Photography has been described as art, science and documentary. Some photographers intend to record a moment of reality, the aesthetic of an image or to create the representation of reality. However, is there always a truth in these photos?
‘If anything, documentary was thought more deluded than other forms of representation because it claimed a direct access to reality, and more dangerous because the ‘reality effects’ it produced played a significant role in naturalising the values and interests of the powerful’ – Steve Edwards (Photography Out Of Conceptual Art)
What is perceived from documentary photography can often be considered real. Nevertheless, if we take visual illusion into consideration, we may want to carefully study the photo. The truth should be measured according to the statement made about the photo because the photograph itself is always real. However, optical illusion can also prevent one from seeing the truth in the photo. Optical illusion is always associated with paranormal photography based on the study of psychology and physics of light.
There is also cultural illusion, which tend to experience with the more normal images such as documentary photography. The influence of culture can has a strong effect on our visual perception. It is easier for one to believe in something, which looks familiar to them in reality although the photo may be only be a representation, which is interpreted by the photographer.
by Elliott Erwitt