SYMPOSIUM: Reliability in Photography

Reliability in photography is something I have investigated many times over during my time at both University and College. Regarding memory, it is difficult to know what images we can trust in the way I have written about the images from the Second World War. Over time, the influence of image manipulation has led to a lack of trust in the photograph, something that was initially seen as a documentation; a truthful way of recording events and an honest resource that couldn’t really be questioned. However nowadays, every image we see needs to questioned and scrutinized simply because of how easy it is to alter a photograph with the ample of new technology around today. Through the aid of programs such as Photoshop, photo editing and manipulation is all to easy; we can completely alter an image, and with that the story it is depicting in a way that is, in most cases impossible to notice. After researching more into this however, I discovered a vast number of political images that have been edited for a number of reasons. In my opinion, this completely removes trust in the news world. This contradicts the original concept and understanding of the photographic practice  meaning that in more cases than not, we cant trust what we see. And the majority of the time we cannot tell we are being deceived, no matter how slight the alteration. ‘The suggestion is that a diminution of our collective faith in the photograph’s indexical relationship to the real will inevitably lead to the death of photography as an autonomous medium’. This short video is a simple example of how drastically a photograph can be changed, and how difficult it can sometimes be to differentiate from the truth when seeing the final result.

Dating as far back as the War there is evidence of images being manipulated for Political appeal. These images have all had an ‘unsavory’ adviser or ally-turned-enemy removed from the image in the hopes of altering their depiction in history. This is a form of propaganda; something I also need to look into.


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