The Art – and Soul – of Forgiveness By Peter Alessandria

“It’s fake! The picture is Photoshopped!” 

“Ugh, here we go again,” I muttered to myself.

This wasn’t the first time someone had dissed my photos on Facebook. I’ve been a professional photographer for more than 15 years, and certain people pride themselves on attacking what they believe to be Photoshopped images online – like they’re protecting the world from fake photos. 

The shot in question is of the Statue of Liberty seemingly right in front of the Empire State Building. I’m an NYC-area photographer and go out of my way to find amazing views and angles of the Big Apple. This was an actual photo taken from Bayonne, NJ, using a telephoto lens. The optical compression of the lens (think how telescopes make distant objects appear closer) erases the five miles that exist between these two NYC icons. The result is a stunning – but entirely real – photograph. There’s no editing or manipulation of any kind in the image. (Most New Yorkers I know have never been to Bayonne, NJ. If they had, they wouldn’t question my shot. ☺ )

My first thought was to attack back: “Get a life, asshole. It’s a real photo. Just because you can’t do, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done!” But I had tried that in the past, and it never went well. Beyond that, I’ve spent the better part of the last 25 years trying to change how I interact with others. Between 12-Step programs, self-help books, and all kinds of workshops and seminars, I’ve really made a shift in how I see myself and how I deal with others.

The vast majority of people on social media are great. I got a tremendous amount of love and support for my pictures. 

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