Seeing is Something

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


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8 Responses to Seeing is Something

  1. A compelling argument for faith beautifully illustrated. “But even if I don’t see it, maybe it’s still there,” gives the all-too-familiar scripture verse a refreshing lift. During a week of miraculous meetings and catastrophic discoveries, your message resonates across all the frequencies in my awareness, dark and light. The sunset speaks eloquently of those departing.

  2. Beautiful sky photos! As my eyes fade, which they have done all my life, I know that not-seeing is not to disbelieve. Darn nuisance, though.

  3. Alison says:

    Where we live now I can’t see the sunset. I’m thinking almost everywhere else we lived I could. It makes me miss that time of watching the sun disappear. I think you’ve inspired me to head to the country one of these evenings and enjoy the sunset.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – We also have no clear view to the horizon and I’m not sure I’ve ever lived with one. Getting out into the countryside is a great idea.

  4. Tom Watson says:

    Seeing is believing…but it’s also at times confusing.

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