I take photos very intuitively, for this blog. I usually don’t have a plan for how I’m going to use any particular picture. I just capture images that capture me, without much reflection or thought.
At the same time, there are definitely themes in what I choose to snap with my iPhone, as I move through my day. One of those themes, I’ve noticed, is reflections. Reflections in water, windows, and elsewhere.
Here are two recent examples, from a walk away from work:
As with any kind of communication, I never know whether I can really reflect to you what I saw, felt, and thought, when I took those pictures. The reflections, as I walked by them, captivated me. But can I translate them, in a meaningful way, as I pass them on to you?
Do you see what I saw? Probably not. But do you see something that has any value, for you? And have I conveyed, in any way, the wonder of my original experience?
Here’s another way I could reflect, about any photo: could I have done a better job, in communicating what I wanted to?
For example, maybe this is a more effective framing, for that second shot:
Perhaps that framing focuses better on the tree and its reflection. Or maybe not.
Maybe this framing is better:
So many options for each presentation …. and so little expertise and experience in this photographer! So how on earth should I decide how to present any image to you?
And yet, I do decide. Like anyone, I make countless decisions, every day, about what to do, reveal, or communicate — with a photo, with a word — from moment to moment.
Sometimes the reasons for the decisions are intuitive, and sometimes they’re more obvious to me. For example, I, personally, would not choose that last framing of that tree-reflection photo. It’s too close. For me, it’s lacking a sense of context.
I believe this: effective communication, of any experience, reflects a balance of closeness and context, of specific and general, of present and past.
How am I doing, communicating now?
No matter how that’s going, I can show you more, before I’m done here today.
For example, I could show you more photos of reflections, without verbally reflecting on them, letting you experience each one for yourself:
Let’s end this post with a closer look at that last photo (which appeared in a recent post, here):
Here’s one truth, for me, about reflections, photographic or otherwise: I see more, every time I look. For example, while I had noticed, previously, the reflection of that big, beautiful bird in the water, I did not realize I had captured the bird itself, until just now.
Isn’t that amazing?
I’m glad I reflected back, again, today.
Thanks to all things that reflect; to Boston and Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA); to blue herons; to people who do their best communicating experiences; to waffles and wafflers; to those who reflect back to children (and adults) their in-born and unique worth; and to you — of course! — for reflecting, here and now.