Errol Morris, the author of the article Photography as a Weapon, wrote that the Iran missile launch photo was made with “the intention to deceive”. True, the Iranians did deceive the world into thinking that they successfully launched four missiles instead of three. But I don’t think this was the original intention of the photograph. Just as the title of Morris’ article implies, photographs, even those that were altered, are used as powerful tools to share information and raise awareness. When seen in a different perspective, I find that the Iranian missile launch photo was created for other, bigger purposes and not just purpose to deceive people.
In one perspective, the purpose is to strike fear or to show superiority over other nations. The photo lets Iran say “don’t mess with us” and shows proof that they have the power to defend themselves and attack if necessary. It also shows that Iran’s opponents shouldn’t antagonize them or they will face the consequences. In another perspective, the purpose of the photo is to boost the moral of the Iranian people. The photo shows that the government has the funds and resources to properly defend the country. Iranians will feel secure and have faith that their government will protect them from hostile nations. In one more perspective, the purpose of the photo is used to ridicule other nations. Iran could be saying “fools, were just as powerful as you”, stating that it would be a mistake to believe that Iran does not possess that same capabilities as the United States or Great Britain.
And so, when seen in a different perspective, the Iranian missile launch photo was not made to deceive. All photographs, whether altered or not, can be used as powerful tools to carry important messages or information. It should be kept in mind that, even though the missile launch photo was proven to be altered, that the original message, the original intention of the photograph, was to let the world know that Iran should not be taken lightly.