What We See Depends Mainly on What We Look For

Anne Bonfert

Be open for a change in what you focus on

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  • Credit: Anne Bonfert

Looking at this picture above there are so many different situations it can represent. It can stand for spring. The cold and dark part of life is getting left behind. Ready for a new start.

Or it could stand for all your hopes are vanishing. The melting of the ice could represent the disappearing of your hopes. Or anything else. You can interpret a lot of things into it.

This picture is been taken in late autumn. Just after the first snowfall. For me it represented excitement. Excitement for the upcoming season. Winter. I love the snow. I love the cold. Therefore I captured this melting piece of snow with a smile on my face.

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” — John Lubbock
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Take a second look

This is what this article is about. It’s about how I see my surroundings. This is a collection of simple things in life. Objects which were lying on the floor or being ignored by most trespassers. Even I might have walked past them at first.

Sometimes I walk back a few meters because it takes me a while to realize what I just saw. I start thinking about the object and the way I can capture it. I decide it is worth making an effort.

Just like in real life. Sometimes it appears the worst is happening to us. But when we step back for a moment and take a deep breath we might see an opportunity in this situation.

This is what I live for. To see the positive in life.

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Change your focus in life

Instead of putting the focus on my mom standing in the background, I decided to shift the focus of my camera onto autumns’ leaves on the forest floor. It brings out the beauty of the season.

Sometimes in life, you are stuck by focusing on something. Something where you can’t move on. Maybe a conversation with a person where both of you won’t leave their point. And sometimes it is better to just change the topic in a situation like this.

Shifting your focus can also bring up different connections to a person you could never approach. Because of the topics, you spoke about. Looking at it from a different angle could open new roads.

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Change the point of view onto life

It seems similar to the previous topic but it’s not the same. Instead of finding a new object to focus on, you keep the same but look at it from a different angle. Like these thin yellow leaves lying on the ground.

Walking down the road through the valley I was looking down onto the shining leaves. They seemed pretty. Colorful. Worth being captured. But when I looked through the viewfinder while standing upright they appeared boring.

I had to change the point of view to bring out their beauty. I put down my backpack, lied flat on the ground, and focused again on the same leaves. And look at it. A totally different photograph came up. One that tells the story next to a road.

This could be also something you use in real life. If everything seems to be incredibly devastating. If your partner tends to ignore your words or your friends don’t want to listen to your complaints anymore. Just step back.

Step back and try to look at your problem from their point of view. This might let you understand why they behave the way they do. And if you feel like you are living a horrible life just go and spend an afternoon with children in a township. This will teach you how to appreciate everything you have in life.

Simply by changing the point of view onto your life.

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See the good in people

Looking at this leaf you see the brown outline on it. Its best days have passed. But still, there is beauty in it. The heart of the leaf is still shining in bright green. A gentle yellow is creating the transition between the green and the dark brown.

I did see the brown from far. But after coming closer I looked at it as a whole. The entire leaf. And I did see the beauty in it. I decided it is worth capturing and even decided it is worth sharing.

Representing it onto life brings the focus down to the basics. Don’t judge someone by his appearance. Or let the first impression fool you. There is more behind someone than just his clothes or skin color. Give people a chance to show you their real selves.

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Put a thick layer around you

Sometimes life can be hard. Mean. Painful. Lonely. Life isn’t always just unicorns flying across a rainbow. Life is real. And reality can hurt. But we must face it.

So if you do go out be prepared. Be prepared for looks that might stab you. Be prepared for words that might hurt you more than a fist would ever be able to.

Grow yourself a thick skin. Maybe even protection like the sweet chestnut on the picture above. So that it will hurt others if they come too close to you. Just as self-defense.

If you’re living a life that is different from the normal life you need that. Swimming against the stream is hard. But I think it’s worth it. I couldn’t follow the stream all the time. I want to explore side streams and reach the spring eventually!

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Conclusion

There are so many things out there that affect your life. They affect the way we look at them and how we deal with them. It is up to us to make a choice.

It is our choice of how we live our lives and what we take from it. Live your life to its fullest. Try to understand the people around you but don’t let them fool you. Be strong and fight for your words. They do count.

“Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer.” — Ziad Abdelnour

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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.

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