Tag Archives: Sight

“Blue Birches”

Blue Birches

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

I wanted to post one more of my ‘artsy’ interpretations. This time, the predominant color is blue, very appropriate for this late March day. The image was made around noon yesterday and I applied a filter to enhance the tones and textures. I had no idea just how much blue was preset in this scene. And then, looking back, it is true. My brain just knows that snow and birches are white, right? Yes, but it filters out all information on the reflected light it is seen in.

Part of this exercise is my desire to interpret the image as more than a simple photo, to add a feel through colour and texture. SInce I’m not a great painter, I let the computer help me in this aspect, till my painting improves. One day, I hope to be able to create this image from scratch, but that will take much practice and patience.

What strikes me, as I noted in yesterday’s post, is just how much our brain filters our vision to match our perception. This has broader implications than a brief post would cover, but it plants the seeds for us to consider our perceptions and the strong effect they have on our interaction with the world we live in.

Something to consider…

Apple iPhone 7
iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8
1/900 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20

“Hoverfly on Timothy Grass Blossom”

“Hoverfly on Timothy Grass Blossom”

The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.
– Joseph B. Wirthlin

The quote above really resonates with me. I have often commented about how my brain has learned to ‘filter’ out so much of what I see. Just how clever our brains can be came to light in a very real way a few months ago when I underwent a surgical procedure on both my eyes called an iridotomy. Essentially, a laser is used to drill small drain holes in my irises to prevent pressure build up behind the lense, which is a hereditary trait in my family, and a real issue for me as a photographer.

After the surgery, these small holes allowed additional light into my eyes and caused bright lights to create a secondary ‘ghost’ image. This ‘ghosting ‘ lasted about four week and my brain gradually filtered it out. Now, I can’t see the ‘ghost’ even when I try. The brain is that powerful.

So, I am making it a point to re-see the world around me and try to remove some of those filters. Photography is a huge enabler to the process.

If you look closely, you’ll see the tiny purple blossoms, which are clearly attracting yet another hoverfly. A whole new world is opening to me this summer, as I make images of the flora and fauna in the small meadow at the end of my street.

I’m discovering a complex network of life in this mundane place, which is mundane no more. Even on a quiet morning, the place is alive with activity and colour, you have bt to look for it and once you see it, there is no going back.

It does look odd to the outside observer, as I focus my camera on a stem of grass, but that observer would have no idea of the wonder I am seeing. So be it. Too often I hear photographers saying they live in an area that is boring, that there is nothing worth photographing. Well, this small meadow is an example of just how untrue statements like that are. They have stopped seeing. I am learning to re-see, with the same fascination I had as a child and it feels great.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/16.0 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)