An Appreciation, Photography
Comments 3

Looking is not seeing…

 

A little over six years ago now, I was in Beijing, being the prototypical kind of tourist with an interest in photography…

You know, shooting the lights out of anything and everything I saw…

And on a kind of shortcut to get to one of the main touristy areas of the Forbidden City, I took the above picture.
My translator/guide/(babysitter/minder(?)) asked what it was I found interesting…
And I replied that I liked the juxtaposition of light and shadow, texture and contrast…

Granted, it’s not a particularly brilliant photo…
But the couplings of elements are certainly there.

She replied that she hadn’t even noticed the object of my fascination.
Once it was pointed out to her, though, she seemed as interested as I was…

To be fair, she’d probably seen this particular bit of the FC a gazillion times, in her capacity as a full-time tourist guide.
And to be equally fair, I tend to set something of a torrid pace on my photographic adventures…

She refused to hike the full extent of the Great Wall with me, saying she’d meet me at our starting location when I was done traipsing about.
And she frequently begged out of climbing all of the stairs at the various sites we visited.

She also happened to be the first of two tour guides I broke in my week in Beijing.

Oh, it was breakage all right…
Not necessarily premeditated… but definitely identifiable as an over-taxing of the underlying structure of the person I was paired with.

I feel bad about that…
And for what it’s worth, I apologize Lilly.

Not that it slowed me down any.
It just meant that for a lot of the process I was on my own… which is my preferred state of photographic adventuring to begin with.

My point is on this, a certifiably dismal, dreary, wet and windy day, that being intimately familiar with something or someone is not the same as seeing that something or someone for what it/they are, right at this very precise moment…

 

Stop a bit…
Slow down a little…

 

See!

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. How many of us mistake looking for seeing….as a traveler interested in details I love your capture of the column, its intricate carving, the play of light and shadow, as well as the warm glow that particular background provides.

    Liked by 1 person

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