13 November 2015


A photograph isn’t necessarily a lie, but nor is it the truth. It’s more of a fleeting, subjective impression.   Martine Franck 

That pretty much sums up my view on the truth about photography.
I find that I can never capture the authenticity of a place for each of us has a different view of the world. What I feel in a particular place and moment that "moves" me might not match somebody else's feelings. ​

Saluting the sun_c
M.Zuiko 40-150 R   f5.6  1/350sec

The question often arises on what a "real" photograph is.
To some that like to profess themselves as purists, is an image that was created purely in camera.
I often read the defensive statement: "no Photoshop here!" where the author touts that the image is straight out of the camera (SOC).

But what is photographic reality? The two dimensional representation that we have become accustomed to call "un-manipulated image"?
Some call it photojournalism where not much has been done to an image after the shutter was pressed.
Occasionally I can work on images long enough (out-of-the-camera rarely does it for me) to bring back at least the view that I had in that moment.
But does it still count if the shutter was pressed more than once (multiple exposures), or if the shutter was open long enough to create images our eyes can not see?

swirly effect created by wind,  M.Zuiko 40-150mm R   f6.7  1/30sec

Little we know what the real story is behind an image: was it staged? is the clever cropping and isolation of subject making it appear something that is not? .... selective views can do tricks to our minds.
The scene of the image above of the little girl on the beach was selectively cropped; just out of the frame was a large group of people and a marquee. If I were to include those subject in the scene I would get a very different feel from that image.

How about a moment frozen in time that our vision can not capture? a shutter speed so fast or so slow that creates a view that is not "real" reality? I have never seen star trail with my naked eye...
Particular lenses create images that certainly are very different than the human eyes sight.

Branch over creek_c
OOC: Meyer Optik Trioplan 50mm f2.9 1/1500sec

Cameras can see in the dark, can bring objects into view that our own eyes can not, create a mood that might no truly represent what I felt and saw at the time. A good article on the subject here.
And the future might totally change how photographs are made; here is just a snippet.

Should we instead pause and don't tout a holier-than-thou when in reality all we do is set different parameters to our reality, that is far from anything but.
A photograph will never ever be "real" (the purpose to represent reality) as it is to the author to interpret what the light created in that moment when the shutter was pressed.
I like to treat photographs as an artistic expression aided by light and form; anything else is open to interpretation.

"All photographs are accurate, none of them the truth" ~ Avedon


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