Photography is an Anomaly
Before you punch the living pyjamas out of me, just hear me out. Or read me out. Whatever. Basically, I believe that photography is an anomaly.
I was walking home one night. No slow-moving cow pushing me to a corner. No cyclist on the phone, oblivious of the fact that we would collide in the next 7 seconds. I only had to tackle the usual road bling: fresh cow-dung, strewn garbage, puddles of water and camouflaged manholes. No biggie.
I continued walking around my colony and reached a dead-end. Damnit. Dead-ends are quite useless. You don’t get much parking space and its very difficult to get cars out. They’re dark, dingy and desolate.
Except on that day, when every corner had a major Durga Puja celebration.
That dead-end became alive! There were lights, people, music. Laughter, giggles, and children being scolded.
That’s when I clicked this atrocious photograph:
THAT’S NOT EVEN A GOOD PHOTOGRAPH!
I know. I understand.
Film camera enthusiasts, the ones who click 35 photos in a span of three months, would shake their heads in disbelief seeing this photograph.
Digital camera enthusiasts, part of the trigger-happy generation, would move this photo to a ethereal world reserved for the special few: the Recycled Bin.
Either way, this photograph is crap.
But that’s exactly my point!
So Basically, Your Point is Crap?
This paragraph feels insulted by the bold header above it. This paragraph doesn’t like the constant nagging and will soon develop an inferiority complex. Please, let the paragraph speak.
Ok, Ok. Don’t Get Senti, Para. Go Ahead.
Anyways, let’s go back to the atrocious photograph above. A normal human eye can’t see such an image!
Quoting Wikipedia, the eye is a very complex organ, as it uses an optical system to collect light from the surrounding environment, regulates its intensity, focuses the image using adjustable lenses and converts this image to a set of electrical signals to transmit to the brain.
All this, in a tiny little blob that fits in your face.
STOP With the Biology, Will You?
The point is that the human eye adjusts to ensure you always see a focused image. Its internal lenses move so fast that you feel like nothing happened!
It’s difficult to “see” an image such as the one shown above with your naked eye. The moment you look at something, direct your attention to it, the eye focuses it in place.
So It’s Unreal?
Before photography was invented in the 1800s, there was no human being (with normal eyesight) who could have seen such a sight! The photographs we see go beyond what our senses can show us. Technically, this is not unreal (it’s not like the subject changed, it’s just that you used technology to sense something you couldn’t earlier).
We’re now used to it, as if it’s nothing new. We’ve all seen fisheye photographs, or ones with different hues, some without focus, and others in very low light.
Photography may be an anomaly, but it’s helped us see the world in entirely a new light!
There is a condition when the human eye can see images like the one in the photograph above. I have that, and I use glasses to correct it.