IN OUR OWN IMAGE The Coming Revolution in Photography by Fred Ritchlin (Aperture: $15.95, illustrated)

A timely collection of essays on how computer technology is being used to alter the "real" images in still photographs, motion pictures and videotape. A former director of photography for the New York Times Magazine, Fred Ritchlin argues that despite its apparent simplicity, photography consitutes "a rich and variegated language, capable . . . of subtlety, ambiguity, revelation, and distortion." Increasingly sophisticated computer graphics systems are giving editors the ability to tamper with photographs in ways that suggest alternate realities: In 1982, National Geographic repositioned the pyramids at Giza to fit their cover. This rapidly spreading technology may soon allow people to present "records" of events that never occurred. "In Our Own Image" should be read by anyone concerned with how governments and the news media can manipulate information that people accept as truth.

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