Sample Essay

The aforementioned transition from one extreme (cone receptors only) to the other end of the spectrum (rod only) can be more practically observed and felt from the first person perspective by observing a gradual change in lighting conditions. The torch example was too immediate and does not cover gradual, prominent changes in light intensity. Observing the sunset or sunrise would provide a good alternative for observing such a change, and thus I chose the latter for the purpose of this exercise.

The best position to take in order to observe the light changes especially in an urban setting is near the beach. The view of the horizon means the rising sun would be in clear view. Prior to the advent of dawn, and under the moonlight, the rod photoreceptors are at work and looking around the city’s night lights does not yield much of a change whereas turning back to the skyline puts the black skyline into perspective. There is an obvious lack of perceptive colors, except for the grey of the clouds and the black of the sky, a feature dealt with by the cone receptors. As dawn begins to emerge, the movement of the clouds becomes more prominent. Light starts seeping through the horizon lighting up the sky in a distinct but slow fashion. Observing the intensity of light gain momentum this gradually makes the world transform right in front of your eyes. At this point it is hard simply to concentrate on the changes to the environment as it is a thought provoking setup, causing the mind to wander.

As dawn transitions into sunrise and light engulfs the sky, right before the tip of the sun is visible; the world delves into rich perceptive colors that are easily distinguishable from the light orange of the dawn. As the sun rises, its initial brilliant shades of orange and yellow immediately strike the eye, transforming the world into a brighter place. The sun, previously bearable, now starts to gain intensity as it rises, filling up the horizon with startling shades of yellow until its visible fully, but quickly becoming hard to bear. Once the sun gains full intensity, the world becomes detailed, with smaller distant objects becoming part of the picture. Color variations are more prominent now throughout.

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