Is photography an illusory world?

David LaChapelle once mentioned in an interview: "People say photos don't lie, my photos lie." How far should you edit or change images? This is probably a question asked by numerous photographers all over the world. You can't blame the alteration of photos on today's time and technology. Even back then, stars like Marilyn Monroe were "refined" in the darkroom, but photographers like Ansel Adams also added contrast, dodged, shaded, underexposed or overexposed their photographs.

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Retouching and developing the photos definitely affects the similarity of the original condition. One person wants to document something, the other wants to show something that others may not have seen. The talent to shape something only makes the photos more interesting for me.

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Colours, plays of light, contrasts have to harmonise perfectly with each other like in a painting - like a painter who already has his painting in his head. What cannot be taught, however, is the feeling for it. Not what we see, but how we see determines the value of what we see.

The idea and how some things could appear in different light makes it more interesting. In photography, painting, architecture, but also in everyday life is well known: Depending on the incidence of light and mood, everything appears differently, and this is especially true for the human mind.

The cameras themselves are basically an honest medium, but photography is actually the art of showing more than you see.

Another 3 weeks, then we are on tour for National Geographic for 2 months. We will be on tour in France, England, Scotland and Ireland in a motorhome specially designed and sponsored by LMC. I will be happy to give you some travel & photo tips, and also give you an insight into the image editing of my pictures.

In the next few days I will tell you about the preparations for such a long journey.


Until then, all my love,

Your Manfred


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10 thoughts on "Is photography an illusory world?

  1. Jaspers said, the world is not appearance but reality, but reality is appearance, in its appearance it is carried by reality, and that is us,... If we succeed in representing the leaf of a tree in such a way that the observer never forgets it, then we have expanded his consciousness and brought something new into reality, and thus changed reality in a positive way,... That should be the goal, if a photographer with a lot of visual experience intuitively determines that he has to make changes to his photographs, then that is absolutely right,... Every artist is a specialist of himself

  2. Photography is even more individual/personal than seeing. Photography depicts reality but the reality as the photographer sees it. Even a minimal change of the image detail can result in a completely different image statement. And if a photo only meets the expectations of the photographer by editing, then it should be fine. I only find it reprehensible to lie about an editing or the creation of a photo.
    So photography is definitely an illusory world, but that's nothing bad per se.

    1. That's right, just the choice of the image section can change a lot. So even an unedited photo can be a sham world.

  3. By the exaggerated treatment of pictures is the photo market as it is___ more and more uninteresting one sees at the sales figures of cameras

I look forward to your news!

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