There are times when you can look at something for a very long time and still not understand what you are seeing. Maybe the object is out of focus or you are just not used to seeing it in the way it is currently presenting itself to you.
We all have our own ideas about life - as well as our own tastes in things like art, music, food, books, language, etc. Just because I cannot stand any music containing screeching violins it doesn't mean that the entire works of Strauss, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, and the rest of the Classical composers, should be deleted from the music collections of the world.
Nor does it mean that you are allowed to question my judgement when I tell you that my favourite "closedown" tune for Radio broadcasts is "Gute Nacht Freunde", by Reinhard Mey. It reminds me of listening to Dutch radio with my parents late at night - we would all sing along.
I will admit that my tastes in some things do tend to veer towards the slightly surreal. Especially when it comes to things like photography and other objects. (To give you an example - I have two perfume bottles in my bedroom which remind me of a rather odd-looking sculpture near the Market Place in Delft.)
A few weeks ago I blogged about having seen a photograph which showed me what I could see without my glasses on even when I had my glasses on.
Well, I have found a photograph which had the same effect on me - but it was by a different photographer. (Yes - I know I go on about Derek Lee's talents with a camera but - to me - he is too good to be hidden away.)
Your mission - should you choose to accept it - is to tell me what is in the photograph I am about to show you.
Here we have one of my favourite sorts of photograph
Chances are you are now looking at that photo and wondering if I have completely lost the plot. It looks blurred and out of focus??? You cannot see any detail in it whatsoever???
Ladies and Gentlemen - you are now experiencing something not unlike my vision without my glasses on in a "real" environment. (The photo is more representative of what happens when I am squinting at something without my glasses on - however, the principle is still the same.)
There are a few clues which might let you know what you might be looking at - if you know what to look for.
The biggest clue is actually the smallest thing on the photograph. The white dots which (if the photo was as out of focus as my eyes are without my glasses on) would look as though they are in mid-air - tell me that what I am looking at has lights as part of it. They also tell me that I am looking at something big.
You may remember that I told you never to ask me to explain how I can "see" solid objects without my glasses on???
Look at the brown semicircular blur near the top of the picture. See how the top of it appears slightly darker than the rest of it??? That tells me there is a solid edge to it.
Moving downwards we have some other interesting things. The mass of purple isn't important - in fact - it is more of a distraction than anything. The orange colour is what we are interested in. More to the point - the position and angle of the orange colour.
(Actually - the orange colour is the closest to what I would actually see without my glasses on without squinting.)
The orange colour would suggest some form of streetlights. It would also suggest I am looking at something hollow due to the spacing of it.
So I am looking at a semi solid structure with lights both on top of it and (potentially) inside it. The structure is also extremely big. Well - it does take up the width of the photo.
What can my memory banks make of all the above information??? Well - the white lights look a bit too big to be stars so they could suggest that objects are likely to follow the lights. This indicates to me that the structure could be reasonably useful.
The orange lights could combine with something else to tell me exactly what it is. The orange lights suggest that something may go through it (whatever it is). Either that or they could crash into something - the angle doesn't let me see if there is a gap anywhere.
What I really need is one more piece of information. Audio - as in noise. This would tell me exactly how solid the structure is around the lights. A loud crash would indicate it is some kind of wall (the crash coming when an object attempts to go through the orange lights and hits a wall).
The signs would indicate I am either looking at a bridge or a very ornate wall.
Shall we have a look at what it would look like to someone with "normal" vision???
Yes - it is a bridge.
I could have attempted to explain how I attempt to tell the difference between smaller objects - human dressed head to foot in black, wheelie bin, bollard, and black motor vehicle, for example - or my difficulties in seeing "small" objects like bikes, cars (especially when they are the same colour as the background), etc. However, I decided to make it (hopefully) a bit easy for you to understand.
I will leave you with one thought - if I may.
Not being able to see anything but blurs and fluffy clouds without my glasses o (unless objects are very close to my face) has ;eft my brain with a rather unusual "filing system". For example - all I have to see is a bright yellow blur on a "street scene" kind of blur and I know there are roadworks. Another example is how I "file" people in my brain when I meet them - put it this way - me attempting to describe someone as my brain has filed and cross-referenced them usually just leads to confusion. (A tip - unless the pattern on the clothing that someone is wearing is big enough or bright enough to be seen from the International Space Station please leave it out of your descriptin of them.)
We may have different ways of "seeing" things - which might make us like or hate different things but - until you find a way of being able to expereince my vision for yourself (and I would strongly suggest a trip to A & E in the event of this happening) - please do not tell me I can see more than I can.
My sight is one of the things which makes me unique. It can also make me very useful to you if you are openminded enough to accept it.
I am flexible and adaptable (after all - most people don't realise I have a serious sight problem until something happens that dras their attention to it).
I also have a rather "sideways" way of seeing things. If you want someone who always goes straight for the "obvious", logical, solution I am not your ideal human.
Oh - and I try not to judge people until I have given them a chance to prove themselves.
Maybe sometimes seeing things "differently" is the most useful skill I have got.
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