The Alliance of the Eyes and Brain

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