Skip Navigation

Can you trust pictures?

Travel Forums Travel Photography Can you trust pictures?

  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

With the Digital Technology now having taken a firm hold in photography can we still believe what we are seeing?

2. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Definitely not. A picture is only a snapshot in time ... a static analysis. Depends on the angle and likely perception of the future viewers as well.

I think this thread would doing very well over in the PHOTOGRAPHY forum. There are some very talented photographers contributing to TP.

3. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see....

4. Posted by georgep (Respected Member 201 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

NO but we never could. Even before digital photography there was a lot of manipulations.

But these days even sport photographers make the soccer ball a bit bigger so that it looks better in the paper.


5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5235 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

You can't trust photographs. But you can often trust photographers.

A lot of course depends on the goal of the individual photographer. Some of them take reality (and a photographic vision thereof) as only a starting point, and aim for creating "art". Nothing wrong with that, as long as you're aware of it.
Others have a clear goal of "selling" something - often beauty. But the value of what they sell often directly relates to how close to reality their vision is. Magazines like National Geographic will always show places in the most beautiful light, the kind you get maybe once a month for just a few moments when standing at that exact remote spot - but you can certainly count on it that it really looked like that.

6. Posted by georgep (Respected Member 201 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Sorry Sander but i DON'T agree.

Even magazines like National geographics edit their photographs. I as a wildlife and Travel photographer noticed photo's in National Geographics that are just imposible (because of many resons)

So i would say NEVER trust a photo.

But i also have to say that most photographers just try to make it beter. If i look at myself, i don't like to edit but i remove things like birds in the sky's or a light pole here or there. Or sometimes just something big that is in the way (like a windmill). But it's all to make the message beter and stronger. But yeah you can trust the picture anymore ;)

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Pardus - Never trust pictures (man never landed on the moon, no), and only believe what you hear/read after it's been officially denied.

A big cynic (aka Rich or Gelli)

8. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

All knowledge is based on belief, so believe what you want.

9. Posted by banana (Budding Member 33 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I think cameras (digital or otherwise) actually capture more than the human eye can, so in essence, should we have ever believed photographs? But I agree that most pictures that we come across have in some way, shape, or form have been altered (hey even if it is falsification - its' fun and makes the picture look better!).

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Photographs seen in print have not been necessarily "real" for decades. Air brushing and other techniques have been around for quite some time, and used for the manipulation of printed materials. Until the introduction of digital cameras, you could trust the photographs and snapshots shown to you by friends and relatives - provided they were delevoped by a processing company.

At one time, I had my own darkroom (20+ years ago) for the scientific graphic arts I did for extra income. Even then, I would use the enlarger to manipulate shadowing and coloration, etc. to "improve" the look of my own personal photographs. With digital cameras and computer software... The sky is the limit.