HOMO Pride, OMOH shameSometimes a designer can’t resist the urge to flip a photo because it looks better in terms of composition and page layout. That is to say, they print a mirror-image of the photo. One of the reasons is the design principle that it is always better to have a person looking into the page. It is very rare to find a (competent) page layout where the person photographed is looking out of the page. It always creates the impression that they’ve turned their back on the text. (Okay, I used to teach newspaper design, so I’m a bit of an egghead on the subject!)
Still, in news photography, the practice is considered unethical, because in subtle ways it may change the perception of events. In non-news contexts, though – while less of an ethical problem – it can create small and jarring effects: why is Jimi Hendrix playing right-handed? Why are they driving on the wrong side of the road in Paris?
One group (who, one would hope, are too ashamed to look in the mirror to have noticed before) that doesn’t stand up well to this flipping technique is the notorious Russian security police force, OMON.
Keep in mind that in the Cyrillic alphabet, an “N” is written as an “H”.
Now, the OMON were drafted in to suppress the gay pride march in Moscow this weekend. They certainly lived up to their reputation of “rash actions and excessive and indiscriminate use of force”, but in all the chaos, the sharp-eyed could not help noticing this irony when the scene was mirror-imaged:
See what I mean?