Perception, Perspective and Existentialism: A Story of One Photo

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My boyfriend and I were driving back from our weekend trip to the countryside when I noticed the tree. Soft and serene jazz music was playing. The drops of the rain were gently and rhythmically falling on the ground giving a metallic sense to the music. The same jazzy but harmonious feeling was on my mind. That day, everything seemed so magical and beautiful to me. I couldn’t help making loud remarks about each and every tiny object that we encountered during the entire drive. When I saw the tree though, I wasn’t stricken by its beauty; it was something else…

I noticed it from a rather long distance. I saw myself in it. I felt that strange invisible bond between us instantaneously. I wanted to freeze the moment, so that I can take a long and deep look at it to see my reflection. Neither did I have a decent camera nor superior photographing skills but I knew the photo would be special. Since we were on a highway and the speed of the vehicle was high, I took my iPhone and captured the moment right on the way. The photo turned out to be of inferior quality and out of focus. Yet, it has something mysteriously elegant. It seems to convey the the juxtaposition of turbulence and serenity that I felt at the moment…

Although I always admired photography as a comprehensive and sophisticated form of art, I wouldn’t understand its existential aspect completely until that moment. Photography is not solely about capturing beautiful or anyhow unique moments; it’s about objectifying the subjective. Through perspective, it brings together the self, that is- our perception, and the external world. It creates a deep interaction between the two, where each affects the other.

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