“The camera cannot lie.” So goes a phrase that became popular when printed photographs became available to the general public in the 19th century. But as consumers grow more and more savvy about the integrity of the media, the camera (and, more importantly, the photographer behind it) is no longer considered to be the epitome of truth.
To demonstrate the lies that photography can tell, watch this video of a crowd of people staging a fake riot as photographers capture the scene:
The footage, posted by El Badil, an independent news source based in Cairo, Egypt, shows a group armed with signs that suggest they are Morsi supporters. The supposed protesters freeze for a photographer as they fake injuries and appear to be in the midst of violence and chaos. Meanwhile. the area around the staged commotion seems to be calm and quiet as onlookers chat with one another and snap pictures with their phones.
Videos such as these are evidence of just some of the ways photographers can suggestively manipulate a scene, even without the use of Photoshop. While a camera may record the scene in front of the lens accurately, the resulting image may not be as forthright as the viewer would like to believe.
“The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.” –Harold Evans
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