I made this image for fun but it helps illustrate an important point, so I decided to post.

Photography begins with seeing, and seeing is a mental process; a product of complex neurological activity involving a lot more than our optical apparatus. We see with our “mind’s eye,” as our brains decide what to make of what our eyes register.

Drawing upon past associations, deductive reasoning, and emotions, we project mundane concepts onto the realm of the imagination.

In this image, I knew that my camera could record what was actually there — the lower part of a fallen tree with roots pulled off the ground. But in my mind I saw something else, so I chose the perspective, depth of field and digital post-processing technique to best communicate what I saw; not just what the camera saw.

To borrow the question of the familiar Christmas song: “Do you see what I see?”

Ah what the hey, here’s the first couple of stanzas:

“Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see?

Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see?

A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite”

Imagination. Don’t try looking through a camera without it.