The Valley of the Shadow of Death
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center,
The University of Texas at Austin.
(1) How should we understand the possibility of photographic manipulation as an historical phenomenon. In other words, are photo-shop, etc. qualitatively different threats to photographic veracity?
(2) How should we understand the intimate relationship between photographers or other journalists and the (often military) organizations with whom they work?
(3) What is the role of intention in the making of photographs? In our subsequent assessments of them? (The leads to a considerably less pressing matter regarding the 'bravery' or whatever of photographers. I am not terribly interested in questions of character in that sense.)
While he seems skeptical of those who deride Fenton, Morris ends this installment inconclusively and leaves readers with a challenge: "I would like to propose a contest to the Times’ readership — an invitation to order the photographs and to propose reasons why they must be in that order. Anything is fair game. Any kind of evidence may be considered, and I will discuss the solutions in a followup article. Good luck!"
P.S.: This essay is one of a series that Morris is publishing in The Times.