The Camera never Lies

May 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I read that online the other day and I couldn't help but think: yes it does!   Photographers can make a bright and cheery room seem dark and foreboding just by changing some camera settings.   Using various angles we can make things bigger or smaller, heck I can change the color of something if I really wanted to.   All of this inside the camera.  That's part of the fun of pictures.  Sure it's never going to put a giant elephant in the middle of your photo (though sometimes that might be fun), but that doesn't mean it doesn't lie.   The biggest lie from the camera though is the lie of omission.  While not telling something is technically not the same as lying, I am pretty sure if your friend hit your car but didn't tell you and later you found out, you would have considered that a lie.  The camera is good at this.


Take the photo that I loaded up on this post for example.   It is a pretty fall scene, with some colorful leaves and a small waterfall.   If I were to describe it I may say that its tranquil or serene.  It may conjure up thoughts of the deep woods, or some small little grouping of trees in a large field somewhere.   The camera will mislead you into believing that, it is lying to you.   This creek could be in the middle of the city.   Fifty feet to the right of that falls could be a parking lot for the local shopping mall, you can't tell because it's out of frame.   Maybe there isn't a mall next to it, maybe directly overhead is the overpass of a busy interstate.  That tranquil waterfall now is loud and obnoxious because of all the car noise.  The camera lies.


Why is this important to know?   Well for one thing you can use those lies to your advantage.   If this creek is next to a mall or interstate people won't know that fact if you frame the picture correctly.  Adjusting the angles and viewpoints can change your picture greatly.   So remember that when you want to take pictures but don't have time to drive all over.  Good pictures can be around the corner, it's just how well your camera lies.


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