Photography…where did the reality go?


Been wondering for a while about the reality of photography.  To me a photograph is a moment frozen in time to treasure and remind.  Our world is beautiful and cruel and alive with wondrous moments for photographs of all kinds.

I’ve always found two legs in the photography brotherhood (no disrespect ladies):

  1. The reality photographers whose eye and soul see a moment, place, object, animal, person, scene that speak to them and the moment is frozen using whatever equipment is available. Lenses, filters, the eye of the photographer and the skill are  the only added accessories needed.  The only manipulation would be adjustment of light or shadow etc.  The image was a real shot of a reality seen and frozen.  The skill of the photographer is what is important and admired.
  2. The artist photographers whose eyes and soul creates art from frozen moments using their technical skill and programs available to adjust, touch, colour, enhance etc photos.  Here the skill of the technical abilities to create a moment is admired.

The last few years the line between these two legs started blurring.  The need to push photos have brought a dishonesty level into reality photography.  Great photographs are enhanced, coloured, touched up and adjusted to look absolutely amazing but with no reflection to the real colours captured. Hues and shades of sunrises and sunsets, water and flowers have come about that is just unbelievable.  This is all good and well and the photograph is stunning but where is the reality in this photograph?


What does the every day person expect when he looks at a photograph like this?  Many people plan outings based on places advertised with awesome photographs but the true real beauty of the spot is missed in the disappointment of expecting that WOW spot as per the enhanced unreal photograph seen.  It is almost as if real nature is losing its magnificence and has been replaced by enhanced, touched up unreal scenes of nature.

Equipment does not play that big a role in whether a photograph is great or not.  I’ve seen some photographs taken with very expensive cameras that does not compare to some photographs I’ve seen taken with a very basic line good cameras.  The eye, the soul and the skill of the photographer is what makes a photograph.  Being there to see and capture that WOW moment, that is the talent and skill.  Not being able to go home and re-do the moment to get a WOW moment.  That is a different set of skills.


Unfortunately many online photography competitions are pushing the enhanced unreal photographs leaving the real beauty of nature and people in the dimmed light of reality.  It is almost impossible to compete with so much technical assistance used on photographs when you are an honest reality photographer.

All photographs used are my own and they are real.