Smell a Rat
Photographs have built such reach and density since photography’s invention was announced on August 19, 1839, that we now accept the camera’s deceptive Cyclopean view as reality. We’re unaccustomed to scenes not enclosed in a frame. We don’t let a moment of the present go unrecorded. We forfeit our own eyes and place our faith in the lens.
“Giant rats” are being caught in south London. In this instance, the mega-rodents roam the dodgy salt-of-the-earth district of Tooting.
This photographic lie is accomplished by purely photographic means. It’s a timeworn classic—a wide angle lens and what’s called “forced perspective.” Place an object close to the camera—with, say, a five-foot capture noose pole thrust at the lens—and it will appear larger. Add the stretching of space created by a wide angle and you produce an image of a rat as big as a man’s torso.