Thursday, August 10, 2017

Alternative facts

The truth is, I saw all these things -- the pink sun, the dune grass, the bird in flight, the boat, the reflection on the water, the break in the trees where the bay cuts in... I just didn't see them all at exactly the same moment.

That's the wonder of Photoshop: I can put them all together into one arresting photo, and it looks like I captured the perfect moment -- with the possible exception of the metal heron sculpture on the left, which was turned a little away for my liking, though it's cool the way it's kind of pointing to the sun.

But the story this photo tells -- that I was there, and alert, with all those things coming together in a particular moment -- is not true; it only really says that I was persistent enough to photograph all the elements, and artist/photoshop expert enough to compile them all into a single image. And unless I specifically tell you that, I am misleading you.

They were all there -- the sun, the boat,
the weeds and the reflections --
just not at the exact same moment.
Just because the artist took the time
to shoot them and compile a single image
doesn't make it true. Does that mean Keats was wrong?

Is it any wonder that our society is struggling with alternative facts?