Staged

People lie to themselves daily.

They see a photograph of people and think, “Oh, that happened!”

What they don’t understand is that yes, it happened, but on the 33rd take. You see, photographs, like movies, are created art. That is, they are created by the photographer. They are staged. They are arranged. So what you are seeing is a creation of the photographer, not necessarily something that spontaneously happened and the photographer was there to capture the magic moment, at least 99% of the time. Stop lying to yourself.

I can say this with such acidity because I am a photographer. The pictures I take I take for a reason and to communicate something. Yes, I crop them, erase elements, adjust the white and black balance, and on and on. However, I rarely take images of people – I take pictures of nature and animals. I think that’s an important distinction, because when people see other people, they put themselves in their place. They imagine themselves the recipient of a passionate kiss, walking under the moonlight, in bed with a supermodel, etc.

None of those things are true.

The self-deception of most people is a mile high and ten miles thick, because they never analyze what they are seeing. They assume that the images on their phones, tablets, computers, TV screens, and movie screens are accurate representations of reality, when they are not. The TV news is edited. The movie is scripted. The TV show is scripted. The photo is post-processed. Do you get it? What you experience with your own eyes of real life is actual, and everything else is a simulation with a perspective.

You should not expect anything less, for to demand anything less is to forbid the humanity of the person expressing themselves through film, photography, writing, and so on. That person – that creator – is always there, because he or she chooses to release the art to the world. Nobody alive, nobody dead, nobody at any time created a perspective-free art. They bothered creating the art in the first place because they had something to communicate. Understand that the pictures speak. Understand that the movie is saying something. Then you must decide as to whether the message is true. Don’t try to bleach all communication of viewpoint. You decide whether the art is truthful in what it says, because art cannot be hushed, for people cannot be hushed, and who they are bleeds into whatever they do.

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