Friday, September 11, 2009

Challenging assumptions

Tonight, after a day of photographing in downtown Boulder, my head is full of colors -- not unlike this man here!

Our job today was to notice color -- strong color -- and I'm loving the images I was getting as I wandered. They are not so different from my usual work, but they are simpler, pared down; stripped of extraneous material, and closer, somehow to who I am and what I see, less what I've been taught to see. (This was probably the most complex image I shot).

But now it's late, and I am sitting in the fairly busy lobby of a distinctly grade B hotel (the wireless doesn't seem to work in my room), so I don't think I'll attempt to do my usual sort of blog entry -- it's just too distracting -- so I'll just say that it's been very good to be reminded that we often see only what we expect to see, and life can be greatly enriched if we approach new situations with a more open frame of mind.

It seems particularly appropriate to say that now, because I just had dinner with a friend whose family has a tendency to only see what they expect to see, what they've been conditioned to see. I suspect that it is a natural tendency for all of us to make assumptions and generalizations and stick to them; after all, it does make life simple if we can just put things in the been-there-done-that category so we don't have to think quite so hard or often. But as my younger daughter is fond of telling me, "Don't assume: it makes an ass of you and me."

Maybe if she had added that it also makes you less creative I might have listened better!

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