“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” – Niccolò Machiavelli
As a photographer I practice artifice on a daily basis. It might be as simple as using a flash to create light where there isn’t any, black boards to cast definition on to the edges of a bottle, or the composition of several shots to ensure focus is sharp through the full image.
And sometimes it’s a little more tricksy than that. If you want to shoot a nice refreshing glass of lemonade with ice cubes you can’t just use ice cubes. For one they melt under the hot lights and for another, the difference in temperature between the outside and the inside of the glass means instant fogging rendering the crisp contents blurry. So I use artificial ice cubes.
When a client requested that I shoot a watch in snow, I had to get artificial snow because, well, that’s kind of obvious.
And if, for whatever reason, you absolutely must shoot a massive Tony Montanaesque pile of cocaine you are going to need an indecent amount of money and a total disregard for the law, or flour.
So next time you drool over a photograph of a bowl of ice cream or wonder why that crisp tall glass of beer in the the advert never quite looks as refreshing in the flesh, remember the flour.