These two images taken at the same place at almost the same time provide us with a good example of the different perspectives we can take when looking at something. While the first image highlights the single pole left standing away from the pier, the second image doesn't include this pole but highlights another single pole. We also get to see the three different pole structures in addition to the single poles.
So moving around, looking at the same pier from different angles, makes a very real difference to how we see things, what we notice, and importantly what we miss. Even the background scenery is different with an emphasis on the closer scenery in the second image and a focus on the landscape further away in the first. We notice a reflection of the poles in the second image but not in the first. We notice the dampness in the sand in the first but not so much in the second image. What else is different?
This kind of perspective taking, while a core element in photography, can also translate to our day to day lives. We often tend to see things from one perspective, perhaps our usual way of seeing the world, through one focus point. By moving around, exploring other ways of seeing, even by talking to others, we might be able to see more, notice things we are missing, appreciate the bigger picture or simply expand our vision. Just like in these two images.
Conversely, sometimes it's good to narrow our focus, to highlight one particular one - like the single pole in the top image. We might miss what is really important by focusing on too many things. Our mind might struggle with the details and become overwhelmed and block our ability to make sense of things.
It can also be comforting to know that there's always more than one perspective. We don't have to think about things in only one way, in only the way we have always thought about it, or the way that someone else thinks about it. We can open up our minds to appreciate new ways of seeing, new ways of thinking.
Perhaps the most relevant time when perspective taking makes a difference is when we have a different view to someone else. By recognising the opportunity this provides to see the world through a different lens, from a different perspective, we will be more able to hear what they have say, understand more deeply and potentially strengthen our own position or develop some new understandings. This not only enhances our ability to understand the world but also can go a long way in maintaining a relationship with another person.
So take these images with you next time you strike a tricky situation. Use them to remind you of the various ways of seeing the world, the new and unusual ways to think about a situation. They might just help you find a new lens, a new appreciation or notice some of the things you never noticed before.