Do you ever think that a photograph is worth a thousand words or is it just a lie? Since the invention of photography the images created by camera and lens have been nearly synonymous with truthfulness in the popular mind. “The camera never lies,” goes the old saying – despite the many well-documented deceptions based on cleverly doctored likenesses of fictitious people or events. Photography’s “truthfulness” is in fact, mostly an optical illusion. Many people will argue that photography can never tell the truth. I personally think it is subjective and depends on the individual person to decide whether they think something is the truth or not in a photograph. In this way the truth in photography can change from person to person. The photographer may have meant to show one truth and the viewer may interpret another way. Deciding if photography tells the truth or not cannot really have a definite answer, it really depends on so many different factors.
An obvious first thought is that there is a direct connection between looking at photographic images and the true beliefs. This connection is missing or at least less pronounced in cases of looking at handmade images. But it is surprisingly difficult to come up with a clear statement of the nature of such a connection that is plausibly true. On a very strong interpretation, viewing photographs always yields true perceptual beliefs, whereas viewing handmade images sometimes yields true beliefs and sometimes yields false ones. But this is obviously false. As noted at the outset, everyone agrees that viewing photographs frequently leads to the formation of false beliefs.
However, the photographers nowadays can digitally change the lighting, the colour intensity or the contrast in a photograph. But I think it does make it untrue or false. It can still show a truth that the photographer intended, so in a way it still shows the truth. The edits that the photographer makes can also make a photograph appear more real because in the process of taking the picture the photograph may have come out distorted in some way. The photographer can also distort and configure a photograph while taking it to make something appear a certain way whether or not in reality it appears that way. This then can be said not to tell the truth because it was manipulated and changed by the photographer in order to make something appear to be a way that in reality it is not.
But in my opinion, photography is standing in the middle of lie and truth, so the viewers can interpret it in their own way and how they want to understand the truth. The images truth is changing all the time.
For instant, the master of the surreal photography Jerry Ueslasmann invented new darkroom techniques to achieve the surrealistic imagery he craved. Primarily, all his images were taken in the 50’s and 60’s before the invention of Photoshop or digital photography. He was one of the first photographers who start using photographic manipulation. Personally, I think it just improves that photographers used photographic manipulation from very early days. Digital or darkroom techniques manipulation I could relate to surrealism. Where fantasy and dreams appears in the images never can be true. Nowadays, digital manipulation is quite often appearing in magazines, perfumes or clothes commercials where photographers manipulating our impulses and logic not just the photograph. For example, perfume commercials for me they are very surreal, because in the image there usually appears a beautiful woman, somewhere in dreamland around bright purple flowers with perfume bottle in her hands. So in other words, your imagination send you clues of how their perfumes might smell, but imagination never cannot be true even in the photographs.
But in the other hand, there are some realism photographers, who tried to depict the real world exactly as it appears. They showed everyday subjects and people. They did not try to interpret the setting or add emotional meaning to the scenes. Everything was just about pure truth. How ever, we all read photographs differently from paintings, as demonstrated by the fact that the most controversial works of art in recent times have been photographs, not paintings. I think photographer Sally Mann with The Immediate Family series of photographs could be a very good example.
She featured her half-clothed or naked children and sparked outrage in some quarters precisely because they were photographs, because the images chronically were showing something that was “real”. I see her works as reality. I think all the documentary photographers show the entire truth in that very moment which they captured and that moment cannot be repeated ever again. I think especially Dorothea Lange’s images of Depression-era in America; she showed everyday life in dynamic compositions. She was one of those photographers who worked with a burning desire to effect social change by informing the public of suffering that was far away. She produced images based on truth. In my point of view, nowadays it is quite difficult to find a trustless photographer, because technology is progressing very quickly and people choosing manipulate with their photographs using programs such as Photoshop and etc. Rather than show truth and the way images were captured.
Talking about my personal work I could link it to the expressionism art movement. I am always trying to tell my intended audience the truth. I think the pictures that I produced by a camera are reflection of my thoughts and my personality. Photography for me is visual media where I am able to express myself. Usually, showing how I feel about that moment I captured. When I look though my work I could say it is quite dark, gloomy and mysterious, but perhaps with my imagery I want to display that emptiness which sometimes I see around myself. In images I have shown my opinions and emotions, but the rest of it, I am leaving to the audiences.
All in all the truth that can be seen in photography is completely subjective and relies on so many different factors. The truth can change by the person who is viewing a singular photograph or photography as a whole. It can change depending upon the photographer and the way in which they take and use their photographs. The truth in photography changes all of the time.
In conclusion, as we can see technologies growing really fast. Basically every half and year a lot of different companies produce new media devices or software that photographer or filmmakers can you see it. In my opinion, I think more and more people perhaps will manipulate with their images. The severity of image manipulation comes into play when images are presented as news after they have been altered and no longer reflect the truth. Many people accept as fact electronically published and edited photographs that are so flawless they appear to have been shot with a camera. For example, if you look at fashion industry for every single magazine cover they use photographic manipulation, because in fashion industry you can avoid it. Some of the photographer need to fix background or add some extra details or for models need to retouch skin or make wait look slimmer.
Photographer takes decision manipulate or not. As I said before people manipulating since earliest days till twenty first century, so it seems that we can’t avoid photographic manipulation in photography industry.