SwirlingFire: The Camera Never Lies

By | October 6, 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes


The Camera Never Lies

I wish I were able to take photos like many of the talented stills I see regularly on social media.  Whether still life, animals, botanical or body parts from any angle. 

It started my mind twirling. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there can be one simple frame from a session that captures the imagination and hits one straight in the feels.  Subject matter is irrelevant.  We are each our own subject in front of the lens.  We see what we choose.  Is the camera the greatest deceiver ?  In focus, out of focus, Bokeh, filters and any other photoshop style of bending the light and image of all time.  Is the “edited” image how we want our lives to appear (Instagram/Snap Chat/makeup apps) giving us false hope, unrealistic expectations by showing our peers who we would like to be – not showing our authentic selves.  We will not appear as our true selves upon meeting.  Our friends won’t recognise whom is stood in front of us. 

Whilst fun apps and bunny ears are an obvious fun tweak, full manipulation of an image is a fraudulent twist of reality.

Artistic, professional exhibition pieces are a body of work in their own entity.  They are pieces of an artists expression of a researched subject matter.  They are not designed to defraud, only to push visual boundaries through structured themes and subjective exploration.

I very much enjoy these series of photos, especially those that have an edit of a negative or colour wash and also the images edited to look like oil paintings.  I have seen several in blog pieces lately.  I enjoy observing the image before reading accompanying text.

Similarly, the unscrupulous photographer could bend fact as propaganda for a more insidious portrayal of a view through the lens.

Are these people artists or bullies ?  A self serving change of view ?  Manipulation of the mind and thoughts and visual misrepresentations through one’s eyes ?

I am ever increasingly interested about the eye behind the camera lens.  The person that is inspired to frame up an image. The nuts and bolts behind the image.  The modern day artist in their garret.  Totally absorbed by structure, form, content, variety, light, shade and composition.  The time spent to capture on film the concept of their inspiration, taking form.  Forever preserved.

I don’t have that photographic talent.  I see things everywhere I’d like to capture in a photo.  I tried it as a #365days ((ahhhh, hadn’t realised until now, that was my first #365 project )) – #SwirlingFirePhotoJournal. 

A displacement activity.  It encouraged me to get out of bed, washed, dressed and force myself outdoors. If only for an hour. To bring me back into the world of the living. I was slipping into a very dark downward spiral. That daily photo task helped. For a short while at least.

It came at a time of vicious SubTweeting.   

People had been exceptionally cruel, judgemental,selfish, gaslighting, insensitive and inaccurate in their words.  The same people that think they are better than the rest of us. Causing damage, destruction and confusion in their wake. 

I was almost pushed beyond saving because of these people. 

If it weren’t for taking care of  #Mothership, I’m not so sure how final the outcome could have been.  I wonder if these people are still as miserable, bitter and vicious ?   Whether they’ve sought counselling/therapy for often observed behavioural defects?

“…..The thing is, that some people find their way of being in the playground and then just get more manipulative over the years. Partly because it never stops working for them…..”  – extract from conversation.

Our brains are, after all, an individual, internal camera of sorts.  Processing our surroundings.  Taking long lasting images of moments in time, preserved forever.  Captured in all its glory or destruction. 

Holiday Destination or Gestapo Concentration Camp? 

It’s all in the composition and framing.

We are all ” life moment” photographers, documenting our own life experiences.  The emergence of posting photos on social media platforms rather than “living in the moment” and enjoying ourselves, private moments – we whip out our phone cameras, showing how we live.

The camera, in focus, can be an invention of wonder, amusement, breathtaking moments and brilliance.  Beguiling, moulding and shaping our wants, needs and desires.

In the wrong hands, the lens points, jeering, wild declarations of opinions and exercising sleight of hand, like that of a Magician pulling rabbits from a hat.  Pixels in a swirling juxtaposition.  A skillful treatment of an  influence in motion.

A picture does indeed paint a thousand words.  Sadly, we don’t all see what others see.


The Portrait of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde. Film still 1945

Swirlingfire: A Posting History

@Swirlingfire, 24 September, 2019

Written for #Camera #384, #WickedWednesday

10 thoughts on “SwirlingFire: The Camera Never Lies

  1. kisungura

    Really interesting and thoughtful post, and snapshots do really have the power to be used for good…and not so good purposes, affecting viewers and the lives of those who live it through a lense. Really thought provoking writing, thank you.

    1. swirling🔥fire

      Thank you for understanding my swirling thoughts. Photos for illustrative purposes and educational reasons are still subjective and controlled.
      We are at liberty to show what we wish.
      Combined together, quite lovely. As are your blog photos 💗

      Swirly 🌻😘

  2. jupitergrant

    Thoughtful and salient points as ever, Swirly. So much in this world is indeed about the intention behind the usage. Benign image edits become more malevolent when it is the case of doctoring images for nefarious purposes. Just as the splitting of the atom led to the bomb. So many dichotomies and juxtapositions. Terrific post. 💖

    1. swirling🔥fire

      Maybe I see things differently now or, I search too deeply for meanings that possibly aren’t always there?

      Swirly 🌻😘

  3. Marie Rebelle

    Beauty indeed is in the eye of the beholder. I prefer to edit my photos as little as possible, and preferably not at all, but does that make me more honest than the person who prefers to edit it some more? I don’t know. Just a question that popped in mind…

    Rebel xox

    1. swirling🔥fire

      Hi Rebel
      I did mention in the piece that “pro style edit” etc was exempt.
      I was alluding to those that
      heavily editing a pic, change hair colour, drastically change face & body shape, maybe changing ourselves to a double zero dress size and then using it as an avatar – would you say this was misleading?
      You raised an Interesting point that perhaps, I’ve not specifically clarified?

      Ps I remind you to read my tweet for you from the weekend – there are few that are as Real as you.

      Pps you’re welcome to dm if you wish to discuss this piece of writing

      Best wishes

      1. Marie Rebelle

        Yep, I agree, that is misleading. And my comment was just simply something I wondered about when people are somewhere between the heavy editing you describe above and the little editing I do. Really just a thought, musings from my side and absolutely not meant as criticism on your piece.

        1. swirling🔥fire

          I think “intent” is the key driver?

          Artistic licence is acceptable, filters, light levels, etc to ensure the pic is pleasing on merit and from tiny android screens like mine to fancy HD computer screens. All these are acceptable. To “tweak” is fine.

          You’ve set my thoughts swirling.

          I now realise something you’ve “challenged” that has pushed itself into my conscious thoughts, a new blog piece to explore …..

          Thank you Rebel
          Swirly 🌻😘


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