Originally Posted by richw46
There is no way I would ever believe that "road" is real, it's not a road at all. That tire is right on the edge, no way to maneuver even a little bit and going over any of that debris on the "road" is going to send it over the edge.
There has always been trick photography with this type of composite, double exposure, etc. This is just more of the same.
Real was a sticky choice of words. The Airstream too is real, it was just digitally inserted.
PBS History Detectives could do better than me because they would go dig up additional sources like the ad agency, photographer, and driver, but I will make a few observations using the Origin, Purpose, Value, Limitation document analysis strategy.
Origin: Warn Industries advertisement from unknown date, but possibly 1974 as some online sources have suggested. Warn is a Wahington based company, and the terrain and vegetation of photo appear to be Pacific Northwest with the tall standing evergreens in the background. Nevertheless, the location could also be in Seirra Nevada, Rocky Mountains, or similar Western mountain regions. As suggested by some in other forums the Winatchee National Forrest is a possibility.
Purpose: to sell winches and to illicit a strong feeling of danger and excitement. As one commenter said on Warn's website that this ad always made him feel a bit queazy.
Value: Cool Vintage Ad that has sparked years of concerns, speculation, and arguement.
Limitations: first and foremost it is an ad, which as an industry is not well known for "truth;" therefore, much speculation is appropriate. There are a multitude of ways that the original photo (without Airstream) could have been manipulated, double exposer is a possible way. One area of photo manipulation that I would want to know more about is the downhill side of the photo. The shadows on the "road" and cliff wall look right, but the lower portion of the photo looks darker than the rest. Could the photographer have made the road look more cliff-like than it was?
Other manipulation of the situation could be moving rocks to make the "road," or rather trail most likely for horse, OHV, or walking travel, look more treacherous. Other camera trickery is at play too. Primarily the tight focus on the lens being the primary way the ad impedes the establishment of context. Furthermore, it is unknown if the Jeep crossed this section or not. The Jeep could have been driven up a short ways on the trail for the photo and then backed out to the actual road behind.
The road and the Jeep are real objects placed in the print media together before the advent of digital animation and enhancement u like the version which includes the Airstream; however, given the purpose of the ad to sell Warn off-road products maipularion of the photo, or the situation, is assured. Given the vastness of open space in the western mountains and the existence of numerous treacherous "roads" or rather trails, the manipulation of the situation is a likely possibility, particularly with the tight camera angle that excludes further context of the scene; however, the manipulation of the photo by dark room is less likely because of the accuracy of light origin and shadow. The Jeep was driven to the beginning of a treacherous trail designed for other travel for the purpose of this and and then backed to a more passable route behind.
I think I will run my AP students through the same doc analysis strategy and see what thesis statements they come up with.