I like to remember things my own way. [...] How I remember them. Not necessarily the way they happened. "- Lost Highway (1997).
“No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium. It is the photographer’s job to get this medium to say what you need it to say. Because photography has a certain verisimilitude, it has gained a currency as truthful – but photographs have always been convincing lies.” - Stephen Leslie
Photographs have been lying for a long time. There are also numerous known cases of analogue images where there has been "cheating":
Robert Capa (1936 - Falling Soldier); The Grief (Dmitri Balterman's 1942); "Raising a flag over Reichstag" (Yevgeny Khaldei - 1945); Doisneau 1950 Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville; Ruth Orkin (American Girl in Italy - 1951); Fan Ho (Aproaching Shadow - 1954);
Of course the invention of digital photography and the greater accessibility of photo editing software have made it much easier, more frequent and perfect to change / manipulate images. As a result people no longer have the same faith in photography as a receptacle of truth.
Reportage Photo has been lying increasingly through more and more manipulation.
In 2015, 22% of the 6,000 competitors to the World Press Photo Contest were eliminated because they passed the red line of manipulation (subtracting or adding objects to the original image).
Of course the sense tells us that there should be a red line. Above all, do not add or subtract elements that did not exist in the image. For the rest it seems appropriate to use the tools of Lightroom as before when doing dodge and burn in analogue photos.
Cartier-Bresson and other great analogue-era photographers did not spare the dodge and burn experts to work on their images. I remember Dennis Stock’s iconic portrait of James Dean in Times Square and the work of Inirio from Magum.
Today the act of photographing with any device is always linked to algorithms. If we must have an absolute fidelity to what our eyes see as reality then maybe someone radical should also consistently "ban" also B&W photography because it does not convey reality as we see it.
Sometimes I think that the main problem with "Street Photography" is the stubbornness of some people who try to impose and generalize their own definition as a canonical rule that the world of photographers must follow. Definition that reflects only his own way to seeing and photographing.
When you are framing you are already changing the apparent reality because you have isolated only a small part that can lead us to see something different from what actually happened.
Each photograph is a fiction that is presented as true. Against what they have made us believe and against what we think, photography always lies. Because reality is a lie of our senses, in consequence, photography is a lie about a lie.
I am sure that great photographers (such as Garry Winogrand) of the past were not concerned with definitions while photographing. So they did a good job.
I think that after all it will be necessary to have prudence and sense - as in everything in life.
The documentary impulse is always at a crossroads where the divergent roads of Creativity and Fidelity leave. And I think it would not be a good choice to give up from Creativity.