Curious that this comment by John Steinbeck so closely echoes a similar observation on the difficulty of seeing things as they are.  Our capacity to distort our view with the hobbles of hope, fear and other bias is limitless, as any purveyor of clap-trap will attest.   

Probably the hardest thing in the world for a man is the simple observation and acceptance of what is. Always we warp our pictures with what we hoped, expected, or were afraid of.  In Russia we saw many things that did not agree with what we had expected, and for this reason it is very good to have photographs, because a camera has no preconceptions, it simply sets down what it sees.

Of course, by now, we’ve mastered the art of deep-fake imagery as well as ideology. 

May we be as free of such warps and filters as is humanly possible. 

Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 33

Photo credit: Republica at pixabay


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