In Our Own ImageEssays by Fred Ritchin
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Twenty years ago, Fred Ritchin’s In Our Own Image presciently outlined many of the ways in which the digital age would transform society. This groundbreaking book was the first to ask pointed questions that are increasingly relevant today. By the time a second edition was published in 1999, many of Ritchin's predictions had come true: computer embellishment of imagery had become a staple in the media and, given the widespread use of graphic software, had significantly diminished photography's special role as a credible witness: Newsday had published the first "future" news photograph of two feuding ice skaters as they would meet the next day, and on its cover, Time magazine darkened and blurred an image of the celebrity O. J. Simpson in order to lift "a common police mug shot to the level of art, with no sacrifice to truth."Aperture is pleased to reissue this seminal text, featuring a preface by the author that contextualizes the book for a contemporary audience.
Fred Ritchin is professor of photography and imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He was picture editor of the New York Times Magazine (1978–82), executive editor of Camera Arts magazine (1982–83), and the founding director of the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography (1983–86). Ritchin is the author of After Photography (2009), as well as numerous essays and the blog afterphotography.org. He lives in New York City.