Perspective

March 12, 2015

As my son celebrated his third birthday recently, I took some photos of him playing. He then wanted to use the camera. Although he's been allowed to take a couple of shots on a couple of previous occasions, this time I let him wander around and take as many photos as he wanted (it was his birthday, after all). As I followed the little photographer around (partly out of interest and partly to protect my camera), I marveled at what captured his attention. Looking back at his photos, I see how different our house must look to him.


My son liked to zoom in to look at the minutia of his toys, the floor, his pants, or my hair. Many of the photos are a blurry single color and I don't even recall the object being studied. Most of the photos have weird lighting as he held his finger over part of the flash. Perhaps he has a future as an avant-garde artist. His little eyes seem drawn to things I otherwise overlook. Maybe I walk by things too quickly without stopping to appreciate the little details. 




Something that particularly captured my son's attention was doors. He literally took a close-up of every door, each time announcing, "I'm going to take a picture of this door!" He also took a couple of other shots of doors, including a sideways shot looking up one and multiple shots of a childproof doorknob. 

For my son, going through a door is more of an accomplishment than for me (it turns out I'm really good at opening them). It seems he's more aware of his borders and boundaries. Although simple doors don't hold me back, I don't think as much about what confines me. Perhaps I've become too passive, too complacent with my borders.




After my son walked around taking photos of doors and other items at his eye level, he changed perspective to look up. He started taking shots of the pictures hanging on the walls. As I saw him crank his head back to get the wall hangings in the screen, I chuckled. They look like a normal height to me. But to him they are clearly quite high. The stairs also look much bigger from his vantage point. Even when looking at the same items, we see different things because of our different positions in life. 




Perhaps Marcus Aurelius was right: "Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

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