We were reminded again this morning of how every picture tells a story—in fact, a picture can tell more than one story depending on how you crop it.
Consider this wire photo of indicted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on his way into work Wednesday morning.
He's surely following the advice of some crisis counselor—or criminal defense lawyer: Keep To Your Normal Routine. But despite all best efforts on the part of the governor, it just can't help but become the latest in that photographic genre: the-indicted-guy-just-trying-to-get-from-car-to-door. Perhaps it's photographer's long-lens, maybe it's the glance he's throwing: furtive yet resigned.
But look what happens when you crop it the way the Wall Street Journal photo editors did when they ran it on today's front page.
Suddenly it's no longer a picture of a powerful elected official accused of shaking down children's hospitals; instead it's the author photo for a first book of poems, say "Expletive Golden: Poems 1968 to 1973", with jacket blurbs such as "Blagojevich is a talent for whom simple 'appreciation' is not enough. The work demands a deeper investment..."
Or cover art for some acoustic solo effort circa 1972.