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March 22, 2011

{images taken from NPR here}

When I first spotted these images on NPR today, I did a double take. These sure put my daily haul to shame. Turns out, though, that photographer Alain Delorme manupulates his images (all taken in Shanghai) to increase the stack of ‘stuff’ being carted and to exagerate the lines of reality. Knowing that doesn’t make me love these images any less. There’s still something striking and beautiful about them.

Delorme’s work openly brings into question photography’s relationship to reality and so-called truths. He makes no secret of using Photoshop to manipulate and alter his images. And even though dissapointment may hit when first realizing that these shots aren’t actually capturing an incredible feat or moment of extraordinary accomplishments, Delorme’s images still convey a playful sense of ‘what if’? What if one could cart such an incredible load on a bicycle? What is the human body capable of doing? And how are limits and boudaries set, who decides what is realistic and what is not?

You can see the original NPR story and more of Delorme’s images here.

What do you think? Does knowing that they are ‘fake’ change your impession of them and how so?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Aibrean permalink
    March 22, 2011 22:16

    Knowing these photos are fake doesn’t change my impression of them, but I may be biased because of past experience. I visited Beijing, China in 2005. The amount of cargo that the men (I didn’t see any women do this, but many of the bikers appeared very androgynous from my distant perspective) carried on their non-cargo bikes was fantastic. I literally could not have imagined the possibility of carrying so much stuff. People rode with what I imagine was the entirety of their worldly possessions wrapped in blankets and tarps and attached to the backs of their cycles. I suppose my point is, the amount of cargo that I saw real people carrying was so mind-boggling that seeing a few extra photoshopped boxes doesn’t change its incomprehensibility for me.

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