Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeing and Being Seen

Crouched down low, maybe even lying down, I don't recall, I snapped some pictures of icy drops on blades of grass. Over and over I stopped, crouched, then moved slowly into the bush to get the shot.

I notice a lot on these walks but rarely do I notice people who are watching me as I carry on. Today I was startled to get back up off the ground and see an older gentleman obviously coming my way to talk to me. We chatted for awhile about travels and photography. Well, he talked about travels and came up with a few places that would be "my cup of tea" to go to and take pictures. This man was very interesting and friendly.

It became clear to me that he was friendly with everyone who crossed his path as a dog bounded up to him to play...and play they did as its owner slowly caught up. This big black dog assumed that I would enjoy to play with him as well (as seems to be more and more the case with me and dogs...I don't really understand this) and dropped his ball between my feet and looked up at me. I knew this look. I indulged him just once.

Back to where this man thought I should travel...

He went through a list and crossed off a few destinations in his mind that would not be so suitable for me and narrowed things down to his ultimate choice for me...Switzerland. I could take pictures of mountains and ride the train practically straight up to get to the tops of these mountains and take more pictures once there. How I enjoyed his ideas, especially considering what he saw me taking pictures of that brought him to his conclusions about who I was and what would be my cup of tea.

This morning's walk taught me something about my own assumptions of others and how they might not be accurate. And it taught me that it really didn't matter that this kind gentleman assumed I would take this kind of picture or that. His assumptions did not alienate me (or himself) or take anything away from me. What mattered was that he was friendly and wanted to connect with me and found ways to do so. Do my assumptions alienate or get me curious enough to connect?

(Don't forget to enter to win a photo block by sharing your Christmas traditions with me on my
Christmas Give-Away post.)


  1. What a beautiful story to go with gorgeous macros. perhaps it's significant, too, that he didn't give off vibes of being creepy or odd. Just eager to share life with a stranger.

  2. He reminded me of this quote by Frederick Buechner:
    “If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.”

  3. What great shots! I've also been drawn to same macro shots of droplets too and yours look great! Speaking of travel, I took some of these shots in Iceland! (droplet shots are in the center of the page).

  4. Hi there! Sorry to clutter your blog with busywork, but I have a favor to ask. My name is Jana and I’m an undergraduate anthropology student at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. I’m conducting research on and how it changes the act of crafting for craft bloggers, meaning you! I have a short survey (less than ten questions) I’m distributing to bloggers who have posted on If you’d be willing to help out a fellow craft enthusiast AND contribute to the world of academia, I would greatly appreciate your participation. If you click on the link below, you’ll find a slightly more detailed description of my project, as well as the survey questions. Thanks for your time, and once again, sorry for intruding!