Reality and Photography

Reality and Photography

The Photography chapter in my class’s book talks about reality and how it is not always the case in photography and painting. Just as someone could potentially change a painting to seem unrealistic, someone could take a photo to appear to be unrealistic or is unrealistic despite what it is showing. For example, a photo of a boy jumping could be seen as just a normal jump. If the photographer takes the ground out of the image, so the boy is shown jumping with only the sky behind him, he might appear to be flying. A photo I have chosen plays on the idea that reality might not be depicted in the photo, despite there being an illusion of reality.

I took this photo a few years ago. It was at an aquarium, though it appears that the jellyfish are floating through space. There are vague reflections that seem to show no end or wall in their tank, which was cylinder-shaped. The fish were set with a blue light in the tank, which gave them a blue hue and glow. Obviously, jellyfish of this species is not that color naturally. This appears to be that the jellyfish a brightly colored, and there isn’t a tank at all. The aquarium provided a fairly small tank for these jellies, and they had a current that would help them move around, mimicking the ocean’s current. The use of the lights and dark allows the viewer to see them better, and gives them a small sense of being in the ocean, where light comes from the top of the water (where the sun is) and its pitch dark at the bottom of the ocean.

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