Many, if not most (or even all) of the technological achievements of mankind have, in some way, began as a study of nature.

The camera is no different.

In trying to understand how a camera works, the simplest explanation is that it works similarly to our own eyes:

  • Light enters the lens from various angles
  • The curvature in the lens slows light down as it approaches at different angles
  • Images are taken in upside-down, then flipped by computerized technology (or, in the case of the eye, the brain)

Lens Types

Those who have even a passing interest in photography know there are many types of lenses, each of which are used in different situations for different reasons.

The telephoto lens is used for taking photographs at a distance. Using telephoto lenses, photographers can focus on faraway objects much more clearly.

Wide angle lenses, on the other hand, have a shorter focal length. As the name suggests, wide angle lenses are used for scenic shots that don’t necessarily need to focus on a specific area.

Zoom lenses magnify the area within the lens without distorting the image at all.

Eyes in Nature

Different animals have different eye structures which vary in functionality.

Some animals, such as dogs, aren’t able to see as many colors as others. Still others can actually see more colors than humans will ever be able to perceive.

Insects such as flies have compound eyes, which are comprised of thousands of tiny eyes that work in conjunction with each other to create a full picture (like how Best Buy used to stack televisions together, with each one showing only a section of the entire picture).

Varying eye size and positions help animals see more of their surroundings at one time. Some animals even have 360° vision!

Check out the infographic below for more information on the similarities and differences between camera and eye lenses.

Camera Lens vs. The Eye 1

Infographic Source: Clifton Cameras

Featured photo credit: Clifton Cameras via

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