This post is part of Linda G Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” — Click and read, click and join in!
My dad was an “eye doctor” (optometrist, actually) before he retired. I always loved playing with the eyeglass frames at his office when I was a kid and was thrilled the day that I found out I had an astigmatism and could therefore have glasses of my very own. I know. What a weird kid who actually wants to wear glasses. Most kids think that glasses make you into a nerd but maybe I already knew I was a hopelessly socially awkward child so…what the heck 🙂 Fortunately for me, it isn’t a serious vision problem so my glasses remain mostly a fashion statement and something that keeps me from getting headaches if I get tired. Technically I don’t need them even to fly, although I wear them anyway, both to look “cool” and to prevent said headaches.
My dad has extremely blue eyes. He has always loved blue cars, blue sweaters, and other things that, in his words “matched his eyes.” When he was young, he had jet-black hair, which must have been an absolutely striking combination. It’s no wonder my mother fell for him, despite his apparent (according to my interpretation of my mom’s stories and my own childish observations) lack of romantic notions.
The human eye is one of God’s most amazing creations. We see so many colors, and we are able to filter out so much. I’ve been visiting my parents recently and my mom has been “going through” the house. I think she wants to move into a condo, just because it’s getting to be a bit much to take care of a large house by herself, now that dad needs to be in a memory care home.
Anyway, she found a bunch of photos and photo albums. It’s so different now that we have digital photography and we can edit “as we go.” One of my dad’s good friends was an avid bird watcher and talented amateur photographer. When I was young, my dad was a pretty avid bird watcher too. We used to joke that his friend took great bird pictures and that my dad took “find the bird” pictures. There truly is a whole box of pictures of trees, upon which are perched some pretty darned cool birds. The only problem is, my dad saw them with his amazing blue eyes, filtered out the extraneous “stuff”, and “zoomed” in. He saw the birds perfectly. Poor old point-and-shoot camera with the small lens. It had none of these abilities.
My dad’s friend had tons of special lenses and filters for his pro-level SLR camera, therefore his pictures were often great. He also had his own darkroom and printed them exactly how he wanted them. My dad took his to the drugstore or something to be developed. Now don’t get me wrong, my dad took some pretty good shots with that old camera. For instance, if I remember correctly, this is a cedar waxwing: (and these are pictures of pictures, so the quality is less here than in reality!)
But then we have two dozen like this one…(“Pigeons in the grass, alas” — was this what Gertrude Stein meant??? Oh, but wait, maybe it’s just a leaf…hmmm.)
I think so-called “amateur” photography has come so far. My iPhone can take way better pictures than any of the old 35mm film cameras did, and as I look at the photos from our family vacations, I can see that. But gone are the days when you waited with anticipation to see if your photos turned out well, when you forgot what exactly you took pictures of, and when you thought long and hard about whether or not something was actually worthy of a snapshot because film was pretty darned expensive! Now, we throw pixels about willy-nilly, as if they were free…oh wait. I guess they pretty much are.
Well, that was a good example of “SoC” wasn’t it! Anyway, I will get back on topic and just say that when I showed my dad one of the truly old photo albums that we found, with pictures of himself as a young boy with his parents, his horse, his band uniform and his dad’s old Hudson, his beautiful blue eyes lit up like stars and he told us some pretty good stories. He even told us what color his shirts were in those black and white photos.
Do you ever wish you could capture with a camera what your eye is actually seeing? If it were possible, which things in particular would you want to have pictures of?