the racial bias built into photography - color transparency film
This week, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard University hosted vision and Justice
Day meeting on the role of art in Civic, racial and righteous aspects.
Organized by Sarah Lewis, a professor at Harvard University, the participants included Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , Ava Duverne.
, Wynton, Marsalis, Carly Williams.
Aperture magazine released a free publication this year entitled "vision and Justice: Citizen course" by Ms.
We re-published her article here on photography and racial bias. —
James estelin photo lens condition racial behavior?
I was curious about it when I was ready to talk about images and Justice on college campuses.
"We have a problem.
Your jacket is lighter than your face, "said the technician from the back of the jacket --thousand-
"This will be a problem with lighting.
"She is working on video recording and lighting for the event.
It was a strange comment that echoed in the auditorium, an obvious statement that sounded like a charge of misconduct.
Another technician standing next to me stopped the adjustment of the microphone and shook it in place.
The sentence hung in the air, and I solved the tension in the room with a smile, and then only provided the fact: "Well, everything is lighter than my face. I’m black.
"Touch é," said the technician who organized the event . ".
She walked towards the lampstand.
When I realized that maybe the technician was actually serious, my smile dropped.
I evaluated my clothes.
Used to go through light beige jackets and black trousers many times on similar occasions.
When I walked to the Green Hall, the executive in charge of the event came over and apologized for what had just happened, but for me this exchange was a gift.
My work focuses on how to link the right to fair recognition in democracy to the impact of image and representation in the public domain.
It looks at how the construction of public pictures limits and expands the concept of who we are important in American society.
This is the theme of my core course at Harvard.
This is also the theme of my speech that day.
This is what my grandfather knew when he was expelled from public high school in New York City in 1926, because he asked why their history textbooks did not reflect the multiracial world around him.
The teacher told him, Africa-
Americans in particular have not done anything to be inclusive.
He did not accept the answer.
After being expelled, his self-esteem was hurt and he never returned to high school again.
Instead, he continues to be an artist, inserting images of Africa
Where he thinks they should go
I know they did-exist.
Two generations later, my classes focused on the material he was expelled for questioning in class.
When I left the auditorium after the demo, the technicians came towards me.
I almost forgot she was there.
She apologized for what had happened before and asked if she would be sitting in my class one day.
What happened to this exchange?
Technically, it is difficult to have a light brown skin with a light skin.
However, instead of looking for a solution, the technician thought that my body was not suitable for the stage to some extent.
Her comments reminded me of the unconscious bias implied in photography.
By classifying light skin as normal and other skin tones as requiring special corrective care, photography has changed the way we interact with each other without realizing this.
Photography is not only a calibration system of light, but also a technique of subjective decision-making.
Light skin becomes the chemical baseline of thin film technology, which meets the demand of its target leading market.
Develop colors, for example-
The film technology originally needed the so-called Shirley card.
When you send your movie out for development, lab technicians use an image of a white woman with brown hair named Shirley as a measuring ruler for their calibration color.
Quality control means making sure Shirley's face looks good.
It has been translated into color
Balance of digital technology. In the mid-
1990, Kodak created a multi-ethnic Shirley card with three women, one black, one white, one Asian, and later included a Latin model to try to help camera operators calibrate their skin tone.
These are not adopted by everyone because they coincide with the rise of digital photography.
The result is that the film emulsion technology continues the social bias of the early photography tradition.
Research by Lorna Ross, a professor at Concordia University, shows that Kodak has begun to repair the bias of color photography, which requires complaints from companies furniture and chocolate manufacturers in the 1970 s and 1960.
Earl Kage, former Kodak research manager and head of the color photo studio, received complaints from the chocolate company during this period that they "did not get the correct brown tone on the chocolate" in the photo ".
The furniture company also did not get enough difference between Wood of different colors in the advertisement.
Ross, a professor at Concordia University, said that Kage had previously received complaints from parents about the quality of graduation photos --
The contrast of colors makes it almost impossible to capture different groups
But Kodak was forced to sell chocolate and furniture.
Kage admitted, "it was never a black person who was considered a serious problem at the time.
Fuji has become the first choice for professional photographers to shoot dark-themed films.
The color transparent film developed by the company is superior to Kodak in dealing with brown skin.
However, Kodak Gold Max has become attractive for ordinary consumers.
The new film is billed as "being able to shoot dark horse details in case of insufficient light", a coded message that can capture people of color.
When I first learned about this history from my own father, a photographer, before I learned about it from a professional photographer, I finally understood why he was almost obsessed with going from our Manhattan apartment in our 1980 s to the camera store on the street and buying Kodak Gold Max film to capture a wide range of skin tones in our family.
Digital photography has brought some progress.
Double skin now-tone color-
Balance Ability and image-
Eliminate the natural jitter that occurs when we hold the camera with our hands and reduce the need for flash.
However, there are other problems with this solution.
If the light source is artificial, digital technology will still struggle with darker skin. It is a merry-
The problem that leads to the solution of the problem.
Researchers such as Joy Buolamwini at MIT's Media Lab have been advocating correcting algorithm deviations in digital imaging technology.
Whenever the face recognition software does not see the dark skin, you will see it.
The same technology is used in loan decisions and job search services.
However, the algorithm deviation is the end stage of a long-term problem. Award-
Award-winning photographer Bradford Young teamed up with pioneer director Ava Duverne and others to create new technologies for lighting themes during the filming process.
Ava Berkofsky provides lighting tips for actors in the HBO series unsafe
Including moisturizing techniques (
Because dark skin absorbs more light than white skin, reflection is the best).
Post-production corrections also provide answers that include digitizing the film and then color correction.
All in all, it takes a lot of work to correct this genetic bias.
What prevents us from correcting the bias left over from camera and film technology?
Technology giants enter the market first. Is there no wealth to gain?
At the same time, artists themselves are creating technology for more just performance.
We have heard more about race and technology, because we believe that with the success of the film "Panther", the importance of inclusive representation (2018)
"Crazy Rich Asian "(2018).
Frederick Douglas learned a long time ago that being accurately seen by the camera is the key to representing justice.
In the 19 th century, he became the most photographed American to create a correct image of race and American life.
For many, however, the question remains: why is inclusion representative so important?
The answer comes from examples of viruses, such as Young 2-year-
When old Parker Curry gazes at Amy shelard's portrait of Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, her mouth opens to believe in Mrs. Michelle Obama
Obama is the Queen.
Former White House photographer Pete Sousa took a picture of a 5-year-old boy who wanted to know if his hair texture really matched the president's hair texture.
You can't be what you can't see exactly.
I often wonder what will happen if there is more time to talk to a technician.
Her eyes froze when she said goodbye.
I also appreciate her vulnerability.
This kind of communication is the result of decades of socialization. whenever we look through the lens, we often do not admit that this kind of communication has happened.
Race has changed in the United States.
This is what my grandfather knows.
This is what we have experienced.
We don't need to cultivate it in photography.
Sarah Lewis is an assistant professor in the department of art and architectural history at Harvard University and in Africa and Africa
She is the author, curator and guest editor of Aperture magazine vision and Justice (2016)
Received 2017 award for unlimited critical writing and research from the international photography center.
This week's event stems from her research and teaching in the vision and Justice: civic art course.
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