Shooting to the right, over-exposed, and high-key are phrases that describe the obliteration of an image’s edge or loss of highlight detail due to an abundance of light. Discussions on their construction and metering methods are common to technical digital photography forums as folks chart the histogram and measure it all. For me though, when read as prepositions, these words suggest that there is a place, a standard location or a norm of lightness that has been deviated from.


In the fascinating book Island of the Colorblind, neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks chronicles a journey to a South Pacific island where a high percentage of the population have a condition called achromatopsia. He writes about the lives of those living in a colourless world being full and rich; daylight hours of sunshine are much too intense for their eyes to process so they prefer times and places of very dim light or darkness. Instead of being hindered or feeling incomplete without the ability to see in brightness, he writes there is a ‘rich perception of luminosity and special sensitivity to form and texture’ in the dimness. Utterly normal to them, they see into dark things that the rest of the world does not.


Images such as these below are outtakes. Camera adjustments were made and subsequent photos better resembled the nuances of light and dark that my eyes saw; the next exposures were likely within those parameters of normal. But these blown-out views of the world are not mistakes; I like to think that all of these images really happened as well as a million more all at the same time. The world really looks like this, and this, and this, and this — it just took the mechanics of the camera to capture it in that way at that particular moment. What we see is not all what is, there is no single truth of depiction and things are often more intriguing & beautiful with a few details left out.



















  • Great post! Giza pyramids, blue cloth, smiling woman and the last are my favourites

  • Jennifer Halldorson

    A spiritual journy through the camera lens, beautiful, simply beautiful.