This stunning photo was taken by film director, actor and photographer, Fan Ho, in 1954.

Ho was famous for taking candid photos of street life and the city architecture of Hong Kong, in the 1950s and 60s. His striking use of light and shadow, exemplified in "Approaching Shadow", led to him being linked to the Bauhaus art movement.

Does it change your opinion of the photo when I tell you that Fan Ho staged the shot by arranging for his cousin to pose as the human subject?

Furthermore, does it change your opinion of the photo when I tell you that the diagonal shadow was added by Fan Ho, in the darkroom? In reality, the wall didn't have a shadow.


@fitheach I'd more-ore-less assumed he'd seen the shadow one day and brought a model along the next so the staging's not a problem for me. The fact the shadow wasn't observed does subtract something, yes.

Post processing to bring out the “real” image is one thing, to make a different image is, well, different.


The issue is that people will assume that a photograph is mostly recording a situation. We don't make the same assumptions about, for example, painters. The ability, and motivation, to edit photos is beyond what most people expect.

We almost need disclaimers on photos in the same way as with movies: "any resemblance to real life, or real people is purely coincidental".

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