Last week I put out a challenge to try a perspective shifting exercise and the brilliant mind behind Reason Creek (among other brainy projects), Nancy Hill, jumped in! Here is her experience in her words! I hope you love this guest post as much as I do!
Ruth Curran, aka Capt’n Crunch, the proprietress of Cranium Crunches plays with images for her brain building business. This last weekend she suggested a guest post when I said I liked the what can you find in a bounded space exercise. I said I wanted to do this camera exercise on the local university campus where I am temporarily working.
I rediscovered this great little grotto near the main library when I got off the campus shuttle and started to take a path, a path that I took to the doors where I entered the building all the time 20 years ago when I worked for the same department. But the path no longer leads to an outdoor plaza walkway between an archival section and the main library. It leads to a back wall of a Starbucks and then on into two tiered plazas, one sunny and one shady, but both now dead-ends where once they were nice diversions on a main thoroughfare. I decided I wanted to have lunch on the lower tier and do Ruth’s camera exercise. I would not do this after twilight, too secluded, but the temps are dropping in Tucson and the shaded lower court seemed like a perfect spot to snag some pics and eat a sack lunch.
I ate that sack lunch.
I enjoy visits to Cranium Crunches because beyond being good exercise for my brain, I am an info-nerd and meaning-junkie with a bit of a fixation on framing and much of the information on this site is about perspective and framing although not overtly treated as such. Most people familiar with the concept of framing probably learned about it from one of George Lakoff’s popular works such as Don’t Think of an Elephant. I am intrigued by how much of our lives we tend to live while on auto-pilot, and how powerful conscious control over perception can be.
In this exercise I decided to take some liberties and not just to do close-ups (my phone camera does not do anything close to a macro) but to see on what I could choose to focus, both near and far, from the little courtyard.
First I looked down at my feet.
My initial thought was, “Cute shoes.” Then I saw them.
“Yech.” Did not want to focus those.
So I looked up.
More non-native trees, but typical for Tucson palms. And neat angles.
Lots of neat angles.
And the nature of those angles shifted with context.
I decided to grab some close ups to see what I had missed by not paying close attention. I found great textures I will use for backgrounds.
And there were other things which I might be able to use for article illustrations.
You never know when you might need a pic of bird poop.
A door handle.
Bench supports to illustrate the concept of under.
Or a cistern/utility/manhole cover.
But best of all, I found creatures.
This was a much richer environment than I had thought. There were so many, totally distinct, completely different items and aspects on which I could focus.
The decision to pay attention is mine. What I notice, those things upon which I focus, are also choices I exercise. This little exercise taught me more than I thought it would when I first decided it would be a fun way to spend a lunch hour. There really are infinite perspectives and many of these, beyond the basic constraints of our species, are under our individual control.