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The Truth in Photography

It is evident to me that images can carry and convey truth – small and capital T – and that most people aren’t actually talking about truth when they talk about objectivity and subjectivity. Strong statement, I know, but I think as usual, the people using the Internets simply bring their own ideas and not really paying attention to how writers define their terms.


Before we begin, I just want to say that nothing I speak of here is new. What I aim to provide is a new context that might help reach a new point of view. If what I say is earth-shattering to you, fabulous! If I simply reminded you of what you know, great! If you are bored by what I’m saying because it is all self-evident to you, then just simply count me as a fellow traveler.

Photographers interested in creating art are too busy creating art to let us know what they think. I absolutely agree with that; and those photographers who are interested in propagating what they have learned are working deeply, via books. One recommendation is On Being a Photographer, by Magnum photographer David Hurn and Bill Jay. The book is a dialogue between the two, and the first chapter already dives deep into concepts of art, expression, truth, and depiction via photography. I highly recommend this book; sure, my thoughts and theirs on photography align, but the book is clear and concise. They are also hu