May 18 2020

Fake rainbow seen the High Street today

Yesterday’s photo caused quite a stir on the Beckenham Appreciation FaceBook Group. Some people focused on it showing a crowd ignoring current social distancing rules while one disputed it’s authenticity. She said “This photo is 100% NOT outside Fee and Brown!!!. More fake news!” so quite emphatic.

Most photographers, and those interested in the subject, know that any “truth” a photo offers is subject to many caveats: point of view, framing, processing, contexts shown, associations and the viewers own values all contribute to how a person sees and reads an image.

Yet photos are not just digital pictures as they do require something to be photographed whereas a digital picture can be wholly created by a person’s imagination and skill. The lady who disputed the location of my image was wrong; the photo was taken at the location stated on the day stated and so not fake.

Today’s image is “fake” in the sense that includes a wholly digitally created rainbow but it is still a partially authentic record of Beckenham High Street on May 18 and 10.51am but it does offer the viewer a true, albeit partial, record of what took place at that location on that day and at that time in all other respects.