They say that the camera never lies. I disagree with this, in fact I would go as far as to say the camera always lies. When post production is factored in this is even more the case.
The camera compresses three dimensions into two and that spells the end of any absolute visual truth even if there ever was such a thing. The resulting image will depend upon the optical properties of the lens for starters and there are no absolutes here. It is often thought that a 50mm lens in conjunction with a 35 mm sensor produces an end result that is closest to how the human eye would perceive it. It is not even really close though as, for one thing, a sensor is flat while the back of the eye is obviously curved.
Now for a confession which will probably surprise no one. The majority of the images that I post here look nothing at all like they did through my viewfinder or on my view screen. It is not that difficult to make a photograph that was shot on a sunny day at noon look creepy and disturbing or like something from filmnoir. It is all in the editing. Nothing has to be photoshopped in or out – just change contrast and saturation settings and add a vignette if required.
The shot at the top of this post is of some snow and ice was taken in bright sunlight at around 11.00 AM. It was very clean the dirty look is just contrast and vignetting.