Monthly Archives: February 2012

The alliance of the eyes and brain…

Sight. An abstract notion in itself and the basis of most photography. I have always had very good sight so have rarely experienced the distortion and abstraction created by visual defects (only during a migraine, when I get blurred vision) but the alliance of the eyes and the brain is of great fascination to me and I plan to explore not only how visual impairment can affect the images created by the eyes and brain, but also how we are restricted by our sight, how our perception of images are constructed due to ‘the way we see’ and the way our brain works, our conscious and unconscious awareness of sight and the representation of sight using photography and video. As I am the photographer and have good vision, I plan to use my own everyday life as the subjects of my images and videos, not only to give myself an insight into the impairment many others face but as the subject matter I am exploring is so wide and open to interpretation that a seemingly mundane subject creates a vivid contrast, as well as encouraging the audience to explore into the images I produce and potentially relate to their own lives and visual ability.



– The human eye reacts to light

– It allows light perception, vision of colour (10 million colours) and the perception of depth

– Photosensitive

– Readjustment

– Adaption from initial darkness takes 4 seconds

– Contrast ratio between 6.5 f-stops to 20

– “The eye lens is not dissimilar to lenses found in optical instruments such as cameras”

– The pupil of the human eye is its aperture

– The iris serves as an aperture stop

– Dilation of the pupil (f/8.3) – light and (f/2.1) – dark

– Field of about 95˚ out,  75˚ down,  60˚ in,  60˚ up


– The visual system in the brain is too slow to process information if the images are moving across the retina at more than a few degrees per second – BLUR (video)

– Rapid eye movement – sleep stage when most vivid dreams occur (video) (neon PC) (colour explosion PC)

– ‘Saccades’ quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction caused by the frontal lobe of the brain (video)

– ‘Microsaccades’ – they eyes drift even when looking at a single spot (video)

– Vestibulo-ocular reflex –  when the head moves left, so does the eye – alliance

– Smooth pursuit movement – tracking an object (video)

– Opokinetic reflex – when looking out of the window on a moving train the eye reverts to the point where it first saw the train (video)

– Near response – the adjustment to close range vision involves focus (video)

– Pupil constriction – lenses cannot refract light rays at their edges so all images are blurry round the edges (spherical aberration) (video)

– Strabismus / heterotropia – eyes aren’t alined

– Phosphene (characterised by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye)

Eye Defects

– Myopia (near sightedness) close objects are clear but the distant is blurred

– Hyperopia (far sightedness) close – blur, far – clear

– Colour Blindness – black and white images?

– Binocular vision (video)

– 3 dimension and 2 dimension

alliance (noun)

/əˈlaɪ.ənt s/

[C] a group of countries, political parties or people who have agreed to work together because of shared interests or aims

military alliance
NATO is sometimes called the Atlantic Alliance.

[C] an agreement to work with someone else to try to achieve the same thing

The three smaller parties have forged/formed an alliance against the government.
Some of us feel that the union is in alliance with management against us.
1.  association; coalition, combination, bloc; partnership; affiliation. Alliance, confederation, league 2.  pact, compact. 

combination (noun)

/ˌkɒm.bɪˈneɪ.ʃən/  /ˌkɑːm-/

[C or U] the mixture you get when two or more things are combined

Strawberries and cream – a perfect combination.
A combination of tiredness and boredom caused me to fall asleep.
This drug can be safely used in combination with other medicines.
Her experience and energy are a winning combination (= a successful mixture) in business.

[C] specialized an arrangement in a different order

From the letters X Y Z, we can get three combinations of two letters: XY, XZ, and YZ.

[C] a set of letters or numbers in a particular order which can be used to open some types of locks

1.  association, conjunction, union, coalescence, blending. 2. mixture, amalgamation, amalgam. 4.  association, federation,league, coalition, cartel, combine, monopoly, bloc, cabal,conspiracy. 

After reviewing my work within this project I have concluded that retracting from my new idea surrounding ‘The Surge of Electricity’ and reverting to my original work based upon memories and journeys will overall produce a stronger body of work as I find my best work is produced when I can develop it with a personal message. My most recent work epitomises the ‘memory’ and ‘journey’ themes as it evokes ideas of a lost soul – many of those who have seen my latest video have voiced ideas of ambiguity, life, death, family, innocence and most importantly, memory. All of these themes reflect the artist’s work I have studied, Dorothea Lange embodies the family ideal, Walker Evans sparked a sense of innocence and Sally Mann combines the two – all of the artists document the journey of life.

It is the journey of life that inspired my concluding video – the ending of the video symbolises the ongoing journey through life and I opted to include clips of video that is meaningful to myself – important events in my life and the people who have influenced it, such as my birthdays, family events and the birth of my brother. By combining these clips with film of journeys I have participated on in later life the video combines a surreal alliance of the past and the present and the repeated clips of fast – forwarding (showing the fast cutting pace of life and a sense of the ‘forgotten’) and an ambiguous ending there is a sense of the future too. I also selected a combination of colour hues and saturation – many of the past clips are brightly coloured reflecting childhood innocence and the saturated video adds another element of obscurity. It is the focus that I manipulated to intensify the overall ambiguity of the video, by juxtaposing constant changes between sharp focus and soft / out of focus shots the viewer can never fully establish what is ‘real’ and what is fantasy or the past.

Walker Evans’ work inspires the same sense of vulnerability that I was attracted to in the work of Sally Mann, especially surrounding the photographs of children – the innate pureness yet ambiguous nature of the images allows the reader to interpret the history for themselves. I have taken this idea within my own work, but added another element of ambiguity with the out of focus techniques, especially within my latest work as I have used the camera to focus in and out –