Image shown as documented in camera. All the original pixels are there in the configuration they were captured. The nature of some has been changed but their presence is accurate.
A reality we can’t see at a glance? Does it matter whether photographs tell the truth or not? Do we expect paintings or sketches to portray what’s actually before the artist?
Photography isn’t science – it merely relies on it to achieve the photographer’s goals. And every photographer sees a different manifestation of the scene.
Sort of like eye-witnesses – you can only trust them as far as you want to believe in them.