The Value of Authenticity in Modern Photography

There have always been people who question the authenticity of images. They resent heavy editing and push for only in-camera adjustments. While retouching your images is certainly not a crime, it’s more possible—and common—to create “fake” images than ever before. And believe it or not, there are people who heavily manipulate or copy images for the sake of getting likes, spreading fake news or creating for some business advantage. In today’s video, photographer Adam Karnacz takes a look at how authenticity is important in both life and photography and how we should look inward to start creating photography that will resonate with people:

Photography is about capturing moments as they happen. After looking at a photograph, you expect to experience what’s depicted as if you were placed in that very location. But with new post-production software, it’s far too easy for people to create an image basically from scratch.

“The visual art and CGI is awesome, but it’s definitely not photography anymore.”

Karnacz also touches on how the algorithms behind popular social media websites can ruin authenticity. when they promote the same kinds of photographs that have a similar style, viewers can easily end up copying the same image. Where’s the originality in that? To be fair, being inspired is a part of the learning process. But in order to take yourself to the next level, it is vital that you start innovating. Build on what you’ve learned from others’ work and take it to the next step.

“Understanding ourselves, what motivates us and why, is absolutely critical to innovation.”

What do you think of Karnacz’s take on authenticy in photography?

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2 responses to “The Value of Authenticity in Modern Photography”

  1. I am a Regular Viewer of Picture Perfect and First Man Photography Vlogs. Both are Great. Photography isn’t real in the way that it isn’t exactly depiction what your eye sees. I am an Event Photographer in Asia associated with Media Companies and Event agencies

    Lead Photographer
    Team KWP Events

  2. Sam Yaffe says:

    You said “Photography is about capturing moments as they happen.” Maybe for you, but certainly not universally. Tell that to Cindy Sherman who created nothing but stirring fiction, or Man Ray who put cello sound holes on on a nude woman’s back, or Aaron Suskind who produced hundreds of purely abstract images representing nothing but pure form, or Jerry Uelsmann who made fantastic images that obviously could never be, like a giant tree with roots that grew into a big house – not a house in a tree, but a tree that formed a house. Even Ansel Adams, whose images seem quite realistic to most viewers, knew he was bending “reality” into what he wanted it to be, and wrote three books about how he did that.

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