I grew up being told that ‘the camera never lies’, yet I was always puzzled that my early point-and-shoot photographs, once I’d had them developed, rarely turned out the way I remembered them. They were too ‘flat’, or too dull, or too unremarkably boring and not at all representative of what I’d thought I’d seen in my mind’s eye when taking the picture in the first place.
And then I learned that a camera lens doesn’t seem to ‘see’ the world the same way as I do, so I would have to learn to change some of the settings manually to ‘show’ the camera how to create and reproduce my chosen style of representation of what I was actually looking at. I would basically be teaching my camera how to lie – how to create an illusion of my own choice.
Quite often even once I learned these some of these technical tricks I would find my particular view of what I was seeing before me would prove very different to someone else’s captured view of the same subject, even if we we were both taking pictures at exactly the same place at the same time. There was not, it seemed, just one reality but multiple realities seen differently by different individuals, all presumably equally as valid as each other.
Frustratingly, even with a decent-enough camera nowadays to be able to choose my focus points, the depth of field, and play around to my heart’s desire with exposure values to suit myself so that I’m effectively making images rather just taking photographs, sometimes the results I get straight out of camera still aren’t quite enough for me… I’m still left wanting so much more.
I’m discovering that I want to start being even more creative with my artistic endeavours – I suppose I really want to learn some proper post-processing skills to add something more dramatic to my images, using whatever digital ‘darkroom’ techniques I might have at my disposal to help me make my personal illusion of how I choose to see the world complete 🙂