Colorful Night

In English, we use the phrase, “I see,” for a wide variety of meanings. We say it not only to indicate vision, but for perspective, perception, and possibility.

Seeing is pretty complicated. Our eyes see a wide dynamic range in light and color.

When we walk outside at night, we don’t see everything, but we can distinguish color, texture, motion, and form.

Night photography can be tricky. I remember using my SLR to take long exposure shots on film when I was 18, with lovely if slightly weird results. Digital photography has produced even weirder results because of the relationship between megapixels and the size of the sensor. The photos are full of what we call noise.

But with a little twist of editing fun, it is surprising how much of the correct information is there.

This photo for example, is very blurry. It was nearly black until I used a photo-editing program to draw out the colors. It isn’t very clear, and instead of a deep bluish grey, it becomes speckled with multiple colors, like a print-maker’s color separation, it looks somewhat like what I saw from far away, but up close it is a rich fabric of colors.

Someone recently invented a camera that somehow takes a photo with a lot of different focal points all at once, so that you can change what was in focus after the fact. To me that seems a lot like the saying, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

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