A Photo Tells No Lies

I love photography, I have thousands of photos on my computer, in the past, not so much these days, I printed a large amount of my work and often had it hanging on the wall, but as I say, not so much these days. That change was largely due to me losing interest, and being far too busy with work and life in general. I suspect millions of photos are taken every day around the world, it is so easy these days with a reasonable smart phone to capture life as it happens. Most photos probably go no further than the phone, but lots do surface on social media and many on photo sharing sights such as Flickr.

They used to say a photo tells no lies, well that may have been the case in the days of black and white film, when press photographers took the photos and processed them before wiring them to the newspaper. The days when an accused person would be huddled into court with a blanket over his head to protect his identity. In general what the photo depicted was the real thing, but even then there was a certain amount of manipulation, in film and fashion many photographs would (in modern parlance) be 'air brushed' to remove wrinkles and skin imperfections etc, even me at a very young age was depicted in a 'colour' photo in my pram (it was indeed a very long time ago!), except that it was not a colour photo but a black and white one that had been hand coloured. In the day that was ok and acceptable because every one knew what they were looking at.

But the world and technology has changed, in the days of using film, only the very skilled could manipulate photos to any great degree, but with the coming of digital and processing programs like photoshop, all that started to change. But it was still not that simple, to use photoshop skilfully requires a lot of training and experience, and it's easy to spot a badly photoshopped picture. However with the coming of photo apps things have changed again, almost anybody with a smart phone can take a selfie and alter the image on the phone before putting it out on social media. 

Ok almost all photos are manipulated to some degree, be that cropping or adjusting the contrast, but with these apps, and this is finally the point of this post, anyone can change and 'enhance' their features to an extent that it might be difficult to recognise the person in real life. Some while ago a young crossdresser posted a photo of herself with her face 'photoshopped' in truth it was easy to spot, when I asked her about it, she said she didn't like the way her mouth looked. Now as I knew this young lady was planning to go for a night out, I pointed out that she would look different in real life because you can't hide behind your photo. Looking back, when I started to go out for the evening two things come to mind, at my very first time out somebody said "you look just like your photo!" Which of course is what I would have hoped for, and secondly I spotted somebody I had seen on Flickr, it took me a little while to recognise the person, as something was not right. It eventually dawned on me the face was not the same as her photos, she obviously uses some form of manipulation to create a 'better' image of herself. 

Now what you do and how you want to present yourself on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or whatever is entirely up to you, but just remember you can't photoshop your face in real life, and if you want to meet some of the fabulous people, as I have done, you need to be yourself, warts and all, So be proud of who you really are and don't hide behind digital manipulation..........

In choosing a photo for this article, I was going to try a 'Face App' but thought that goes against what I believe in and the thrust of the article.......


  1. The rise and rise of filters and post processing seems quite a thing doesn't it.

    For a bit of fun, I think that's one thing. My concern is that folk may become disappointed or upset by their real appearance not matching the created one.

    Sure, make-up, good lighting, and contrast/hue tweaks could be considered a start to that journey. However, they don't fundamentally change a person's features. That's my worry.

    1. Absolutely Lynn, people using one of these Apps run the risk of creating an image of themselves that can not possibly match. Digital manipulation can change aspects of yourself that are just not possible in real life. Fine for a bit of fun, any further than that and the user risks disappointment at best, if they want to be more than just an image on a screen, then they have to learn to love the person they truly are...................

    2. Your last bit here: "...then they have to learn to love the person they truly are."

      IMO, that's so important. Finding your way to self acceptance takes you off the hook around a lot of negative emotions. It's not that suddenly everything's perfect. It's more about being okay with who you are and, perhaps even, giving yourself permission to be all aspects of who you are.

    3. Thank you Lynn, how true.............


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