By the time darkness fell last night, I was downtown Tampa with my latest lens. An 11 mm very wide angle, fixed lens that essentially creates a fish-eye effect on the edges to pull more into the frame.

In my mind’s eye, I imagined that the colorful canopies along the river walk would give me a cool closed-in effect that the lens would open out.

But I was wrong. While the lens does indeed open out settings like that, the images aren’t as dramatic as I imagined. In hindsight, the reason is obvious … the dramatic aspect of a fisheye view is when you are enclosed by straight edge objects (such a buildings or railings). The reason is that the mind doesn’t accept a curved edge to a building and it creates a wow factor. Whereas something that is already curved is only exaggerated and the mind is not so impressed.

So I did a few things. Yes I got the canopies and also some buildings. I also created some long exposure shots of 5 to 8 seconds to see how light trails behaved as cars drove by. I also created some 1 or 2 second views that ghosted people that passed by.

There are some cool shots below and while I don’t really have a favorite, I was particularly thrilled with the spooky effect of having a hooded stalker in the foreground while the young couple walked unknowingly to their doom (pic 6).

For all you dog lovers, there was that moment when he pawsed (lol) to look at me while his owners kept moving. So they ghosted to invisible while he became part of my moment.

Anyway, hope you like the little selection at the end of this blog. Enjoy!

It was about a 45 minute drive home, so I had lots of time to think.

The enduring thought was about how much the lens altered reality and brought such a cool feeling to my surrounds.

But then my brain dug a little deeper and began to ask how do we even know what reality is? Would a fish look at my normal images and remark to his buddies how I seem to use these weird lenses that distort otherwise curvy shapes into straight lines?

And how does the brain on a bee (with her five eyes) or a spider (with her twelve eyes) decipher the reality in front of them? What on earth do all the world’s shapes look like to them?

And that doesn’t even touch on our definitions that rely on color.

And what about the relative speeds of all of us? Do we ghost to much slower moving creatures? And are their others that occupy our same physical space, but they move so fast, we can’t see them?

And on occasion when they do slow down, do they become the ghosts that little Johnny sees in his room late at night?

There is so much that we are convinced we know and yet we only know it within the scope of how we define our reality. “Look at those silly land creatures … will they ever figure out how to even draw a straight line?”

Meanwhile in the world of trees, little Tommy Tree is told by his mommy that there are no such things as ghosts and how he only imagined someone climbing in among his branches. “Tommy has such an overactive imagination, maybe we need to put him on Arborall”, she whispers to his Dad.

We define our life and death within the scope of our reality and we convince ourselves that everything we “know” is real. And we dismiss any thoughts to the contrary as being deranged.

But do we really know what we know?

Even within the scope of our own reality, this has repeatedly proven to be untrue. The sun revolves around the earth along with all the stars and the earth is flat. Various gods are responsible for sun and rain and we must please them or they will be angry with us.

Methuselah live to the ripe old age of 969 and Jesus was born of a virgin.

To those who believed (or believe) any of these, they are their reality. Trying to convince them otherwise would be akin to explaining to a fish that this IS a straight line.

To many, these formed the basis of their understanding of life for thousand of years.

Even on a much tinier scale, there are still those that think the dotard actually won the election. You could talk until your head explodes and you will not convince them otherwise. Such is their reality.

Having an open mind and entertaining thoughts that could possibly reshape our own version of reality, is how we grow as “intelligent” beings. While we may be incredibly stupid at times, we humans have the ability to evolve.

We emerged from the lake and oceans and climbed down from the trees. We learned how to stand on two legs, how to use tools, and how to communicate complex thoughts.

Now we need to be able to process these thoughts and be less rigid in our definitions of what reality, really is.

Because the truth is, our reality is not real. It is merely a moment in our evolutionary process that helps us figure out how to exist. Thousands of years from now an evolved species will look back on us and comment “What a bunch of neanderthals! They couldn’t even draw a straight line.”

… just a thought.