I’m working on a project involving QR codes at the moment, and a colleague sent me this article from The Globe and Mail. It features this photo of a huge Calvin Klein banner in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood. Click to enlarge it a bit:
Casual inspection indicates that the image has been Photoshopped. It looks like this photo was edited by Calvin Klein and distributed to the media, as both Mashable and other sites ran the same photo.
I noticed this because I was recently in New York, and was staying across the street from this banner. I snapped a photo with my iPhone:
The photo, like many photos that run in the paper, has been edited for clarity. In particular, Calvin Klein obviously wanted people to be able to scan the QR code in the photo. Yet, clearly, that’s not really what that bit of Manhattan looks like.
Does it matter that the Globe ran it without acknowledging that it was, for want of a better term, a ‘fake’? Does it matter that it’s a piece in the Style section, and not something more insidious, like adding smoke to Beirut’s skyline?
The question, I think, is whether it’s been substantively altered. I don’t think this one qualifies.
The bigger issue, though, is that we need to constantly remind ourselves that every image we see has probably been tweaked and optimized before we view it.
On a related note, I was disappointed by the Calvin Klein campaign. All it did was pop a URL which pointed to a (very slightly NSFW) banal ad. Way to make me work to watch one of your ads. Fool me once, and so forth.