Whaddya mean, it’s almost too dark to play?
The golf course looks fine to me: not in high-noon sunlight to be sure, but perfectly clear. Yet the TV announcers are talking about the possibility of having to end the day’s play before the last players have completed their round. Something about them not being able to see where their golf balls land, or to see that perfectly obvious flag marking the hole on the green. What the heck?
Why does that flower look so washed out?
The flower in question looks fine when I pull the camera away from my face, but the view through the aptly named viewfinder is overwhelmed by light. Colours are faded; shadows are muted; contrast is lost. What the heck?
Digital camera sensors are, so the experts tell me, more sensitive to light than human eyes. In effect, they register more light than even my own short-sighted eyes do, and that’s saying something. To get a photo that looks like the scene in front of me — assuming that’s what I want — I have to adjust the exposure settings.
Where did all that colour come from?
Although the daytime reality often looks markedly better than my photo, my sunrise and sunset shots often look better than the scene in front of me. Colours are richer; light is more intense. What the heck?
Again, the experts tell me that camera sensors register more colour in low-light conditions than our eyes do. Aha! And hurray! I always felt that these shots were a bit of a fraud, falsely adding colour and drama. Now I see them as true-enough representations of what was actually there, of what I would have seen if I were just more sensitive. Maybe there’s more to it, but that works for me.
So. Is seeing really believing? Yes and no. If I see it, I figure it’s there for sure. But even if I don’t see it, maybe it’s still there.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
– Hebrews 11:1, NASB 1995