In photography, perspective is everything. In art as well. It’s all about the point of view. At what angle, lighting, or distance are you from a subject. That’s what I love about it. Every photographer ‘sees’ what they’re going to shoot from their own personal angle.
Is any given perspective the ultimate best or correct one? No, and that’s what makes originality and uniqueness so crucial. Many people try to imitate another photographer’s perspective only to fail because seeing is something that comes from within.
I love to see the challenges between a group of professional photographers to take a photo of a select subject and then see how their shots all turn out so different. In my own experience, I prefer to get shots of people when they’re not trying to pose. I enjoy the candidness of life because it shows the true person.
I spent a few minutes cycling through some old images on my site earlier and came across the one above. It’s a unique building design in Houston that spoke to me at the time, as well as today, about perspective.
The building has teared sections full of glass for viewing out either side. No tear is directly above the other and has its own sense of uniqueness, yet, with symmetry.
I guess the main reason the building speaks to me about perspective is because of how it makes me feel. Like art, architecture can draw out an emotion within us. For me, it’s as though the building is life and we are the windows. We can each see life from our own vantage, both the past and the future, yet, have a different perspective; i.e. point of view.
So many people believe that their perspective is the only true one. They hold to that point of view no matter what anyone else says because, if they accept that there may be a different point of view that’s valid, then the perspective they hold onto is somehow either not true, or somehow makes them look wrong. And, for many, that’s a hard thing to accept.
I’ve known some people who have a perspective about an event, then build a whole life story around it when, in actuality, if seen through other people’s perspective, wasn’t what they thought it to be at all. There in lies the danger of only viewing life through our own, limited perspective.
The old saying is true that no man is an island. If we only see things from our own perspective, demonize those who disagree, and live a life built around that single point of view, then we will ultimately be living a life full of denial and self-righteousness. We will shut down anyone who disagrees with our point of view and become closed off to reality dragging innocent, unknowing people along with us.
That’s not a life I want to live. I learned a long time ago that two people can see something from different angles and both will have a piece of the truth. It’s why the police want as many witnesses to a car accident they can talk with because each may see only a portion, but by putting all their viewpoints together, they can have a much fuller picture of what happened.
Having been through an experience in my life where people took something completely out of context, assumed the worst, and were unwilling to listen to any other point of view, I can say that the danger in not allowing other perspectives in our life, no matter the circumstance, is a dangerous thing.
Being willing to listen to, and being open to, other people’s perspective, will give us a fuller view of life and the truth. Being closed to those other people’s perspective, will only isolate us and cause us to build walls around ourselves to keep anyone who disagrees with us away.
So, today, here’s to being open to other people’s point of view. Here’s to taking time to see things from more than just our own perspective. Here’s to opening ourselves up to a fuller view of life around us. Most of all, here’s to letting go of our own dogmatic views and being willing to at least consider other people’s perspectives.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend my friends!