A photograph is not a faithful representation of reality


A photograph is not a faithful representation of reality

Many say that a picture speaks a thousand words.  Indeed, this statement is true and this is one reason that also portrays that indeed pictures or photography is not faithful representation of reality.  People will interpret a picture differently and this shows that it may not be representing reality.  The paper delineates on the argument that photography is not a faithful representation of reality.

A photograph is what an individual has seen and how the individual has manipulated the scenes using either lens or camera to show or represent their vision. Camera can be manipulated to capture the images or scenes that an individual want but not that what is the reality. Since  its  the photographer that has the discretion of capturing that what he or she wants, the information of the scenes captured may not be the representational of the reality (Milan para. 2).  In this case, photographs  just serve the purpose of representing the visions but not the reality. A good example to illustrate this scenario is in a situation where in a group of wildebeests, only one is photographed. This photograph may not be representing the reality because; instead of capturing all the wildebeests, only one of them is captured.  Therefore, an individual exposed to this photo may not be able to know that the photograph did not capture the real scene as he or she observed at the scene. Therefore, photograph misrepresents nature and instead portrays the vision of the photographer.

In this digital world, there are various software’s used by the photographers to alter the photographs.  One of the programs used to alter the photographs is Photoshop.   A photo may be altered to represent that which the person wants. Some of the photos are edited to show a difference perception or to convey different information. This therefore shows how these photographs do not represent reality. Some of the changes usually done on photography that skew their meaning includes, changing their lighting, cropping, adding more features among many others. This therefore, leads to misrepresentation of reality. Such images are created with the intention of misrepresenting and misleading while others are used to arouse the interest and to compel viewers into buying their ideas. Therefore, in this age, it has become tricky to    believe in a photograph because of the possibility of distortion.

As a sign of mistrust in the photograph, many people have become cautious and before they trust and use a photo, they scrutinize it; the sources and the intention. This is therefore a clear indication of the high level of mistrust and the reason as to why many people want to verify the source of the picture to ensure that the photo depicts reality.

Photographs are also prone to misinterpretations and this affects their actual representation of reality. Most of the people will have different interpretations, thoughts, feelings and perception about the same picture.  Every person takes or focuses on one aspects o of the picture that he or she is attracted to and this leaves the rest unattended to. Therefore, such selective and stereotypical perception of pictures affects meaning of the picture and this means that it does not repress the reality but rather that which attracts the person viewing it.

In conclusion, photography is very important as it help people to understand what they see. However, it is depended on the position of the camera or the decision of an individual.  The photographer may choose to leave out other objects that are essential in ensuring that the real situation is capture leading to misrepresentation. Likewise, digital manipulation has contributed to this misrepresentation of reality as many aspects are altered.

Work cited

Milan, Brown. Photos do not represent reality.  Web.  Dec 21, 2013. <                 http://www.collectingvisas.com/2013/06/19/photos-do-not-represent-reality/ >




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