At first glance, you might mistake it for a profile of the latest gimmicky art photographer, but as you read you'll soon discover that you've been suckered by this year's installment of Popular Photography and Imaging's long tradition of April Fools pranks. This year, the magazine chose to pull your leg through its Web site, with a profile of a phoney photographer named Richard Baresall. The tale, complete with the trademark puns and zany humor that have endeared the magazine's editors with generations of photographers, is a bit more risque than I would have expected from them, but it's encouraging to see them expose this side of themselves.
Popular Photography has been including April Fools jokes in the print magazine for many years now and their readers enjoy finding them and typically write in or, in recent years, comment on the Web site's forums when they think they've discovered the joke. A few years ago, while I was on staff there, the magazine spoofed itself by applying Photoshop fixes to famous photographs, such as Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother. Some of the readership was upset, but most realized it for the lighthearted joke that it was.