at least moderately attractive and treat her as such.

  59. “We have a problem. Your jacket is lighter than your face,” the technician said from the back of the one-thousand-person amphitheater-style auditorium. “That’s going to be a problem for lighting.” She was handling the video recording and lighting for the event.

    The obvious solution is to wear a darker jacket. Surely you want your audience in the amphitheater and possibly on video to be able to see you as clearly as possible so that you can get your message across.

    “Well, everything is lighter than my face. I’m black.”

    This statement is not self evident. “Black” people are not black in the sense that my black labrador Sally appears black, to the extent that sometimes it is hard to see her in a dark corner. “Black” people have skin that is many shades of brown, from very pale brown to deep chocolate brown. Even assuming that the author is very dark skinned, there is still something darker than her face, for example a black or navy blue jacket.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQNxHFDe7oyTiiAuVFRRIWkK84gf1KtTMbO9l2mmcsvUbk9LiOj

    • Replies: @Smithsonian
  60. Anon[240] • Disclaimer says:

    Black skin in the jungle is great for camouflage. It blends in with shadows very well and makes it good for stalking and hunting game. No one ever asks themselves if black skin has a beneficial aspect to it when it comes to survival. In twilight and night, black skin confers an advantage on a predator on the hunt.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  61. Is there a single instance of the construction of a stage in all of pre-colonial, sub-Saharan Africa? Rather than castigate the technician’s putative assumption that “black bodies” are “unsuitable for the stage” we should recognize and congratulate such an expression of the experience of millennia. Everyone in Anglo-Saxon America used to think this way, which is why Lewis’ grandfather’s teacher was perfectly justified to point out that pride of place in his civilization – the “merit” of “inclusion” – was not an entitlement for those who merely show up.

  62. MarcB. says:

    Modern DSLR/mirror-less photo and video camera cameras do have trouble with darker skin tones, but some (Canon) are better than others. When taking a shot with multiple people with a wide variety of light to dark skin tones, exposure and white balance favors one complexion over another. By balancing somewhere in the middle (tan Mediterranean), there will usually be enough information to provide for post optimization for all parties when editing, especially if shot with a 15+ megapixel camera with high dynamic range in RAW.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHR023WhEaM&feature=player_embedded

  63. My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University.

    I think the Chinese are working on HIV prevention, genetics, blah blah. Luckily, with classes like these at Harvard, we’ll never be second place. Thanks, elites!!

  64. istevefan says:

    “We have a problem. Your jacket is lighter than your face,

    Based upon their particular coloration of hair, skin and eyes, Whites might need to avoid bright colors and stick with earth colors in their clothing choices. Whereas blacks seem to able to wear the brightest colored clothing with no problems.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  65. @George

    Ludington reportedly rode more than twice the distance attributed to Revere and was much younger than the men. However, there is no contemporaneous evidence that these events occurred.

    Hmmm, sounds like it was made up.

    Contemporaneous sources suggest that the patriot army and the town of Danbury, Connecticut were already aware of the approaching British troops, as noted in The New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury, May 19, 1777…

    And worthless, to boot.

  66. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @istevefan

    Based upon their particular coloration of hair, skin and eyes, Whites might need to avoid bright colors and stick with earth colors in their clothing choices. Whereas blacks seem to able to wear the brightest colored clothing with no problems.

    This would seem to contradict what the technician said.

  67. ‘…It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion…’

    I wonder if that’s the last time an accurate statement was made on the subject in a New York City public high school.

    …although I’m inclined to doubt the conversation actually occurred. It’s a black claiming it did — and whatever their merits otherwise, blacks seem to have little ability to distinguish between what they wish had happened and what did happen.

  68. @Anonymous

    Look how the carpet changes tone in the two photos as the camera tries to balance overall tone. Same general issue the lighting technician was talking about.

  69. @George

    Most White people have no idea about the amount of time Black women have to spend to make their hair look straight like that.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    , @guest
  70. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    No one ever asks themselves if black skin has a beneficial aspect to it when it comes to survival. In twilight and night, black skin confers an advantage on a predator on the hunt.

    Do you believe that people should be asking themselves this?

  71. Two options:

    1) Design an alternative gamma curve or coding technique for improving the dynamic range of video.

    2) Complain about it from a privileged soapbox until a white or asian engineer fixes the problem for you gratis.

  72. @Wilkey

    When writers base their stories on an alleged personal experience they can’t help themselves — rather than write a lame piece they are going to creatively edit the events to fit their point, not vice versa. (See e.g., Obama’s “composite girlfriend.”) So, call me cynical, but if there is no way to fact-check some didactic personal anecdote I simply assume it is fiction which is, at best, potentially “inspired by true events.”

    I’d also apply this cynical presumption to this lady’s family mythology which seems about as reliable as Elizabeth Warren’s tales of Native American ancestry:

    It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him. The teacher had told him that African-Americans in particular had done nothing to merit inclusion. He didn’t accept that answer. His pride was so wounded after being expelled that he never went back to high school.

  73. @Jonathan Mason

    There are some African tribes who are extremely black, so black they almost have a hint of blue about them.
    (Deep navy blue that is, not wintering Scotsman pale blue).

    • Replies: @PSR
  74. Spangel says:
    @bomag

    How is anyone in their right mind calling that woman light skinned? She is dark. Perfectly average skin tone for a black woman.

    It’s like people are confused about her skin color because she has good facial features. She’s dark skinned, but she has somewhat Caucasian facial features.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  75. JimB says:

    It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University.

    Isn’t core curriculum supposed to be Great Books? Good thing Harvard gives out scholarship money like Bed, Bath, and Beyond gives out discount coupons. The merchandise is crap.

  76. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    This is everywhere now.

    You should see the images they put in our corporate website and internal PC screensaver.

    In Germany?

  77. @Charles Pewitt

    In short, those of us who are extremely attractive must understand that many non-Whites and Whites who are ugly bastards are using their ugliness as battering rams to attack and destroy the beauty of White people and White culture.

    Don’t hate us because we are beautiful . . .

    • Agree: Charles Pewitt
  78. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan

    I guess Band-Aid should manufacture, and retailers should stock, bandaids in a dozen or more colors.

    The lighter ones are better, even for blacks, because they better show dirt and blood.

  79. The 1000 seat auditorium was probably 990 seats too many.

  80. Neuday says:
    @BB753

    Hasselblad? Leica? Both nazi. Canon? Nikon? Everyone knows Asians are racist af. Perhaps a camera obscura is the only woke option, since the image is reversed and inverted.

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  81. res says:
    @HenryA

    Exposure time was a big issue with early photographs. It is not surprising photographers would tend to underexpose (less time, making things appear darker).

    Here is a look at how that might explain the lack of smiling in early photographs:
    http://time.com/4568032/smile-serious-old-photos/

  82. Can a photographic lens condition racial behavior? I wondered about this as I was preparing to speak about images and justice on a university campus.

    What does it mean for a photographic lense to condition racial behavior? Is this another example of POC stringing together words without really knowing what they mean?

    Why is it racial behavior when the laws of physics contradict racially based expectations?

    It was an odd comment that reverberated through the auditorium, a statement of the obvious that sounded like an accusation of wrongdoing.

    Why is a statement of the obvious an odd comment?

    If it is obvious that dark face/light jacket make for poor photography, why did she wear the light jacket?

    My smile dropped upon realizing that perhaps the technician was actually serious. I assessed my clothes — a light beige jacket and black pants worn many times before in similar settings.

    Did Ms. Assistant Professor consider that the technician was doing her a favor, and that previous technicians had notr bothered to tell her about the light issues?

    No, she did not.

    My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University. It also happened to be the subject of my presentation that day.

    And yet, she did not know that her choice of clothes affected the quality of her image.

  83. @Flemur

    “My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm”

    Well, then her work is essentially over with. If television, movies and advertising are the public realm, then we officially know that all black people are wealthy computer genius professionals, doctors, and concert pianists who spend all their time giving each other luxury automobiles parked outside their stately homes. In fact, if television advertising is a solid indicator, America consists almost entirely of black hipster too-clever basketball players, black know-it-alls, and the white women who date them.

    The good professor can move on to “looking at” something else. This topic is exhausted.

  84. RH says:

    One reason why beige and black is seldom worn by people who have even a dim awareness of 20th century history is that these were the colors of the uniform worn by the Gestapo. Uncle Adolf frequently appeared in these colors.

    • Replies: @BB753
  85. PSR says:
    @Smithsonian

    Ans still common among individuals in parts of the rural South of this country.

  86. anonymous[787] • Disclaimer says:

    “It’s taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a “band-aid” in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I’m holding back tears.”

    What an idiot. There have been clear bandages for years, and they blend better with my own pale white skin too.

  87. Dan Smith says:

    I appeared on an educational TV show (Newton’s Apple) in 1988. The producer told me I couldn’t wear blue. Or green. Or some color. Because it wouldn’t look good on the screen. Had I only known what a bunch of vile racists inhabited the TV production world, I would’ve spoken up sooner. #Metoo

  88. Sleep says:

    Let’s Talk About … was a very nice series of parent/child books … I remember having an entire bookshelf full of them and reading them on my own. Fond memories. That phrase caught my eye as soon as I saw the three posts.

  89. Anon[226] • Disclaimer says:

    Becky must breed with other races until there are no more Beckys. Dont you guys get that? She makes the rest of us feel bad because she is so cute. Beckys opiod overdose would also be acceptable to us.

  90. “Can a photographic lens condition racial behavior?”

    I am angry with rocks because they laugh at me.

  91. @Wilkey

    Notre Dame can be redeemed, as a greenhouse and apiary! Monks and hippies getting together to dig nature.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6963757/Notre-Dame-reborn-GREENHOUSE-French-architects-propose-replacing-damaged-roof-glass.html

    You knew this was coming. The Global Warming cult, like Islam, must conquer and repurpose their enemy’s churches and temples. Just to rub it in.

  92. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Spangel

    On top of everything else, blacks (to include blacks with minimal exposure to European colonialization) are fixated on skin color like no white person is, and often regarded lighter skin as preferable before ever seeing a Portuguese trader.

  93. @Steve Sailer

    Speaking about Fake Outrage Face Recognition, bored identity would just like to remind y’all how Sarah’s fat, loose, and gloriously vindictive lip sunk her credibility ship- before she made it to the sixth paragraph :

    “…, but to me, the exchange was a gift.”

  94. notanon says:

    a lot of anti-white school violence is really about sexual jealousy and competition.

    and so is everything else.

  95. It is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from a New York City public high school in 1926 for asking why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.

    Chances that this actually happened, 0-2.4%

  96. Malcolm Y says:

    Most “black” people are ugly as sin. Tough. So are a lot of white people.

  97. KL says:

    I’m black and had a similar problem. Then when I signed up for a photography class at night school, they marked me absent!

    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
  98. Yngvar says:
    @KL

    Or they inject melanotan. Just a tip. 😉

  99. TheBoom says:

    The technician’s action was near as racist as what the sun does to me every day. As a person of White, I can get sunburned more easily that a person of dark color.

  100. MBlanc46 says:
    @Shawn Returns

    Correct. I have no idea, and I wish to continue to have no idea.

  101. J1234 says:

    Can a photographic lens condition racial behavior? I wondered about this….

    For people of this political perspective, the path between “wondering about” something and an article in the New York Times profoundly short, quick and obstacle-free. A random thought becomes fact in record time.

  102. @Wilkey

    When I was in advertising, I made a commercial starring a dark-skinned black athlete. (Not going to provide enough detail to dox myself.) When the background was created that he was going to stand in front of, I told the set designer that the color seemed very dark to me. He gave me a look that implied “Duh” and said, “Everything is dark until you light it.”

    In fact, the background had to be very dark so as not to wash out when the black performer was properly lit. These are just realities of photography.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
  103. @Harry Baldwin

    Imagine, if you will, the following exchange:

    Technician: We have to be careful not to wash out your face.
    Ms. Asstistamt Professor at Harvard:

  104. @George

    The town square in Haverhill, Massachusetts has a statue of Hannah Duston, believed to be the first statue of a woman erected in America. The base of the statue has bas-reliefs depicting key elements of her heroic tale.

    Hannah Duston was a colonial Massachusetts Puritan mother of nine who was taken captive by Abenaki people from Québec during King William’s War, with her newborn daughter, during the Raid on Haverhill in 1697, in which 27 colonists were killed. While detained on an island in the Merrimack River in present-day Boscawen, New Hampshire, she killed and scalped ten of the Native American family members holding them hostage, with the assistance of two other captives. She claimed the Abenaki had killed her baby during the journey to the island.

    BTW, she scalped the Indians she killed so that she could collect the bounty on them, worth 25 pounds. Has that statue been torn down yet?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Duston

    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt
  105. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Producing good prints of blacks and whites together actually was High Art in the film days. It was a challenge. I knew one guy who used a dodging technique under the enlarger with variable contrast papers and a paddle made out of the contrast filter material.

    Another issue was that the techniques used to smooth out older white women’s facial wrinkles would make the lips of blacks look really odd.

    Color film, despite Alinsky’s famous remark, presented new challenges to photographing blacks well.
    The top NY pros knew all this but no one wrote of it in the camera magazines of the day which were popular. You had to figure it out yourself if you were a working portrait photographer.

    Of course, the longroll guys didn’t give a shit, so pictures of blacks in yearbooks and the like never did look very good.

  106. I don’t know that it is more annoying for leftist academics to weave in selective, career-advancing fragments from their personal lives to back up their racism theories than for politicians, journalists and top-earning businesspeople from both sides to constantly use their personal-life “stories” to illustrate their points.

    We’ve got a 2-year presidential election cycle coming up, in which we will hear over and over and over and over again about Elizabeth Warren’s plight as a poor single mom, trying to drum up some low-wage daycare, with highly paid journalists chiming in with their own heart-wrenching daycare stories. Next up will be the 275th rerun of the Biden family’s gut-wrenching personal story of grief. Republicans have just as many personal stories to back up their points.

    People are annoyed to the extent that the stories do not align with their own personal narrative or when the personal stories of others don’t back up some theory that they have embraced, not so much with their own use of personal stories for career advancement purposes, absenteeism excuses, etc.

    That said, it is funny how the different skin-tone values are regarded as a psychological burden. Artists just look at contrast as an interesting visual problem. Many Black people are going with the tone-on-tone approach, embracing a somewhat unconventional use of the tone-on-tone look, juxtaposing slight variations in darker tones.

    It is customary to see a lighter, tone-on-tone palette, featuring a range of pale, soft tones in one hue family, like the lighter warm grays or creamy yellowish tones. The dark tone-on-tone approach is striking, especially when unbroken by any harsh, light, contrasting visual disruptions. Just like in light tone-on-tone designs, the eye shifts smoothly over slight, dark, tonal shifts, with variance in the texture and sheen of clothing and backdrops adding interest. It’s a subtle visual option.

  107. @Harry Baldwin

    The town square in Haverhill, Massachusetts has a statue of Hannah Duston, believed to be the first statue of a woman erected in America. The base of the statue has bas-reliefs depicting key elements of her heroic tale.

    Has that statue been torn down yet?

    The Hannah Duston statue in New Hampshire is a wonderful example of the fierceness and indomitable spirit of motherly love and it still stands. I don’t know about the one in Massachusetts; I hope that one still stands as well.

  108. After reading this article I was reminded of an old joke:
    A woman complained to a photographer: “This picture doesn’t do me justice!”.
    The photographer replied : “Lady, you don’t need justice, you need mercy.”

  109. BB753 says:
    @RH

    Only people obsessed with the Third Reich are even aware of that association.

  110. Anon[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @peterike

    I don’t know how old you are, but the above was the standard view up through the mid 60s. School textbooks only lightly touched on Blacks in America. Blacks in Africa were portrayed as primitive and a bit savage.

    Not all NonWhite groups were portrayed unfavorably. Chinese and especially Japanese, for example, were often portrayed as having advanced cultures and histories.

  111. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neuday

    Hasselblad was Swedish.

    Leica was German enough, but Leicas have a certain privileged position in Jewish folklore and culture since almost every Jew who left Nazi Germany had a Leica camera they took with them. And a lot of them did leave Germany quite alive and often with substantial assets.

    In my camera days I bought and sold a bunch of screw mount Leicas, and I think I sold pretty much all of them to Jewish buyers. Few of whom ever used them. The SM Leica was the real choice of working spies for generations, not Minoxes or Tessinas. If a Leica was too visible or intrusive they used custom built devices or prop books, etc, in which to stick their Leica.

    Leitz optics were good, but the real truth is that the best Nikkors were better. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Panavision.

  112. guest says:
    @Anon

    Could Spike just shoot everything in black and white like She’s Gotta Have It?

  113. guest says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    That was 1926, anon. Teachers could summarily execute and hang on the flagpole the corpses of such students as ask such questions.

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
  114. guest says:
    @Anonymous

    “For real.” ( not fo reel dough.)

  115. guest says:
    @Shawn Returns

    Aside from watching a bit of that Chris Rock documentary, no, I don’t have any idea. I also don’t care, except insofar as the fewer black girls with annoying frizzy hair, the better.

  116. @Anon

    You’re correct that the photographer was referring to the lighting ratios necessary to fit the tones within the dynamic range of the capture medium.

    I had an African-American wedding photographer tell me once that when he photographs mixed race couples he always places the light source closer to the darker individual and feathers it away from the lighter individual so that their two vastly different skin tones will both fall within the narrow tonal range of the digital camera. The same concept applies between a darker facial skin tone and lighter tone of clothing clothing. The photographer would need to possibly feather or scrim the light in order to get a good exposure for the face without losing detail in the clothing.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  117. Alden says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    Most of the upper level Microsoft wives are about the same level of attractiveness as Melinda. So are the rest of them Those who are a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1-10 do their best to appear unattractive.

    LL Bean is their favorite clothing style.

  118. @BB753

    There clearly is discrimination against black dogs on pet food ads and packaging — their features are too hard to bring out. This woman has no gripe compared to some adorable Lab mix who will never grace a bag of Milk Bones

  119. @res

    Actually, the problem was that early photographic emulsions did not react to red or yellow light. Human skin reflects a lot of both, so it came out looking very dark.

    This also meant that 19th century scenes that in reality were quite bright and colorful often looked dark and muddy in photos. Red would come out looking black.

    Early movie actors were given light green makeup to compensate for this problem, which is why they looked so pale and unnatural. The problem was solved with the development of panchromatic film, which reacted more evenly to all wavelengths of visible light.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  120. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Photographer

    Digital photography still hasn’t fully equalled good film. Every pro over 40 knows this but digital is so much cheaper and easier and faster no one cares.

    • Agree: BB753
  121. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bizarro World Observer

    Yet some of the finest portraiture was done on ortho film. They completely discontinued ortho films except for super high contrast use, e.g., Kodalith, in the late 50s or so. I can remember old portrait photographers using large format talking about it even into the 70s, when I was a kid. My family sat for portraits for an old guy with an old monorail Graphic View camera on a wooden surveyor like tripod in the early 70s and I wound up staying in contact with him for a decade. Taught me a lot about the old days, since he started in the 20s.

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