A photographer once came to me baffled.
"These power lines were not in my picture when I took the shot," he explained.
I looked at the photo - a beautiful landscape with three hot air balloons rising against an emerald expanse of rolling fields and blue sky.
It was nice.
Very pleasant - with the exception of this photographer's finger which kept jabbing at the middle of the picture in my hand, not content with my smile and rather upset I hadn't noticed.
"There," he continued jabbing. "How did they get there? These lines weren't there when I took the photo."
Barring the possibilties of glitches in the matrix or alternate realities spilling over into the norm, the anomoly was easy to explain.
They were there.
They had been there all along only they had fooled the photographer. The excitement of the moment had resulted in a blindness to detail.
The beauty of the forest had obscured the individual trees.
All vision, at various times, is selective. We make subconcious choices to see the complex, the simple or a little bit of both.
With this in mind and with the desaturation slider in Photoshop to render elements black and white and demonstrate my own selective vision, I put together five examples of images and the elements that caught my eye.
Whether it was the penetrating blue of a cat's eyes or the contemplative posture and expression of a kid sitting on a large rock, I tend to narrow my awareness and focus.
What we look at is often complex.
What we see is simple.
And like the balloon photographer who finally accepted reality, to appreciate what's been visually given is to sometimes gray out the distractions and see what's between the lines.