This article shows some example of how photographs can distort our impressions of space, important at a time when ‘social distancing’ is a matter of general concern
A Danish photo news agency recently tasked two of its photog[raphers]s with creating a series that shows how easy it is to lie through photography. By shooting before and after photos of the same scene, they showed how angle and perspective can, consciously or not, manipulate viewers and lead to accusations of fake news.
Personally, I would take exception to the use of the word ‘lie’ in this paragraph, perhaps ‘create a misleading impression designed to fit the particular agenda of the story the organisation wants to tell’ would be more appropriate but this is from an online photography site so they’re probably not over-concerned with using moderate language! Also, the photos aren’t really ‘before and after’, they’re just different photos of the same scene, taken with different lenses, from different angles and at different distances. Anyway, have a look at these photographs and be aware that just as ‘images can’t lie’, neither are they necessarily ‘the truth’.
If you’re interested in reading an academic consideration of whether images can lie, and indeed, what images can ‘say’, try the link below, it’s one of my favourite pieces of writing on images and ‘truth’.
Also, I would add that when I worked as a news video cameraman, one of the things I learned was how to make a place look more crowded that it is (alternatively, how to create an image that expresses accurately that a place was crowded, when simply pointing the camera and shooting doesn’t give that impression) - raise the camera and shoot with a long zoom, this compresses space and captures the feeling of a place being crowded (whether it ‘really’ is or not). Ultimately it’s not the camera that ‘lies’ but the person using the camera who decides to use it in a manipulative way or not.