Photography is used to provide evidence, but the evidence is frequently deceiving. “[Photography’s] true seduction lies in its foot in reality,” states South African photographer Pieter Hugo. “It still has the pretense of being a quasi-document.” A photograph is ocular proof that marches us toward error.
Women workers of the American Red Cross—poised and professional—step onto Omaha Beach to aid troops injured during Operation Overlord, the bloody Allied landing operations at Normandy in June 1944.
The photograph has been timeshifted. The women are Red Cross workers, but the photo was made January 15, 1945, seven months after the D-Day invasion at Normandy. And it’s nowhere near Omaha Beach. The central figure’s two-toned saddle shoes are hitting beach sand on the French Riviera. The photograph has gone viral off and on for years—something like the coming and going of the tide.