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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder (Or - Why Sometimes Perspective Is Everything)
Before I start rambling on about the subject of "beauty" I would like you to look at this photo.



Before you state the blazingly obvious and say it is out of focus I took it like that deliberately.  I was at a "Taster" lesson in Photography.  I had chosen a few objects to photograph with a digital camera and - when I was happy with the arrangement of the salt shaker and the metal goblet - I tried out the new trick I had been taught about.  Find an appealing or unusual angle and take photo.  I did a test shot on my digital camera and then sneaked my mobile phone out and took the final shot with that.

The fact it is blurry is actually beside the point.  What I liked the most about it - apart from the weird angle - is that to me it highlights something which most people don't think about.

Here is a question for you - what is the most in focus in the photograph???  I don't mean what is the clearest thing on the photograph.  I mean - what do your eyes see first (and most)???

If you say "its a blur" you are kind of missing the point.  If you say "there are strange contrasts between colours - some merging and some standing out" you are nearer to what I am getting at.  If you say "nice photograph apart from the seriously ugly reflections of light in the top of the salt shaker" give yourself a pat on the back.

What has that got to do with "beauty"??? I hear you ask.  Well, here is a mind-bending task for you - see if you can work out what sort of weather that photograph would represent to me.  (A clue - I can just about guarantee you will tell me it is a gorgeous day when we get weather like it.  According to photography wizards it is also the best weather condition to take photographs in.)

If you said anything about sunshine being involved give yourself half a point.  If you said wall-to-wall sunshine without a cloud in the sky give yourself ten points.

You are probably wondering why the dark stuff - as well as why it is so blurred???

That is as accurate as I can make a photographic representation of what a clear sunny day can do to my eyes if I am left in direct sunlight for a long time (particularly if I am facing in the rough direction of the sun for any reason).

Not only do buildings sometimes have a bad habit of merging together and losing their distinguishing features - I have been known to wonder what happened to entire buildings which I remembered seeing on a cloudy day.

The best thing to do if it is a day with wall-to-wall sunshine is let me go at my own speed.  I may seem like I am on a "go slow" or I may just grind to a complete halt and hide inside the nearest solid building.  If I am awake and moving I will be OK.

The funny thing is - I understand that most people will hate my two absolute favourite weather conditions.  I love looking at heavy rain (I am not so keen on being outside in it though) especially when I can see it moving slowly across the sky.  I adore being outside in what most people (apart from people my Dad's age and over) will call "Fog".  Fog is one of the conditions I classify as "Equal Opportunities Weather".  After all, when it is properly foggy nobody can see where they are going - whether or not they have "perfect" vision.

Just because it is the accepted "normal status" to love wall-to-wall sunshine - it doesn't mean everybody can cope with it in the same way as you can.

We all have times when we cannot see as well as we would like to - the print in that book may be too small to read or the wrong colour.  The contrast between the red and green of the traffic lights may not be great enough if you are severely red/green colourblind.  The flashing laser show (or even camera flashes) may cause you to have an epileptic fit.  There may be all kinds of reasons for your sight to let you down at some point during your daily (and nightly) routine.

I admit that my sight lets me down in ways you may neither expect or understand.  I have found tricks and ways of working around it though - after all - nobody likes someone who complains all the time, do they???

As the second part of the title to this blog post says "Sometimes perspective is everything".  There are times when I will quite happily show people the funny side of the tricks my eyes sometimes play on me.  There are other times when I just want to cry with frustration at the attitudes of people who enter my world (those are the times when I have to repeat the mantra "Forgive them for they know not what they say - or do").

I can only give you very small tasters on here of what it is like living with my sight.  If you spend time with me (and I trust you enough) I will show you some of the problems I have and explain them to you.

Unfortunately, there is no way of me swapping eyeballs with you.  In fact, I think that subjecting someone with "normal" sight to the realities of my level of sight for longer than a minute would probably be classified by the UN as a "Cruel and Extreme Punishment" - especially if I sent them for an unsupervised walk around unfamiliar territory.

If you have been enjoying the sunny weather we have had recently I can honestly say I am very pleased for you.  Just please don't be surprised when I tell you I prefer cloud - and lots of it.

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