“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all–he’s walking on them.” ~ Sam Levinson
A few years ago I had the wonderful experience of participating in a nature photography workshop instructed by Eddie Soloway. This workshop took place in Big Sur, right here in Northern California. For those who have been there you will agree this is one of the most beautiful places on our California coast.
This was an unforgettable experience. I was first drawn to his workshop by an invitation from my photographer friend, Jackie Arthur, who told me about his photographs. At first I thought beautiful, but a lot of it is out of focus or doesn’t follow the standards of photographic composition or definitions of a good photograph.
Then, the more I looked at the different perspectives his work lends to our everyday views, the more enamored I became with his work and decided to attend one of his photography workshops. I wanted to find out how he did the beautiful work he did. What was his process about looking at the world from such a creative view? How did he actually “see” his pictures?
I learned so much about the technical aspects of photography, but more importantly, I learned so much more about opening my eyes to different perspectives.
Eddie asked us to bring six of our favorite pictures and prepare a statement about what we love about photography to share with the other participants. I wrote that I love the opportunity to see things from many different perspectives. It gives me an opportunity to slow myself down, and look. Just look. It gives me the opportunity to get unstuck and look at the same scene from many different views and realize that everything changes from second to second.
This experience gave me the opportunity to look even deeper. Look at the same frame, but from different views. I took close to two thousand pictures during that workshop and many came out beautiful and many, many, so many more did not. Those that did not were the ones I learned the most from. My mistakes were my valuable lessons.
Get the “picture”?
“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” – Kristin Armstrong
Perspectives are a mental view that we have of a situation we are in. We get stuck when we can’t see another way. The way out is to slow down, and look. Just look. Know you are always in a perspective and know you can always change that perspective. Pretend you have a camera and the scene in the viewfinder is your life, right now. What happens when you turn the camera one degree to the right? To the left? What do you see when you look up? When you lie down on the ground and look at it from that perspective?