Reality Effects

In this modern day and era, do you trust images? In other words, how do you navigate the overabundance of the mass of images that clutters our daily life, and how do you distinguish and differentiate the real from the illusionary?

Do you ever ask yourself the question: How many things you see in ads, commercials and billboards are actually real, authentic representations of objects from the real world?

When a person looks at a photograph, whether in a magazine, a newspaper, a blog, an article, or even television, he or she trusts it to represent the actual state of things, events and people. Often times this sort of belief is shortsighted and naive.

What about articles, autobiographies, other texts that try to inform us of something? And what about history? How many of the so-called facts are pure information, untainted by opinion, perspective, or subjective analysis? Everything is filtered by the human psyche, hidden agendas, even the most noble of intentions. What we often think of as real is a product of what is called ‘reality effects.’

The tampering with photographic imagery throughout history is a well known and investigated occurrence. Research being done on this topic can be found here.

The podcast that discusses the truth and falsehood in photography can be found on Art Gallery of Ontario’s blog page.

Since the subject of reality and falsehood through digital manipulation is the general area of interest that concerns my masters research, I have attempted to produce imagery¬† that deals with skewed or ‘invented’ reality. I constructed a fictitious object (made out of photographs of house hold objects and devices), which could be a consumer product of some technological nature. Here is the final result:

I have also edited a video that documents my attempt at producing a fictitious billboard ad for this mysterious object whose function is unknown and therefore can be determined by the consumer’s imagination. In this billboard I have also included a heavily retouched image of a model – a practice that is quite prevalent in advertising imagery. The before and after image of the model are below:

Here is the video:

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