................ a little white lie often solves a problem.
Most people will accept that since it’s inception photography and truth have been uneasy bedfellows. On the one hand the camera provides a record of a reality and the other it’s a tool of misinformation and manipulation. From the Cottingley Fairies through censorship of images in the Soviet Union to the present day Deep Fake videos we’ve come to understand that not everything is always as it seems.
When we go to the cinema we might escape into an imaginary world knowing full well that when the film ends we’ll be back in the ‘real world’. We accept that some advertising utilises fantastical imagery and motion and frequently refers back to those very cinematic themes.
At the opposite end of the spectrum press photography is about capturing and communicating real events with no intervention (save that of editorial bias). Altering a photograph is a sackable offence and a destroyer of reputations. It’s all about maintaining a standard that the readership can have trust in.
So where are we when it comes to photography that’s commissioned to support products and businesses? Does it even matter how truthful that that photography is?
Shooting a video and stills project on BT phone boxes I found this perfectly located example in Sutherland. And for a quirky bonus it even had a very old but withered Christmas tree inside. However, the lights needed replacing, necessitating a trip to Aldi. And the ceiling illumination for the 'telephone' panel, required a couple of battery powered hiking lights. That done it was a case of waiting for the sun to set and capturing what had previously been in place. An honest intervention.
AN Other & Sons wanted to send a #PR blast to announce an office move to central Edinburgh. But their view of #Edinburgh Castle [bottom image] was less than perfect and very 'off brand' for their line of business.
Captured during a beautiful dusk and early night-time followed by several hours of computer time, this was less of a little white lie and more of a big retouch bringing the story back to an narrative more suited to their business.
Captured for a story on Runner Ducks and their keepers the original shot [bottom] was rejected due to the inappropriate stance of the children. But the ducks really worked for an image loaded with ideas on #protection, #community, #inclusion etc. (the yellow fellow was hatched amongst the bigger Runner Ducks and thought himself one of them).
Remembering the old maxim of 'Never work with children or animals' removing the children seemed like a fair and reasonable act to change the story. Point being, a little white lie often solves a problem.
Many people are happy to use images straight from their camera. And that's fine. But photography can go further than simply recording and illustrating. I'm of the belief that we shoot a scene to create a reality or narrative. We tell stories with our images and so long as we don't attempt to manipulate the viewer we're not being dishonest.
And on the question of Leith or Spain [top of the page] the answer is both. The model was shot in Leith and composted onto a stock image of a Spanish pool.
Where are you on this?