Saturday, February 21, 2009

Playing with the zoom button....

The new chapter and I have been going on a lot of really great adventures lately, and as a result we have taken a lot of pictures. On one particular adventure we were shooting pictures on the ice when he mentioned that using the zoom button can negatively affect the quality of a picture. At first I didn't think much of it, but as of late I'm beginning to think that he might have a point and that point isn't just about photography.

Last night when we were out on the town, I overheard several very odd conversations. I wasn't trying to listen in, but for some reason the conversations caught my ear and caused me to "zoom in" on them. As I listened, I couldn't help but smile. The conversations themselves were very ordinary and even a little odd, but when I "zoomed out" of those conversations I began to realize how the seemingly odd close-ups fit perfectly together to form a more beautiful and eclectic big picture, not all that unlike the picture Walt Whitman painted in "I hear America Singing."

Zooming in can sometimes make it hard to see the beauty of an independent situation, whereas keeping things "zoomed out" can sometimes help enhance and maintain its beauty because that situation no longer stands alone-- it becomes a part of the whole. Each close-up moment plays an important role in determining the beauty of the big picture as a whole. When we zoom out, we can better see the beauty in those strange close-up moments because we can understand the importance of their roles in the big picture.

Now don't get me wrong, there are moments when I love the close-up shots. They can sometimes capture and enhance those hidden details that play an important role in big picture. There can be ineffable beauty in those moments. At the same time, when it's hard to see the beauty in those hard, uncomfortable times, it can help to zoom out of them and remember that each closeup has its role-- whether it be a tiny or a large-- in the bigger, beautiful, and eclectic big picture. In essance, knowing when and how to zoom can really help keep things in perspective. It can help us find beauty in those moments that may not seem to have any.

I'm learning that it's important to know when to use the zoom button and when to let things be. From what I've observed about life and the attitudes around me so far, there is an art to knowing how and when to zoom. Mastering the art of the zoom button yields wise and mature perspective-- a perspective I can only hope to achieve one day.


Don said...


(In the class I taught on Creative Problem Solving we spent time learning to play with the zoom button and terms like complementary.)

Since you use words such as ineffable, perhaps you'll enjoy this word dichotomy: reductionism and holism -- A concept explored at length in the entertaining tome:

Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, which is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, described by the author as "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll". (Wiki-pedia)

(I've missed your posts, but I'd surmised that you were enjoying real life adventures with the new chapter.)

Wow. You inspire me to use more of my vocabulary! ;-) (While I break grammar rules.)

Miss H~ said...

Thanks, Don. I'll have to look into the book you mentioned; it sounds great and interesting.

As soon as my online class finishes I will probably be back to posting more often. I miss it and hearing from you and Saphron. You were right, adventures with new chapter have also stolen some of my time, but they've been worth it and I'm sure you'd appreciate what we've been up to (ice fishing, road trips to West Yellowstone, and the like)! Pictures to come :)

Happy Sunday, Don. Take care. I look forward to seeing what you've written today.

Don said...

Well, thanks to you, I sat down and composed a Sunday morning post. I was going to let it ride til tonight, but I'm glad I have something more fitting for a Sunday morning for my readers.

(The book is interesting, although I don't agree with it's basic premise, it's fun and thought provoking. He uses Socratic dialogues to illustrate points which are very much like riddles. You'll find it in any library.)