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The Truth in Photography

            Is the truth accurately represented in a photograph? In the year 2003, the Los Angeles Times journalist Brian Walski was fired after admitting to digitally editing two photographs to look like a single photograph, misleading some, which had then been printed on the front of the newspaper (Irby para. 2). If there was not some sort of connection between photography and the truth then this would not have been such a big deal. Photography is known to many people for truthfully representing the facts. It is this notion of trust that allows programs such as Adobe Photoshop to deceive people into thinking what they are seeing is real. This modern day photo manipulation makes it hard to see what really is the truth. .
             The idea of photographic truth has received some rough treatment over the years. In the 1977 essay "In Plato's Cave," Susan Sontag (2012) described photography as producing works that are "no generic exception to the usually shady commerce between art and truth" (p. 781). We do not need journalists or photographers to tell us that photographs can be deceptive. A small amount of experience in seeing pictures or snapshots in advertising is enough to convince someone that having a photograph does not necessarily mean you have the truth. Nowadays it takes more than a photograph to prove something. The use of photo manipulation is much easier now, than it was when photography was first introduced. This is due to digital cameras and digital images. Unlike photographs, digital images are made up of many small, discrete pixels. The images are encoded by dividing the image into a grid of cells. Details of the image are approximated into fitting into the pattern of the grid of cells. Enlargement of a photograph will warrant more detail; however, the more zoomed in the image is, the fuzzier and grainer it gets. A photographic negative has more detail .
             and under close observation, it is easy to make out small objects or forms in the photograph.

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