When my photography in 2014 started to get a bit more serious. Luminosity masks was the new thing… Nowadays almost every photographer knows what it is and in 5 years time it looks like we are not at the end of different techniques for digital manipulation. However…

For me as a photographer, I find it so weird that when you travel around the world to see and photograph beautiful spots. You then manipulate the image you took in post processing so that it doesn’t look like it was in real life. Off course everybody makes it’s own choice. But I really find it sad that maybe 50% of the images I see on social media are ‘fake’…

I will show you some fake images manipulating my OWN images to not harm other photographers…

Types of fake images :

Warped images : This one is the worst, So many shots have warped mountains in the background. It looks like our nature isn’t spectacular enough for a lot of people. I also believe many people don’t know a lot of photographers are using this technique, especially people that aren’t in the ‘photography world’. I remember a story of some chinese tourists in the Lofoten. They were disappointed that the fjords weren’t steeper. Looking at their travel brochure, the images with fjords were stretched very hard! Disappointed while Lofoten has some of the steepest fjords in the world….




Perspective blends : Using different focal lenghts to achieve an image with more impact. For instance, you can see those blends everytime when you have a supermoon! Which is actually just a little bit bigger then a normal moon. Most of the times you see a blend of a picture taken with a wide angle or standard lens, blended with a telelens image with the moon. So the moon looks very big and unnatural in those images, but it looks amazing on social media off course!

Blending with different skies : Off course a great way to achieve nice artworks from all the places you have visited, even when the weather wasn't great. But that is just wat being a photographer is for ME. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.


Timeblending : blending day and night images to achieve pictures with for instance the milky way with nice red flowers in the foreground (red is the first colour that will be less impressive as it gets darker and darker).

Where do I draw the line, what is ‘fake’ and what is not.

For me, warping makes it fake, unless it is for a minor thing in the foreground. (If you have to share a location with others, sometimes it is impossible to take a step to the right or left for the composition you want) The middle and background should always look like in real life. Perspective blends and dragging other skies into another image are off course also fake. A time blend is where I draw the line, blending a day light image and a night image is something that goes too far for me. But a blue hour shot and a night shot taken at the exact same spot (so that you could have some more details in the foreground) is OK for me. But that really is the line for ME!

Every photographer sees when an image is fake.

Not true. I will give you a great example. In 2018, the first prize of the prestigious Wildlife photographer of the year was maybe a fake image. The image was disqualified after the contest. A lot of experts were on top of the image. But untill today, we don’t know if it is a fake image or not… Only 1 person knows for sure (the photographer).

And lets assume it isn’t fake… The photographer now has a bad reputation. The article was probably in almost all newspapers in the world. My facebook page was full with the article saying it was a fake one. A lot of ‘photographers that are making fake images’ shared it saying it was a disgrace…

I warped the image because otherwise it didn’t fit on Instagram…

I think this is a very lame excuse. Is Instagram more important then your own vision on photography? It probably is for a lot of people…

Real image

Real image

Fake instagram image

Fake instagram image

Are you doing it for the likes on social media?

Here I understand that for example lots of people warp mountains to let the landscape look more impressive, which will give those images more likes… However I don’t think that way and I really don’t get why people with tons of followers who call themselves professional photographers are doing that. Why? I really don’t understand… For me, lots of those so called professional photographers are digital artists who uses photography as a starting point.

Respect for digital artists!

It is not that I have something against digital artists. But don’t pretend as a photographer then. There are artists saying they are making fake photographs and then I absolutely don’t have a problem with it. I also follow digital artists on social media. It is amazing how they can make and create their artworks! Just don’t keep it silent or lie about it…