We see with our brains not with our eyes.

The mind constructs a picture of the world from various sources. The contribution of the eye is a tiny, shifting, blurry, scanning, optical input that the brain integrates and stitches into a "world view". The brain also adds bits of what we remember and what what we "know" is there. On top of that the brain mixes bright and dark images acquired at different moments to generate a "high dynamic range" picture of what seems to be "out there".

Until photography was invented the only pictures available were transcriptions of mental images. The realist painter is the traditional epitome of getting the "picture in the mind" in front of an audience as a "picture on canvas".

It is one of the greatest attractions of digital picture making that it again offers the possibility of getting a private "mind picture", assembled from several sources, scanned, stitched, edited, tweaked, and HDR'ed, into someone else's consciousness. And all of this without having to learn how to paint.

Photography is different. It offers a chance of making pictures of the way things look independent of how the eye/mind/brain system chooses to confect reality.