A Photograph is what Your Subconscious Sees

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While reading an article by Roger Cicala on The Camera versus the Human Eye I realized that we humans seem to tend to see the products we once created as superior above nature’s creation. At least I got the idea when reading the article, like the eye gets compared with the camera and has to make up to the expectations in matching the camera specs.

Its rather interesting that we approach it like that and not the opposite way, that the camera is an attempt to copy the human eye. Nonetheless the article points out that the human eye has an incredible number of megapixel, 130 million, from which 6 million can see color, yet the article goes further into every comparable detail with a camera, weighing the pros and cons of “technical” specs.

I think comparing the two like that is like comparing apples with peers. The human eye evolved over millions of years with a functionality to serve survival. A camera was created with a different purpose. It is supposed to capture what we see and not so much in order to survive, but to show and share what we see with our subconscious.

And here it comes.

“Unlike the intermittent shutter clicks of a camera, the eye is sending the brain a constant feed video which is being processed into what we see. A subconscious part of the brain (the
lateral geniculate nucleus if you must know) compares the signals from both eyes, assembles the most important parts into 3-D images, and sends them on to the conscious part of the brain for image recognition and further processing.” Roger Cicala

The subconscious makes the choice what we see consciously and because the human eye is made to help us survive it will provide our conscious with images like face recognition and alike. But our subconscious receives all we see, also what is not essential to survival and the information sits there with the subconscious and it does not even create the 3-D images for us, it just keeps the information and although it’s subconscious, we know that there is more.

Roger Cicala was wondering why he often likes more what he captures with the camera, although it’s not what he saw with his eye.

“But I guess my only real conclusion is this: a photograph is NOT exactly what my eye and brain saw at the scene. When I get a good shot, it’s something different and something better,…” Roger Cicala

No, a photograph is what your eye saw. The photograph captures the information that was sitting unprocessed to the brain with the subconscious. It creates the images of this unprocessed seeing or in other words, a photograph is what your subconscious sees and when taking it a step further, your subconscious was seeing for you all along. And that makes you connect with your photographs so deeply and liking them dearly.

Keep seeing, keep snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for