It’s surprising how good the brain is at pattern recognition and how difficult it is to teach to a computer.
The dynamic range of the human eye is several orders of magnitude larger than the standard digital sensor. What this means is that when you take a picture, it doesn’t look like what you just saw — the shadows are black and the bright parts are washed out, solid white, — but we can still recognize it.
The human brain — most of them — can see the picture and determine that it is close enough. In fact, our minds don’t even need it to be as good as a digital photograph. We can look at a Picaso and we see faces and places and things in shapes that don’t really resemble faces, places or things in any way.
Is that imagination? Or is it our astonishing ability to parse data?
Either way. Photography doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, sometimes it’s better if it isn’t.