Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How do you see it?

Over the past few months, I've given a great deal of thought about how different people react to different situations.  It's often difficult for me to understand how a group of people can see the same scenario, image, circumstance, etc. and walk away with much different perceptions of the reality of it.

A couple weeks ago as I was really trying hard to find a way to explain how and why I see things, I came up with an analogy that I think helps (me atleast) understand how and why I respond the way I do, while others respond differently.

Take a look at this image.  I have recently become quite fond of black and white images.  There is something about them that for me is just calming and really makes me think.  A lot of my life is like a black and white image.  I spend a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of how things I'm interested in work.  Perhaps I don't dig as deep as some, but I study things I am interested in until I come up with "formulas" on what should and shouldn't work. When faced with a problem or situation often times I only see the black and white (sometimes grey tones) of what the reality is and base my reaction/response/feelings off of how I have perceived it.

Now, look at this image.  Full of color.  Very little black and white in the image.  The color adds beauty to the image.  I have met a lot of people that see life this way.  They see life full of color...full of emotion...full of things I just don't typically see when I am by myself.  Often times, I have to have other people help me see the color.  I can learn to see bits and pieces on my own, but again it's almost trying to find a way to create color out of black and white.  It doesn't always work the best.

I have found recently that I really do enjoy a good story/illustration.  It is through stories and illustrations that I am able to experience color in my ever so black and white world.

Now take a look at this image.  I can't say that I am really fond of it. It is has color.  It has black and white, but to me, it just seems messy. There is another type of image like this called "selective color," it's where you make a particular object or color stay in color while you make everything else black and white.  To some, it looks rather cool, but to many photographers it a sign of a beginner who wants to try and look cool while not realizing it makes them look amateur. The reason I went with this type of image over the the "selective color" is because I've come to believe that those of us who see black and white can allow those who see in color to paint in our lives and let us see life as they see it. When you live in a world of black and white, color can be so appealing.  It can help you see things different than you have before.  It can change your life.

Just for grins, take a look at the second photo one more time.  When I took that photo I was so focused on the black and white of taking the shot.  I knew what steps to take to get what I wanted.  I knew all the right settings to adjust. I even took it back to the computer, did a few minor adjustments, and printed it off because I liked it.  As I was standing there looking at the print I noticed something.  Right in the middle of the picture was a box that contains bags to collect dog poop and a trash can.

It just goes to show that regardless if you see life in black and white or color something can seem so perfect so beautiful and yet there are imperfections in both.  Perhaps it's just up to us to decide if we want to focus on those imperfections or if we embrace the beauty in who we are and try to understand and see how others might see.

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