Ever made a mistake?
Where on earth do they come from? How do they happen?
Look at this picture I took this morning on the train to work. I call it Rainbow and Cow; View From A Train. I’m quite pleased with it.
There were a few things I was really pleased with. I thought I had missed the chance to shoot the rainbow which in real life was much more vivid. We came from behind some trees and ugly farm buildings and there it was again so I took a quick snap.
I was then pleased that having been able to tweak the contrast quite a bit, and having saturated the colours and cropped the shot that it was reasonably pleasing on the eye.
I liked the incidental cow in the picture giving the shot a multi-dimensional feel. I love how haphazard composition happens sometimes. But most of all, top of the list, I loved the idea of Rainbow and Cow and the childish glee in playing with merging those words. RainCow maybe. I opted just to stick with the current title, mocking arty pretensions… Rainbow and Cow; View From A Train
Think for a minute. Do you like the picture? Is it pleasing on the eye, despite it being a bit blurry, glass reflection from the train window and the rainbow itself still being a little disappointing, almost elusive?
What else did you think?
I managed to get it posted on Twitter – after some peculiar difficulties and was astounded to receive this response…
@NeilDenny looks more like a horse…….
Duh! Horse. It’s a horse, of course it is.
But why did I think it was a cow?
A couple of things that I can remember thinking… I was worried that the buildings and the yard, most of which are now cropped out, were working farm stuff, with which I equated cows.
I had been seduced with my own silly play on words. Seriously. That ow thing. Rainbow. Cow. Rainbough (bough as in tree and sounding like Cow) and Coe. These were the silly word patterns – visual with the letters and auditory with sounds – that I was mildly pre-occupied with. And those thoughts had seduced me into perceiving a cow to the exclusion of what is quite clearly, and disappointingly so far as my word games are concerned, a horse.
The lesson? Sometimes we want to see things that are not there, in order to fit in with very quickly, preconceived ideas.
I had even noticed the cow was wearing a coat and thought nothing of it. I must have subconsciously subverted or discarded that logical objection.
And you know what, we all do this and probably much more than we let on. Daniel Kahnemann has an excellent book on it which I will blog upon later (ie once I have read it)
How many times do we hold on rigidly to our interpretation though and at what cost?
Please please please share your own examples below. We could call it “The Things I Got Wrong”