The optical flaws of your EYES

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The optical flaws of your EYES
7 months ago

This includes aberrations and other optical/electrical errors you see with your bare eyes, without a camera.

I've noticed my eyes doing some weird things and I thought I'd post this to see if anyone else has seen anything funny. Some of these are no doubt very common but people who aren't photographers probably don't pay attention to these things.

High ISO noise: if you haven't noticed this before, next time you're in really dim lighting, look carefully. You'll see signal gain noise/high ISO noise. This one is universal, I'm not sure about the other types I'm about to list.

Purple fringing: I've never noticed this before and I don't know if it's related to my dry eyes (my eyes got dry and red a couple of days ago, I had to get eyedrops, I also noticed this at the same time). When I look at a lamp I can see some purple fringing around it. Also high contrast optical things like glass seen near a light source in a room where there's a several stop difference between the brightest and the darkest part of the room sometimes causes purple fringing.

Perspective distortion: this is also universal but it might require some concentration to force yourself to notice this. Your brain can trick you but it can't reinvent laws of optics.

Color casts from light sources: I discussed this in another thread, apparently some people are more sensitive/observant than othes. Some of us literally see all the greens and yellows of different light sources while others apparently don't or only see them weakly. It's either universally more uncommon to see 3 different colored lights that don't mix nicely in mixed lighting like cfl+fluorescent+tungsten or it's more uncommon amongst photography tutorial authors/instructors, but either way many people don't see the colors or don't notice them. If you actually see all things white as white no matter the lighting, be glad. Or jealous of the people who don't see white as white, depending on your preference!

Bokeh: I really dislike the bokeh from my eyes, it's too nervous. "Double twig" type. Like a wide angle lens, there isn't much bokeh to speak of. If you try to see yours you might find it to require some mental gymnastics at first, but all it takes is concentration

Shutter speed? Not sure about this one, but I find by concentrating and willing it I can make myself discern "frames" from high speed movement (without relying on pauses or direction changes in the movement) better than when I'm just casually looking at it. If I just look casually it's one big blur but if it's not too fast and I concentrate I can actually change my perception to pick up images with less motion blurs and clearer shapes. If I add eye movements to that I can really crank it up to eleven, but it also works with static eyes.

Dynamic range: people always talk about the great DR of the human eye, but do you ever notice the lack of it? Sunrise, sunset, going from a dark room inside to a bright midday sunshine outside: how often do you notice you can't handle enough of the available DR?

After images: this is nothing new, but it's a good excuse to remind everyone to take care you don't accidentally misfire your flashes and bounce them into your eyes from a close distance (or worse, hit your eyes with a direct pulse). Happened to me a week ago so it seemed appropriate!

Which of these have you experienced? Did you notice anything you hadn't noticed before after reading this? Anything I didn't mention?

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