This image is part of the photographic archives of the Globe and Mail newspaper—a collection of 20,000 images recently donated to the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada.
The red lines on the photograph were made with grease pencil and denote how the image was to be cropped for publication. It was also common practice to dodge or burn (reduce or increase exposure to produce lighter or darker sections), and mask (selectively block portions of an image during processing) or otherwise alter the photographs, just as we do digitally today. But the digital history of a photo is much harder to display. Our ability to see the physical markings, the highlighted and altered portions of traditional photographs, gives us clues as to the editor’s vision and motivations. Crops and alterations were not made simply to improve image quality for printing; they were also used to contextualize or emphasize the editorial position of the accompanying story or of the paper itself. Now they show us how an editor can manipulate images to serve a narrative—to convey a sense of drama, to emphasize a political position, to express the social and moral conventions of the time. Or, as is likely in the case of the photo here, to evoke emotion. Taken as a collection, the archives offer us a visual representation of how journalism evolves over time.
The man and the boy in the photograph displayed here are identified as “Dave John Bryant and son in Toronto for peace demonstration 1961” on the back of the photo.
See this image and others at Cutline: The Photography Archives of The Globe and Mail, which runs from October 14, 2016, to February 12, 2017, at the National Gallery of Canada