They say a picture paints a thousand words. There's a reason that phrase has been used in song and prose, spanning the years and provoking our imagination. We believe those six words to be true because they speak to the very core of who we are, what we innately desire communication to be. A pure, unadulterated description without motive or hidden agenda -- we see in a picture an innocence lost in words. Yet we rarely consider that pictures can lie.
Perhaps it would be more succinct to say that pictures can manipulate, by virtue of the fact that they can be easily manipulated. No, I'm not referring to Photoshop or the like, although it would be the easiest example. What I am suggesting is a far more insidious method of alteration, one that carries the heft of a new word: Optics. Ah, therein lies the rub.