Rosie Hardy and Aaron Nace understand that any image can deceive the eye, which is why viewers look at their work on Flickr.

Hardy and Nace didn't pioneer photography's deceptive nature. It has
always been a primitive art.

Throughout the still image's history, some of the most successful shooters are not recording reality as it happens. They are crafting a story.

Photographers often want their pictures to be honest but, the truth and what an image communicates are often different.

The images on the individual photo streams of Hardy and Nace are
digitally enhanced,addressing themes like stereotypes, popular mythology and their own supposed love story.

Flickr's Hottest Couple

Compilation Sundays, digitally altered images which Hardy and Nace have collaboratively created, narrates a love story.

While the images suspend reality, they also claim to be the truth.

Pedro Meyer's recent retrospective Heresies is another digital treatment of the truth where the resulting pictures often draw on magical realism.

He says his images convey a "different or higher truth."

Put another way, many of Meyers' pictures are honest as they lie.

What's true

Hardy and Nace may be a real item but even if they aren't, it doesn't matter. The comments on their respective photostreams suggest the images are connecting with viewers.

Both Nace's and Hardy's photostreams are loaded with comments encouraging the two to be together.

Responding to a picture instinctively is what viewers do.

Robert Capa's Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death a.k.a. The Fallen Soldier still grabs viewers long after its print debut in 1936.

Journalist Phillip Knightly argued in a 2002 blog post that Capa faked the photo.

The image remains

Long after Capa's photograph has been questioned, its power to connect remains.

Geoff Dyer, a critic for The Guardian, argued that The Fallen Soldier remains popular because "photographs can be as mysterious as works of art."

Maybe it's the mystery that brings viewers to Hardy and Nace, all those unknowns which the manipulated pixels acknowledge.

It's not definite who Rosie Hardy and Aaron Nace are but when it comes to images, the truth is: it doesn't matter.

Photo by Aaron Nace
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Digital realism in photography

By Andrew Otto