eye of the beholder
Aha, an inspirational moment that I could not deny!
Having been a x-ray technologist for decades, I can be heard making the claim ‘once a radiographer, always a photographer’! My role has always been staging reluctant family members into just the right pose, very similar to positioning patients for the perfect medical image. Often, my husband and I will pick a place, pack our camera gear and away we go to seek that one special photo.
This day with our special 7 year old, we could not travel too far. Each of us had our camera in hand as we walked to the village and a nearby park. Along the way, we often stopped to take a photo of something that caught our attention.
When we returned home, each camera’s memory card was inserted into our big screen TV. We watched each picture cycle through. We oooh’d and ahh’d at our masterpieces and also talked about how to improve those pictures that were ‘not so good’. What we discovered was that often that ‘thing’-perhaps it was the waterfall, the garden, or the landmark-captured each of our imaginations differently. Each of us captured the image of the same item but each photo was unique. Each of us photographed the same bridge, creek, and landmark, but with a different angle, camera and perspective. Truly, the object of interest was subject to the eye of the beholder. Similar yes, but each was exceptional and distinctive.
When we are accompanied by others doing the same job or activity, the task may be similar. However, the results may be very different as each person directs their eyes and attention to ‘that thing’ that commands their attention. Give pause and acknowledge that perspective gained from both life experiences and life inexperience, can change the outcome. Making prime connections with others is often easier when one is slow to judge and quick to accept a different interpretation, which is truly is in the ‘eye or the heart of the beholder’.
As I think about our individual works of art though photography, it was our prime connection to each other and the ability to trust one another that allowed vulnerability to become learners, give and accept constructive criticism, offer and receive advice, and sometimes, accept the decision to discard the image all together. Our collection of photos and our memories from the day’s activities will always speak to the quality of the connection we have to each other.