Do we get too obsessed by "real"?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,392
Re: I think distinguishing real and fake is important

Chris LL wrote:

I see your point but I think you're setting yourself (and the rest of us) to fail.

ALL photographs are fake, in that they are merely images; reflections of reality rather than reality itself. Even simple cropping or exposure adjustments can profoundly affect the image.

I think 'real' is an unhelpful term though. I do agree that it can be a problem if people think a photo is an accurate representation when it is not - a big problem in the fashion and beauty industry. But the genie is out of the bottle. Deep. But I think the answer lies with the viewer. If we start thinking of photos in the same way as we do paintings, the problem goes away - partially at least.

Chris, I agree with your sentiments but my thrust was about the incessant seeming need by at least those who contribute to photographic fora for better and ever better sensors and lens reality. This is the gear-head level and I would argue that even the greatest camera kit could not make a worthwhile image in certain hands.  Nor could the greatest automation (AF and fastest capture) do so either.  Some have natural talent, others have to work at it, and still others will never attain it.

I was merely pointing out that even the very basic digital camera gear of ten, maybe fifteen, years ago is capable of having great composition and producing photographic art which by virtue (hopefully) of half decent composition alone can make such extreme visual reconstructions still worth viewing.

Lens faults disappear and lack of megapixels immaterial as the who image it re-arranged by fake brush-stokes which by definition are “broad pixels”.

Only the most talented  (paint) artists can bring about (faux?) art as a photograph. But those who have not painting skills can possibly mimic art.  But such “art” first needs to be a worthwhile photographic image.

Perhaps where I am coming from - are any of our photographic compositions strong enough to withstand trashing by faking art with them?

Note that the process can allow various degrees of reality to shine through.  This is not “just a filter applied” but can often involve quite a lot of work and presentation choices by the “photographic artist”.

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Tom Caldwell

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