Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Allusions and illusions

Photography manuals and magazines regularly feature juxtaposed images of the same scene shot with different equipment. Lenses are swapped, filters added, all manner of special effects drawn upon to supplement the photographer's artistry, or disguise the lack of it. The motive may be to instruct or seduce us to part with our pennies, the results may be subtle or startling but one thing is sure; the old adage 'the camera never lies' is well and truly debunked. And what the hardware begins, the software completes. With digital manipulation of images the photographer (if indeed photography still adequately describes what is being done) can achieve pretty much anything from the comfort of an armchair. 'Ah!' You may protest. 'But no amount of cash or computing power can compensate for want of a good eye. Surely the vision, the composition is the key?' Relax, I happen to agree with you, but that isn't really my point in writing this.

Everything we experience in life is through a lens, multiple lenses in fact that are swapped, overlapped, distorted, muddied, damaged. Everything is filtered, polarised, enhanced, cropped, under- or over-exposed. The allusions to photography are limitless. We see, we hear what we are meant to see and hear by the image makers and we are wise to remember that no image, no commentary, is neutral however benignly it is presented. We may be entertained, enchanted, persuaded, disgusted, we may be affected in a hundred other ways by the engineered product but we ought not to delude ourselves that we are being given the truth. A truth possibly, but not the truth.

I like the images I am posting on this site. I have received enough compliments about them to believe them worth sharing. But I ask you never to lose sight of the fact that you are seeing what I want you to see. Question everything!


  1. Photography. An art or process of producing images on photosensitive surfaces. An eye is such a surface. Delicate and easily deceived. Your parallel between life and photography is startlingly apt. All life is filtered, polarised, enhanced, cropped (or skewed) and exposed by the lens of experience. Are we the image makers who deceive? We see and hear what we are meant to but what about how we feel? Are our feelings really that easily mistaken?
    It is the very lack of neutrality of your images that enchants. The beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. But the truth that feeds the soul is the very fact that, perhaps without premeditation, the image maker opens up his soul by the simple act of sharing.. Question everything, you say. But since when questioning ever arrived at the truth? Your images and words feed my soul. Don't stop

  2. I do like the blurred edge on the Angel photograph above!