Black and white

Before Christmas I was making an appointment and on that occasion I was speaking with an assistant over the phone, with a woman I had not known. Her voice was pleasant and friendly and when I was to meet her finally, I was looking forward to that meeting. But expectations are deceiving troublemakers so when I actually saw her, I could not believe it was the same person. I did not like her appearance and felt disappointed. After exchanging the words we needed to say I got back to my car and went home. While driving, it began to dawn on me that my what-I-felt-at-first-sight perception was quite silly. She WAS the same person but I needed to abandon my black and white seeing to like her again.

Do you tend to see in black and white or are you a natural for perceiving all the shadows in between? My husband used to tell me that I was viewing just the extreme values on any scale. Things were either good or bad, moral or immoral, beautiful or ugly, perfect or terrible, acceptable or unacceptable. No exception granted. I still struggle but I have been learning to appreciate the countless shades and their possible meaning and profoundness.

Yesterday I read an article on photography and its author was describing there that he sometimes assigns the following task to his students: If you come to a place you want to shoot or see such a thing, do not content yourself with an obvious capture however perfect it might seem. Try to be creative and take ten photos of the place or thing. Try different angles, details, views. You will see that there is not just the obvious capture, there is much more. Yes, that may not be easy, it may hurt to make that effort. But the results will speak for themselves.

I found out that the same applies to the black and white seeing. If I do not content myself with what I see at first sight and try different angles, details and views, I always discover the shades. Always, though it may hurt. But the shades then speak for themselves.