The following is from an email string shared with me by Ms. Constitution and my very good friend, Roberta Parsons, a world class photographer, and webmistress of my websites:

Ms. Constitution sent her the attached link, saying: "Reminds me of some of your shots"

Roberta's answer:

There can be different degrees of "fake" in photography. If fake is defined as "not genuine" then we might want to consider the degree to which a photo may be considered not genuine.

A composition, where multiple images are merged together to create something that's not possible in the natural world is most certainly fake, but photographers also use multiple exposures which can be shot without moving the camera to bring everything in the frame into sharp focus. Is that fake?

Another trick is to change the colors in the photo from what the camera actually captured. Is that fake? What if the color shift changes to such a degree that the altered colors << never >> appear like that? Now is it fake?

Cameras are limited by their sensor, and in days past, by film. Sensors, like film, capture light and are limited by their sensitivity to the spectrum and by filters, which limit light from reaching the sensor. The resulting photos may not match color temperature that our eyes see, so we think they are fake. One obvious example is infrared photography. It's real, but does not match our idea of what things look like because we see light differently.

A photographer can set a camera's shutter to record light for a specific length of time and change the amount of light that reaches the sensor by use of an aperture. Therefore, any given camera, in the hands of an experienced photographer has the ability to capture something that the human eye cannot "see."  Does that make it fake?

At this point, we haven't even considered the lens. Lenses contain a series of concave and convex glass disks, stacked in such a way as to "focus" an image onto the sensor plane. A telephoto lens will make things appear closer than they actually are while a wide angle lens will distort things in a different way, making them appear smaller in a vast landscape.

Also consider this: cameras do not currently have minds to take in a whole image and resolve it down into what a human experiences in the world. In that sense, we call "fake" on what we perceive to be unreal or not genuine, sometimes because we've never been able to get camera to capture it the way a more experienced photographer can. There are many photo apps available that enable photographers to plan their outings to coincide with where the lights in the sky will provide the most dramatic scene.

All that said... when unsure, Linda usually just sends me a link and asks, "Is this real?" 

Learn more here, because we don't even see how we might think we see:

You can see Roberta's 2019 work so far here:


Linda: One last thought. You can process an image to best advantage, but when you Photoshop it beyond way what was really there, originally, then to me, you have FAKE.

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