Do you see what I see?


I was supposed to be on a photo-shoot yesterday, but it was raining hard, and though my camera is weather-proof, I’m not. The Brockville Area Photo Club (BAPC) had organized a visit to The Boneyard, a place I have both visited and written about before (see here).

In fact, my last visit was only a week ago, so I don’t feel too bad about it being cancelled.

Over ten years and a number of visits, I’ve accumulated quite a few shots and am slowly organizing them into galleries.

When it comes to the technical end, I work really quickly. If I go out with my camera, I will have culled and done a first-round edit on the shots by the end of the day.

There may be some further edits, but that’s the easy part for me. The difficult parts are: selecting the photos to include in a gallery; giving those images titles; and if building a slideshow, selecting the music.

Selecting the photos I can do, though as I’m my own worst critic, it can take awhile, and choosing suitable music is something I freely admit I’m not very good at.

Titles though, are a mixed bag. Sometimes they come to mind very quickly, and sometimes they don’t come at all. They didn’t come at all for three of the shots I planned to include, so I appealed to BAPC members for some help.

What followed was a wonderful illustration of both how people see different things and also how titles can be used to influence what others “see”.

Suggestions for the first shot included:

  • Colours of Time

  • Mars

  • and the comment that it looks like the Gulf coast (replete with map).

Sands of Mars

It looks a bit like a pollution map, but I decided that “Sands of Mars” was appropriate. It combines what I see with what others see, and it happens to be the name of Arthur C. Clark’s first published novel, in 1951, exactly 70 years ago.

The second shot elicited the following descriptive titles:

  • Weeping rust

  • Rusted on

  • Let down

  • Drip


There were two comments however, that illustrate people’s ability to see something in an otherwise random image (pareidolia) and the suggestive power of a title:

  • Looks like a foot in a sandal with ugly toenails.

  • Looks like a match being struck.

I haven’t yet decided on a title for this shot. The foot I’d seen, but the match I hadn’t, and now I’m wondering if I should rotate the image 180°.

What’s interesting is that if reference is made to the foot, toes or sandal, you can’t “unsee” it.

Responses for the third photograph were a mix of descriptive and suggestive:

  • Shiny rust

  • Rib rust

  • Time past

  • Lapse of time

  • Stacked

Rib Rust

In this case, there’s one I wish I’d thought of. “Rib rust” is a wonderful play on words that will be added to the Homegroan Photography page.

You can view the gallery here and I’d love to know if “you see what I see”, or if you have any alternate titles.

Many thanks to the BAPC members who contributed titles and comments.