Freud realized many times people would read too much into his analytics, hence the admonishment about cigars. Looking over my recent posts it appears I’ve been exploring photographic metaphors and allegories but in my defense these things have been on my mind. I’ve been trying to step away from being a technical photographer and to simply see – like a child, like the camera, like an alien from another planet. And then capture those sights. It’s a learning process. I don’t do drugs so I’ve got to try something to expand my mind!
But today, just a couple of nice images from the front yard, rejoicing in spring sunshine and a bee’s delighted point of view.
Perspective in photography can create drama, showing us something in an unexpected or unintended manner and eliciting various emotions about the image or subject. Perspective is all about how we regard something, what information we bring to the moment, what bias we filter that information through and what realization we arrive at in the end. Really, doesn’t perspective in just about everything create drama? What would reality TV be without sudden shifts in perspective in what we know about the participants? How could film noir convey the impending doom or fearful encounters it is famous for without the unique perspective the cameramen used? Notice the seemingly infinite number of political conclusions that can be drawn based on the perspective someone has about a fact and the drama built by all the talking heads.
We get comfortable with our perspectives, viewing the reality around us with expectations on outcomes that won’t startle or surprise us. In business the mantra is “no surprises” as if the steady hand on the helm of decision-making is an assured way to reach desired results. Yet it is the very surprises we seek to avoid that bring excitement to our lives. The momentary thrill that passes through us when something new appears and clicks in our minds as a sudden revelation about objects, actions, decisions, etc. For some, this drama is to be avoided at all costs; to others, it is to be embraced and embodied. For all, it is a jolt, a shock that what we expected isn’t always what we get.
Actively seeking perspective shifts makes us more comfortable with change. Not only do we learn to realize something viewed from a different vantage point remains the same object (alleviating the fear of the unknown) but we learn to seek out alternative vantage points as a way to learn (what’s on the other side of the mountain?). The admonition to walk a mile in someone’s shoes is more about realizing what goes on in another person’s mind in contrast to mine than it is to see the world through their eyes. Arguments may ensue about the details of a perceived subject but these are secondary to the differences in the meaning about the subject to each person. We may disagree about the color of a tomato but that is seriously trivial to the contrast between your belief it is the devil’s fruit and mine that it is essential to Italian cooking.
Some landscapes possess drama in their very form – the “grand” landscapes we see in images or stand and admire. Other landscapes need a change of perspective to add drama as a way to share the appreciation of how the world looks from another’s point of view. So you lie down in the grass to get a bug’s eye view of the world – what’s that going to cost you compared to the new perspective? And how will it impact how you view future fields of grass?