Optics…..

I have had a minor malady in my left eye for the past few weeks. Nothing serious but it gets you thinking about just how incredible these precious orbs are. They are literally our windows on the world. Right up there with hearing, they are what feeds our minds and our psyche.  

Of course like so many other things in life, we take them for granted until they are threatened. In real time they provide one with the most incredible movie on earth. You watch in wonder at beauty. You crouch in fear at the unimaginable. You are disgusted by vileness and soothed by an idyllic scene. And this all happens automatically without changing your F-stop and you never run out of film.

When you bat your baby blues to greet the day, the input starts. Is the day sunny or gray? You take that quick look in the bathroom mirror and you immediately feel like a movie star or a well worn hack. Don’t be so hard on yourself, there is always plastic surgery. 

You grab your coffee and go right to your laptop or phone. What has happened in our world overnight? Certain things go in the mental trash can and some pique your interest. Data is flying everywhere and those eyeballs are the the valve that controls the flow. It is like this giant factory coming to life.

The National Eye Institute explains the process: “When light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals. These electrical signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. Then the brain turns the signals into the images you see.” Yikes! All this is going on in my crazy head?

Past the mechanics I ponder the validity of the process. We all have this 4 million pixel TV screen but do we all see the same picture? In reality we do but this is where judgment or predisposition gets into the act. The Donald or Biden pops up on the screen. Do you see a friend or foe? Do you luxuriate in that warm fuzzy or are you ready to throw a brick at the screen? Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder.

We here in Harbour Ridge had a Zoom interview with Marco Rubio the other day. For the most part our senator does not move my needle either way. As he talked and answered some serious questions he seemed to talk not as a politician but as somebody we were having a cup of of coffee with. He knew his subject but did not pontificate. Not once during the call did he revert to a party line. It was, dare I say, refreshing. 

My eyes saw and probably believed to some degree. In a way they were at least receptive and less guarded as I normally view politicians. Maybe these peepers when used properly can change my ways of thinking. It is like I am looking at things in different way. Hmm, not bad for an old fart. 

On the other hand we view things that seem pretty cut and dried but somehow people don’t agree. I watched the events of January 6. Forget about whether or not the camera angles were right or wrong, a bunch of people stormed the Capitol and broke down doors and windows. Last week I saw some pols trying to downplay things. “It was just like a normal tourist day” one decried. Did my own eyes deceive me?  

We have all become tech savvy people. Through the miracle of Fotoshop we can create any type of picture we want to project to the world. In other words there are times that we shouldn’t believe what we are seeing. Now what do I do? Is it really fake or do my internal filters and prejudices make it so? Interesting question. 

We need photographers to capture those moments that are so fleeting for us. We do it ourselves with our SLR’s and I phones. They seem to get it just right while most of us click away, only to constantly hit “trash” as if, what was I thinking when I took this? But then you see that one frame that is poignant. It says it all and then we look at it over and over again. Good stuff.

For a moment think about how many zillions of pictures have passed through those two fiber optic cables over the years. They are probably stored in some hard drive in the back of our craniums. Some elated us. Some hurt us deeply. Some were accomplishments. Some were total failures. Etched seems to me to be a very operative word. And that is what we are all about. The sum of our experiences. 

People send us all sorts of emails with pictures. I search the files to try to come up with the right pic to supplement my musings. This cacophony of images is really a treasure. We have  woman here at Fla La Land that takes nature photographs. They are both beautiful and startling. They take you away to another place that is right in our back yard. Wonder why I never saw that? Maybe I just never looked. Maybe they are the real touch of reality in our crazy world. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have tried to keep Ted’s Head to a thousand words over all these years. I try to paint a picture but probably in comparison I fail miserably. If nothing more maybe I am just here to conjure up those memories in your own mind. I hope they are all good. 

As always 

Ted The Great 

Factoids:

Your eyes are about one inch across and weigh .25 ounce. They do not change is shape and size over our lives. Our eyes blink over 4,200,000 times a year.  

The human eye can differentiate about 10 million different colors. 80% of all learning comes through the eyes. The only organ more complex is the brain.

People read 25% slower on a screen than they do in print. The human eye can only see three colors, red blue and green. All the others are combinations of these. 

While a fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, an iris has 256. This is why retina scans are increasingly being used for security purpose.

These nature pictures are a few examples from my good friend, Lois Fraser. You can go to her Instagram account @loisfraser She would love to hear from you and you will enjoy more of her fabulous work. Look at your own habitat. There is a lot there.

One thought on “Optics…..

  1. Thought provoking again Ted…..so glad you recognized the great work that Lois does in her world of photography….unbelievable patience….also the heart and soul of my Environmental committee…….

    Dick

    Dick Almes 4704 Shirley Ln. Murrysville, PA 15668-9555 Pgh Home: 724-327-6368 Cell: 724-396-0223 Florida Home: 772-343-1031

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