Jumping to conclusion


A long telephoto lens compresses space, giving the viewer the impression that there is very little distance between the foreground and bachground objects. I shot about a hundred different aeroplanes coming in to land at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport from the balcony of a hotel close to the airport. As a rough approximation, the foreground building was about 50m from the balcony, the black cables were a further 100m from that building, the runway was at least 1km away from the cables, and the termimal building (visible in image 2) was another 500m from the runway.

Apart from cropping both images purely for the purpose of straightening them out ever so slightly, they were never altered, layerd or composited.

My camera never lies. Nevertheless, I selected this pair of images because I thought they would be ideal to teach my pupils about stereotyping. You know the usual line: STAR AND CRESCENT MOON + AEROPLANE + PROXIMITY TO BUILDINGS = And, yes, most of my pupils, including the muslim kids, jumped to those predictable 9/11 and suicide- bomber links and conclusions.

I clearly had my work cut out for me.