I'm looking for a single word or small number of words to convey something like "Life through a _____ filter/lens" where the opposite is 'soft-focus', 'rose-tinted' etc.
Where _____ conveys a sense of gritty realism, critical thinking or getting to the root or 'principle' of things, but not necessarily being "pessimistic".
For example when you take a photo using a "soft focus" technique it blurs out a lot of the details, can hide unfortunate features in the original picture, etc.
I did check this possibly related question and I love the idea of looking at the world through "half-empty glasses"! - but that question is about being pessimistic rather than 'just' realistic or thinking critically etc. I'm not looking through "half-empty glasses"; I'm looking through glasses that don't actually change the view in any way, but realising the nature of what I'm actually looking at.