A different angle

Usually, we don’t look up or down unless there’s something out of the ordinary happening. Something that disrupts our horizontal routines. We are creatures of habit.

This is also reflected in photography. I don’t know about you, but most of my photos are eye level shots. This makes sense in many contexts, such as taking portraits. But it also narrows our perspective.

Changing the perspective, whether it’s a landscape or a personal problem, does not come easily because it messes up with our convenient little tunnel vision (that we usually call experience).

But changing the perspective is not just something we might do for the sake of creativity. Sometimes it’s the only thing to do to get unstuck.

There’s always more than one way of looking at what’s happening. Chances are we don’t just happen to find ourselves in the perfect field of view. In fact, many times we find ourselves in a hole and we react by keeping on digging, while waiting for something different to happen.

Here are a few shots that break away from the horizontal perspective, in response to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #164 (Looking Up/Down).

Out of the frame

Photography is as much about what we include in the frame as about what we leave out of it.

I think the point applies to much more than photography.

Protection. Eifel National Park, Germany, 2018.

What we call focus is not only about the thing we focus on. Monomaniacs are very focused persons but they’re dysfunctional. What they lack is the capacity to change focus and decide what they need to leave out of their mental frame.

It’s not so much the ability to keep our attention on a subject that differentiates us. It’s the capacity to choose our focus, shift our focus and choose what to ignore. This involves self questioning, self restraint, and the ability to differentiate between what’s relevant and what’s not.

There’s a whole world out there and we are looking at it through a tiny mental viewfinder. This is our in-built limitation, but it’s also a gift.

At the end of the day, for anything we set out to do, the clarity of our focus will largely depend on what we decide to keep out of the frame.