What Do You Seek?

September 18, 2015

BW photograph of running water at Morgan Run

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sensations are the stimuli that excite our senses.  Perceptions are the meaning we give to those sensations.

BW photograph of a Budweiser bottle amid some rocks

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

These two photographs were made no more than 25 yards apart.  The visual stimuli are quite different and most likely lead to different sensations and perceptions.  How do you respond to them?

The meanings given to sensations are, of course, open to very subjective interpretations.  These perceptions then tend to shape our world view.  As a result, we then tend to find exactly that for which we are looking.  Confirmation Bias occurs when we only seek out, and pay attention to, data the fits our pre-conceived ideas about a subject.  For example, if I think that the world is a trash-filled pile of rubbish and that people have no respect for nature, it will be easy (very, very, easy) to find evidence (sensations) to support that view (perception).  On the other hand, if I think that the world still has beautiful, unspoiled areas, then I can certainly find evidence to support that point-of-view.  These photographs demonstrate that.

Speaking of the photographs, both of these were made with a short telephoto (the effective focal length was 85 mm) lens, which provides a narrow, portrait-like, rendition of what, in reality, was a very large area.  Controlling the amount of visual information allows the photographer to shape both the sensations and the perceptions of the viewer.  Please keep that in mind when looking at photographs.

Take care.


One Response to “What Do You Seek?”

  1. This post reminds me of the alarming rate at which in the previous weeks I have witnessed so many drivers throwing trash out of their car windows. It is something that I saw less in the past but I was overly disturbed when I saw one throw a glass bottle and smashed it against the wall of a bridge along 695 and it broke into pieces.
    I was worried of the next person who would be stopping there to maybe watch the nature below the bridge or even to change a tire.
    But then maybe its the tempation of driving around with the sun-roof open or the windows rolled down due to the pleasant weather. I however do not expect anyone to roll down their window when its 15F outside and throw trash.
    Thank you for the posts!

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