Saturday, 8 June 2013

Smidgeshots 11 - Perception

As I wandered around the back alleys and side roads yesterday I began to toy with the idea that our perception marks our understanding. What I mean by this is what we see creates an identity which mould how we react. Take the simple case of a wasp or a garden variety spider. Tiny creatures with almost no affect on us bar a bit of a sting or tickle on our arm hairs. Yet people freeze in horror when they see these things. Why? Because they perceive them to be dangerous, therefore they understand that when they see a spider or a wasp they must run away or kill it quick. The same can be true of homophobia, communism, even strangers. Our perception; this is weird, that is wrong, he is odd, affects our understanding; I will beat him, I will go to war, I will walk on the other side of the street.
With that in mind I found a couple of photos which, I hope, do my theory some justice. These are things which test our perception to skew our understanding. Enjoy.

*None of these photos have been edited, touched up or added to in any way. They are purely the work of the camera.


Let's start with an easy one. A footpath, no? One which seems to go on an on, leading to some bright place in the distance. In reality this path is about two meters long and leads to a green patch.


It might take you a second to realise that this is a manhole grill. A simple circular covering for our sewage system. Yet here it has some other quality, some Aztec feel to the shape, to the holes and the contours.

Lines Two

This one is peculiar. The lines seem to distort and bend away from the lens. How long do they go on for? Where do they lead? In fact, this is a garage door. Nothing more than that. Yet our mind runs riot wondering what it could be, what it could mean.


A stairs etched into a mountain? Perhaps the path up to our Aztec grill. No, this is merely a close up of some tree bark. But it's always nice to imagine.

The Beach

Look at that shimmering light in the background, those footsteps in the sand. But would you believe me if I told you this is a wall? A bland, boring concrete wall with lots of circles imprinted as the concrete was setting. Just goes to show that what we see and what is reality are often not combined.

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