One of the more challenging things in a visual person’s life is imagining a detailed image in one’s head. We think we have ‘complete memories’ of things we’ve seen until we (for example) try to do a floor plan of a house we lived in a few decades ago, or trying to sketch out the layout of a garden from memory, or draw a detailed map of the streets in a half mile radius of our homes. Not so easy!
Without looking at a photo, tell me what color your mother’s eyes were or are. And then do the same for your father. And the first member of the opposite sex you ever were intimate with. Yep. We fool ourselves!
One of the virtues (or faults) of photographs are that they show things as they were — to the point that after a while we’re no longer sure whether the pictures in our heads are memories of reality or memories of a photograph.
This is a problem in art, since one has the onorous task of decided between realism, total fantasy, or that foggy area between them where we put mountains where they never were, but try to cover them with trees that are detailed copies of ‘real’ trees. Decision after decision!
And then there is post-production decisions about photos we have taken, either in real life or in our virtual world where we can instantly change time of day, angle of sunlight, color of clouds, transparency of water, and so on.
Perhaps the images we create are less “creative endeavors” and more a map of our minds and how we made hundreds of decisions.