Just a few decades ago, the expression “the camera doesn’t lie” was commonly used around the world. The photo taken served as a witness of authentically captured moments. As a piece evidence, you could even call villains of the past to account with the help of photography.
Nowadays though, it seems to have become almost impossible to find a real photograph. While during the transition phase into the digital age it was once necessary to have trained image editors or graphic artists to create a false reality with the help of Photoshop etc., mankind has now created additional applications for phones and tablets, so that “finally” all that anyone needs to be able to do falsify a photograph beyond recognition is use their index finger. And all in a quality where the adulteration can no longer be recognized as such. But if it ever is, shallow pictures and goodwill are waved through with the note “artistic freedom”… or a hype even develops around the same mutated photographs in the end.
Well… there’s no question that all this has its raison d’être nowadays and therefore we mustn’t demonize the new applications and their users. But we mustn’t under any circumstances allow this development to continue and even become omnipresent in our existence, our life and our society. The world and its unique moments are far too beautiful and at times profound to be perceived or captured just from a shallow perspective.
We must turn our attention back to reality, to the old values and to real moments. Whether it’s a reportage in faraway countries, an advertising campaign for an international label, or the portrait of a world-famous personality – it’s always the authenticity and deeper “insight” that should be at the center of the creative process. As everything we create must ultimately reveal its significance in order to (permanently) exist in the world.
All these thoughts have presumably originated from a naivety, and there’s also not a plan laid down for this. Perhaps it was just the work of a few photographers like Avedon, Penn, Salgado or Lindbergh that served as honest inspiration. But in the end it was just a gut feeling, an impulse…
… and once you feel called to a cause, it gives you the feeling that there’s no turning back – which is incredible!
Alexander von Wiedenbeck