halfdutch (halfdutch) wrote,

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The importance of context

I was really struck by the emotion of the police officer in this ad on the front page of Yahoo to donate to the Red Cross. He looks like he's just breaking down. I wondered who he was and if we'd ever find out what was going on in this photo.

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And here's the same photo again, with the officer i.d.'d and some context provided for what he was doing. According to the caption, yes, he was looking for victims, but he was also "cooling down" in the rain. Suddenly his expression doesn't look like grief, but like relief. Not to take away at all from his terrible task or the awful conditions. But, to me, the caption made me look at the photo differently.

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