• Ashley Nicole

Expectation VS Reality

To be honest, I think as society, we've gone and shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. Let me backtrack...

I really like Instagram. Since I first downloaded the app 7 years ago, I have always thought there was something unique about it. Over time, I found a groove and realized I had a bit of a knack for taking photos of nice landscapes. Eventually over time, I created a second account so that I could focus one account on showing off the beauty that I've found in all sorts of places, while still allowing myself to keep one account for more fun and personal life photos.

Because I really enjoy travelling and even just looking at beautiful scenery, I have begun to follow other Instagram accounts which post these types of images. Over time, I've noticed that shared photograph images from both professionals and amateurs alike have become more and more edited and look further and further from reality.

Here are a couple of my photos before and after I've edited them. (I would say they look close enough to recognize from the original, but different enough that the untouched photo looks dull and uninteresting next to the edit.)

With colour changes here, brightening and sharpening there, along with the ability to use effects to define parts of the photo that were barely visible, so many photos are looking less and less like the original. It's even becoming common to add things into photos that were never even there to begin with.

We are no stranger to Photoshop and image editing, as these are the same procedures that are being done to the images of models and celebrities, posted on magazine covers. Many of the cameras on our phones have the option to use the beauty filters that can change the complexion and even shape of our faces.

The realization that has just come to light is that very few photos we see anymore are completely true to their likeness. No wonder everything in real life looks slightly more dull and less exciting than what we picture them to be. From the visits to Paris looking nothing like what we expected and our faces in the mirror look less and less smooth, this editing affects our perceptions in so many ways.

I would like to argue, on the other hand, is that photography can be an art form and that not every photo is meant to be true to its likeness. I like to take and edit photos on my Instagram account as an outlet of my creativity. Sometimes the results look similar to the original, while other times, I just want to make the final product as beautiful as I feel it can be.

In all of this, what I'd like to reflect on is the concept of the things we perceive to be true. Are we setting the images we view as standards of what we expect to see in real life? Do you ever feel disappointed when you see something in person for the first time, after only seeing photos of it beforehand? Do you forget to look closely at photos to see what is truth and what is more like artwork or an illusion? I know I do sometimes.

I thought I'd like to get the conversation rolling and I'd seriously like to hear your thoughts about this below. Do you like this? Does it bother you? Let me know what you think!