Monday, August 02, 2010

The camera never lies?

I saw a feature on the BBC website today which made me think about all the photographs I have taken and amended; I believe it may be true that the camera never lies but photographers and Photoshop certainly do!

I do believe the camera doesn't lie BUT are  we creating a false truth by what we choose to include in a picture and what to omit by choosing our subject and view point.

Looking in one direction we might have a gorgeous sea/country/castle/garden view, whilst if you look in another you might only see pylons/waste land/ sewage works - so realistically which way will you face to take a photo for the family album?  Hmm, thought so unless you have a fetish for sewage you'll probably go for the nice view.  So already we are creating a distortion of the truth, or at least metaphorically attaching a rose coloured filter to the camera lens.

How often do we make sure our hair is brushed, check in a mirror and pull clothes straight before the shutter button is pressed? Personally for me, it is whenever I can - there is nothing worse than seeing a photograph with a big smile with a piece of food stuck in your teeth!

But this is where the joy of Photoshop comes in, we no longer have to bin a photograph or tear it in two like our ancestors.

If we aren't quite happy with a picture it is soooo easy to adjust it a little and have a little tweak here and there.   The original digital image of my first photo with my new born son does not exist, so no-one will ever see the huge red spot that was on my chin, that has disappeared into a digital oblivion.

Do I think this is wrong? Maybe a little but to me it is just a white lie, a little bit of vanity on my part.  I also know that this is not a life changing issue for anyone and is just for personal use.

Though to my shame I have manipulated photographs which I took for the local newspaper I worked for many years ago.   One of my jobs as a newspaper photographer was to photograph local sports at a weekend including football and rugby.  Often I had a very tight time schedule and would actually only be at a match for a short time before racing off to the next.   Once or twice my photos may have not actually had a ball in the shot, but by the time they were printed in the paper they did.  I never had a complaint, and I always prayed that the family would never order a copy of those photos - it definitely wasn't the camera that was lying, just me!


  1. I Photoshop all my photos! At the very least a nice colour enhancing filter!

    Angel x
    High Heels & Lipgloss

  2. I don't have PShop anymore otherwise I'd certainly be taking a few (quite a few) inches off my waistline in every photo! -HMx