Perhaps there is a special place in hell for photographers who play around with reality in their images – well if that is so then it is going to be very full indeed. A few years ago when I was making an awful lot of wildlife images I was forced to walk a very tight line of what was deemed to be real as defined by the organisers of competitions, exhibition etc. None of them seemed to accept that all photography is an artifice and so doesn’t recorded reality but rather what the photographer chooses to show as real. If you don’t believe me then just ask yourself why you choose one image over another when making an image. Of course with the advent of digital photography and the ubiquity of Photoshop has placed extra burdens on what is and what is not a real record of what happened when the shutter was realised. Photojournalists have to pass through the seven levels of hell to just to prove their image is genuine and I understand the reasons why – however, all reporting is biased and so are all images: one person’s attack on a hospital is another’s destruction of a terrorist cell, it all depends on your point of view.
So what has this rant at the world got to do with these images? Well none of them would have passed any subjective test as to what is and what is not ‘real’ and I don’t care about that. I now make images that appeal to my personal sense of what is and what is not an interesting image. None of my images are real in any sense and I am quite happy with that which I guess is in keeping with this post truth world we seem to be heading towards.
Everybody is worrying where they’re going when the whole thing is done indeed.