Manipulation of the image in combat photography is nothing new, but in this age of digitized imagery and computer enhancements, the temptation to play with reality has never been greater.
For more than 100 years, we believed that the silver image equaled the absolute truth. But in fact, since the beginning of photography, photographers have misrepresented the truth in their photographs. During the Civil War, for instance, Matthew Brady’s photographers carefully positioned the hands of his dead subjects to make a more dramatic composition. Even the most famous War photograph of all time—Robert Capa’s 1936 image of a soldier at the exact moment of death—could be no more than a militia man slipping and falling during a training exercise.1 In the midst of the controversy, however, the photograph remained a historic symbol of combat, and We believed.