Two pictures (second act)*
Having mined through several hundred of the 900+ comments following the first story about the two Roger Fenton photographs of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I move on to part two, which gives a longer account of the Crimean War as well as some surprising findings about the orientation of the Fenton's tripod (he faced north, not south).
Is this a case of distraction journalism? Perhaps.
Now, on to part three... Seems like he answers the question without answering the question. There's an indication that gravity was involved in the solution, but maybe I'm missing a link... Indeed I am. NYT f-ed up. Here's the REAL part three.
Uh-oh, some strange facts are emerging. More to come.
*So we get an answer, using empirical proof found in the two photographs. I'm left feeling that I knew the answers (and others did, too) but without the need of this empirical proof. The prof is only needed if the answer must withstand a certain type of scrutiny, the exact type of scrutiny Errol Morris demanded. He concludes:
I tried hard to prove that Keller and Sontag were wrong – to prove that ON came before OFF. I failed. I can’t deny it. But I did prove that they were right for the wrong reasons. It is not their assessment of Fenton’s character or lack of character that establishes the order of the pictures. Nor is it sun-angle and shadow. Rather it is the motion of ancillary rocks – rocks that had been kicked, nudged, displaced between the taking of one picture and the other.
Perhaps their argument for 'why' they though as they did wasn't as sound, but were they clearly wrong in their assessment?