Photographic Deception

I was out fishing with a couple of buddies the other day and as I stood knee deep in water, I noticed that if I narrow my focus, I was seeing a pristine body of water that looks like it should be a photograph in a fly fishing magazine. So I took a couple shots to see if I could capture that narrow focus and here is what I came up with

They look nice, don't they? Tree lined streams with gin clear water and rocky shores. If you knew nothing of this stream and saw this in a magazine, many people would probably think, "Man that's nice! I wish I had water like that near me..." You might also assume that those two fly fishermen are out chasing trout. If so, you'd be wrong. They are chasing carp.

After I took those shots, I walked down stream a bit and once again noticed that if I narrow my focus, I can envision a picture that should be on the cover of an EPA news release about how polluted and dirty our streams are. So, I took a shot and here is what I came up with.

Pretty dismal looking isn't it? It's hard to imagine that anything could survive in this cesspool. If you saw this picture, and only this picture, you would probably think that this body of water is just a dead mosquito pit. Heck, I bet that I could probably talk you into ponying up $5 towards for conservation efforts to restore it!

It's amazing how easily our perceptions can be skewed when you are only given part of the story. If you take the time to open your eyes and look the entire situation before judgments are made, things are not always what they seem. Contrary to popular folklore, pictures can lie. Think critically. Think right.


  1. Perception is a funny thing. Like you said, the photos you want to look beautiful and idyllic will do just that, helping most of us to show only part of the image we think is worthwhile. A picture is seldom worth "a thousand words", they often miss the bigger picture.

    funny how that works.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sanders! I almost could say that this ties into your awesome post about "Not simply Numbers"

      You definitely have to see the whole picture

  2. You make some great points, and the pictures back them up nicely! I wish more people took the same approach to things that you do.
    Thanks for the great article.

  3. I belong to TU but find their focus rather one sided. Of course, what is good for the head waters is good for the main stem, but the larger water often is located near urban areas and it's use is also often by those who would despoil. Yea, carp waters too likely have little respect.



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