Thursday, March 01, 2007

Patterns - perspective

London Eye, London, England, September 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/100 sec @ f2.8, ISO 50, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Ever notice how things look differently when viewed from another perspective? How can that be? Same thing -- looked at from two vantage points -- and it looks different? Just what is real, then?

Well, this isn't quite as philosophical as it sounds. Scientists from the last century finally figured this out. The term is relativity, and it means that everything depends -- yes Everything -- on our frame of reference. This is not some mystic's viewpoint, but scientific, measured, proven results.

Take this bicycle wheel. Obviously the camera is set low on the ground, giving it the appearance of enourmous size, right? You can see the axle, the spokes, the tire rim. And what are those things around the tire anyway? Ha, ha. You could tell, I'm sure, that this is really the London Eye. Not a bicycle tire at all, but a massive ferris wheel that just happens to look like one, from the right perspective.

So when you are so sure that you have found the truth. And you find yourself becoming quite righteous about it. Think for a minute that it might only be "right" relative to your persective. And then try (and this is hard) to see it from another's perspective. Perhaps that is "right" also. The world really does work like that. Really.

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