Power of Perspective

Uploaded 6 Oct 2010 — 7 favorites
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© Joshua Ball
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Photo Info
UploadedOctober 7, 2010
TakenFebruary 28, 2010
Exposure20 sec at f/10
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length10 mm

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Earlier this year, I had a unique opportunity to wander around New York City for a few days. Soon after I arrived, a massive snow storm rolled into the city and didn’t let up for at least 24 hours. Unfortunately, most of my brief stay in NYC was overshadowed by the horrible February weather. While this certainly impacted my plans to shoot as much of the city as I could, I made the best of it and braved the weather with plastic bags on my feet and multiple layers of clothing on my back.

During my last night in the city, I took the subway into the city from Brooklyn and eventually made my way to the bridge. Once I figured out how to get on to the structure, I headed back towards Brooklyn with the city at my back. The snow had finally stopped falling but it was still extremely cold. This was my second trip to NYC and while I intended to visit the bridge during that first trip, I never quite made it there. That first trip consisted of 5 guys driving halfway across the country to sleep on Harlem floors and Brooklyn rooftops. Nothing was planned, nothing was scripted, and that’s what made that trip special. That said, this was the one location that I wasn’t going to go home without visiting on this second trip.

The walk from the subway to the apex of the structure was cold, wet and lonely. Wandering around alone, I had a lot of time for self-reflection. With so much time to myself, I did a lot of thinking; everything from my personal aspirations as a developing photographer to my understanding of American culture. Coming from a small Ohio city, I often wonder how differently I might see the world had I been born and raised in a city like New York. The sheer size of major metropolitan areas like NYC tend to humble my perspectives on the world and alter the way in which I see my position within it. Perspective means everything in life. Our individual belief systems are built on our personal perspectives, which are undeniably influenced by the world around us.

One of the supporting pillars of human individualism is the concept of “perspective.” It is rare for people to view things in the exact same way. This can be said for inanimate objects, conceptual ideas or even people themselves. We all see things differently and our personal interactions are based on our individual perspectives. Art, literature and even science are dependent on the power of perspective. However, perspective does not always lead to progress. We must be careful to understand the views and beliefs of others as theirs may differ from our own. While the concept aids in the creation of beauty, it also can be used to fuel confusion, corruption and even conflict. No war was ever fought with one side believing that they were in the wrong. Perspective means everything. It shapes our ideals and influences our actions. It can be twisted into a weapon or shaped into art. It is the responsibility of the individual to decide how to use it.

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