Photography is an interesting technology. Once lauded as having the ability to accurate represent the world, it also has the ability to record things the human eye cannot see.
Early photographers used emulsions of low sensitivity. Street scenes often appeared deserted because pedestrians and street traffic moved quickly enough that their images were not recorded on the plates. One of the first images ever produced, by Jacques-Louis-Mande Daguerre, shows a street in Paris deserted except for a man who stopped to have his shoes shined. (See my short essay on this image: http://stuartpeel.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/the-first-urban-images-2/)
Multiple exposures gave us the studies of human and animal locomotion by Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey; faster emulsions and electronic resulted in the frozen bullets and bursting balloons of scientist-photographers like Harold Edgerton.
With current technology, the ability to manipulate shutter speeds and to reproduce images, to multiply them, to mirror, flip and twist them at will, gives the photographer the creative ability to take an image of the real world and to re-produce it in a way which leaves reality behind.