Point of View

Perspective and Life

Perspective refers to a general attitude or point of view. Most of the opinions we form have been shaped by a belief system, early childhood development, life experiences, and socio-economic position. Along with our DNA, it is what makes us truly unique. Many people live a lifetime without ever validating a perspective beyond their own and others are invigorated by change, education and growth.

Kathy at Smart Living 365 wrote an informative post in which she sheds light on why we can’t just all get along. She uses the concept of Spiral Dynamics to illustrate many of her points. You can read her post here. Basically, it comes down to perspective, the evolution of our thinking, and where we each fall on the continuum at any given time.

Expanding our perspective to include information that challenges our beliefs and attitudes does not equate to abandoning our values. It simply means that we are willing to listen and keep an open mind. It is not unusual to change our perspective many times throughout our lifetime; loss of a job, the birth of a child, a traumatic experience or any situation that threatens our security will contribute to forming a different point of view. Setbacks are inevitable, but sometimes that is where we experience our best growth.

We can talk about change and acceptance and growth, or we can live it. It all begins with a willingness to see from a different perspective.

Perspective and Photography

Just as perspective is important to living a life of fulfillment, a clear point of view is also necessary for capturing a good photographic image.

My perspective for this photograph is from 30 feet below with a 300mm lens and my point of view is obviously expressed through tight composition. I took the following shot within minutes of the first, but it conveys a very different message. I see the brutal reality of nature in the first and humor in the second.

I have taken lots of Osprey photos, but never one with its catch. The complete surprise of this opportunity is what made me smile this week.

I am sharing with Terri Webster’s Sunday Stills and Becky B’s Squares. Their theme is Perspective and you may interpret it any way you like. Just pop over there and check out their rules. I am also participating in Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge. Please visit all these wonderful blogs for more smiles and lots of beautiful photos.

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone for hosting.

58 Comments on “Point of View

  1. I love photographing osprey. I have taken some as they fly away with their catch, but not while eating it. Reading FaceBook, yeah, I see some huge differences in perspective!


    • Trent, I listened to ‘public comments’ as our Commissioners considered mandating masks yesterday. Anything posted on FB pales in comparison to the craziness I witnessed. The mandate passed and the lawsuits have begun. The pic is a little overblown, but it was a sunny day and not easy to adjust for the light. Nevertheless, it still makes me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure it was bad. The problem with FaceBook for me is that I didn’t realize how radical a lot of people I graduated from high school with are until FaceBook came around – At least half of me “friends” from high school think masks are a communist plot to destroy America.
        The photo looks great even if you think a little overblown. As I said, osprey always make me smile 🙂


  2. wow what fabulous shots. Amazing to capture, and also love your words. Very wise, and where I was kind of hoping people might go with this months theme. Delighted you have joined in with squares


    • Hi Becky, I often check out your posts and challenges but this is the first time I have joined in. Your topic compelled me. After I got those shots, I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn’t want to ‘overshare’ my first time in. Thanks for validating the direction I took. And welcome to Picture Retirement!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful essay on perspective and point of view, Suzanne. Both images show those differences using the same subject. Great lens captures! Glad you could link up to both challenges.


  4. Great post and pictures. A lifetime ago, the series M*A*S*H did an episode based on point of view, which was filmed from the perspective of the patient. The audience never saw the patient, but we saw what the patient saw. For instance, when Hawkeye stopped to talk to the patient, instead of the camera looking down at the patient, it was looking up at Hawkeye. I think your post has a lot of relevance for the situation(s) we find ourselves in now, culturally, socially, politically and medically. Thanks for sharing this post. Sharing on my FB page. #MLSTL Michele


    • Michelle, I actually remember that episode. It was groundbreaking cinematography at the time. As a photographer, I have always been taught to look at a subject from several different perspectives. It makes sense that it should translate to life as well. There is much to say on the subject, but I will leave it to those more articulate than I to share. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Suzanne, great work on both the introduction and the pictures. Loved both and, over my 70+ years, my points of view have changed several times. That’s just life. Thanks for sharing. Joe


  6. “I see the brutal reality of nature in the first and humor in the second.” I would suggest that use of the descriptive “brutal” is based on a human perspective. The osprey just sees an opportunity for food. There’s so much to be learned from nature.


    • Good point. I saw an alligator chomp on a turtle once – the sound and the sight was repelling to me – what I saw as a defenseless turtle was simply lunch to the alligator. Maybe perception also depends on whether the event in happening in a natural or unnatural context. Thanks for commenting.


  7. I know I commented on insta, but this is truly an awesome capture. It’s also a great way of illustrating perspective. On first glance I see the brutality of the catch & then have to remind myself that its actually nature at its most basic & well, natural. But yes, opening up the lens to see more of the picture doesn’t mean abandoning your core beliefs, it means being able to understand others and adjusting and adapting.


  8. Suzanne, Amazing photos and right on to illustrate perspectives. I’ve witnessed a few prey and predator/ hunt and catch moments in nature but haven’t been able to capture it in a decent photo. Well done! #MLSTL


  9. Wow, Suzanne, I do love your photos, especially the one with the osprey and fish. Wonderful capture. #MLSTL


  10. Great illustration of perspective. Although I have to admit I wonder where people’s thoughts are being shaped when they go to a town meeting about masks and start spouting off about military control and 5G.


    • Jennifer, sadly, a lot of people think as a collective, not as individuals. At least that is what I saw represented at a recent commission meeting in our town. Each person used the same phrases repeatedly as if they had been coached. Thanks for stopping by.


      • I think you are right, Suzanne. Your comment on the crowd chanting the same phrases got my attention. This sounds like an example of herd mentality or groupthink, which I was discussing in a recent post. I wonder if the fear becomes overwhelming for some and they seek the security of the crowd and join in without weighing up the arguments. Once that fear response is engaged, their mind is closed off to other possibilities.


      • Hi Amanda, I’ll pop over and read your post on ‘groupthink.’ Fear as motivation is an interesting concept. I often ask myself, “what is the worst that could happen” and if the answer isn’t “I could die”, then it is probably worth consideration.


  11. Hi Suzanne – there’s so many interesting things to think about aren’t there? Perspective being one of those things – I also read about “belief” the other day – which was defined as something you accept as true (even if it may not be) and that got me pondering for a while!
    Love your photos – including the perspective and explanation.


    • Leanne, we can’t possibly understand what motivates people to think the way they do, but we can at least consider how their point of view was formed and why it is different from our own. I think that is what brings us closer to each other as humanity – listening for understanding. Most of us are too busy trying to be right.


  12. Back a ways, we did most of our speaking, conversing, and learning in a face to face environment which required listening and exchanging ideas. Now, we do a lot with quick, short bursts of black letters on a white background. It definitely takes a constant effort to stop and consider things from all sides. Your photos were great shots.


    • I do believe that social media, emails, text messages, etc. have filtered ‘humanity’ out of most conversations. It is amazing what people will say in writing as opposed to what they will say to your face.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Suzanne, I found Kathy’s post very interesting. Many gems. You are right about “perspective.” Our family uses the term “values” often. Especially, my husband and I when we are discussing our children. Two different personalities, yet, very similar values. Your photos are always exceptional, Suzanne. Amazing capture of the Osprey and its catch! I appreciate the smiles.


  14. A lot of us in the US are thinking about perspective these days. The protesting and rioting has made us realize that we need to see other perspectives besides our own. I also wrote about perspective this week- with Hamilton. I love your osprey photos!


    • Michele, who tells the story is so important isn’t it? Twelve people on a street corner can witness a scene play out and will form twelve different opinions of what occurred. We each come from our own place. I loved your Hamilton post.


  15. HI Suzanne I always enjoy your photography and I loved how you combined perspective in terms of photography but also life. We can change our perspective and it is important to have an open mind to keep learning and growing. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and enjoy your weekend. xx


  16. Hi, Suzanne – I too enjoyed Kathy’s post. I agree that willingness to listen and keep an open mind is so important, now more than ever.
    You definitely know what you are doing in terms of perspective and photography. You are very talented!


  17. A great lesson in perspective and point of view, Suzanne. When I find myself resisting a new idea or point of view, I look to my intention. What is it I disagree with and why might that be. It either helps me to change perspective or to better understand my current point of view. Either way is a win, but it doesn’t come naturally. I have to work at staying curious and open.


  18. Pingback: Gallery in Perspective – The life of B

  19. These are wonderful shots Suzanne. I have lots of Osprey photos too. Well, I have lots of bird photos period because I’m a birder and photographer. They kinda go together, I guess. It’s always great when you get them with eating lunch. 🙂


    • Thanks, Lisa it was a great surprise to capture him having lunch. Living in Florida makes it pretty easy to get bird shots, but I don’t actively seek them out. When I get one like this I tend to celebrate by showing it off! Thanks for following Picture-Retirement and please poke around our site and get to know us a little. We have a lot of “Discover Florida” posts that you might want to start with. I’ll be doing the same over at your site. Your photos are beautiful. Do you have an Instagram account?


  20. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 7/5 – 7/12/2020 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  21. Suzanne – I am in awe of the way you have shaped this creative outlet for your work and for your thoughtful reflections. I wish I had time to visit here more often! My own perspective has been completely reshaped by my personal journey over the last six years. I am especially grateful that I have a curious nature that makes me open to new ways of looking at life! Love all your photos, but this one is a true gem!


    • Hi Anne, thanks for visiting and for commenting. Developing the blog has been rewarding on many levels. Curiosity is indeed the cornerstone of developing new perspectives which in turn leads to a rich and fulfilled life. Happy to hear from you. Hope all is well.


  22. “Setbacks are where we experience our greatest growth.” Indeed, that is very true. That change or perspective is revealed to us in that moment. The lesson from that could be to maintain an open mind. Your photograph and post is delightful to read. I love the way you weaved a story and post with the photograph.
    I also enjoyed reading all the comments here, especially to hear all the different ‘perspectives.’


  23. Hi Amanda, I love sharing posts that generate interesting comments from my readers. Perspective is a topic that we could ramble on about for days and still discover new insights. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  24. Sometimes we are in the right place at the right time, but most of us wouldn’t be able to capture the osprey and fish close up with such fabulous composition and clarity. What a great photo! You are right that as a photographer (or in my case as a painter) one learns to observe the world from different perspectives and to see the values, colours, composition, and so on, as well as the story that the picture tells.


    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Post Your Best Shot – Picture Retirement

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