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Wise words from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, a movie I loved as a teenager.  I’m not going to talk about why I loved the film, but rather why that particular line has resonance for me now.  I used to be the person who walked round and saw nothing.  I never knew my way to places*, I wouldn’t see birds of prey in the sky over the motorway, I didn’t notice if someone had a new car, or if a room had been decorated.  On one occasion when I was about 15, I arrived home and my mom asked me if I’d noticed what she’d done in the garden that day.  I didn’t even know if I’d come in through the back or front of the house, I was so completely on auto-pilot.

It has been said many times but I’m going to repeat it here; photography stops you from walking round with your eyes closed.  You look, you see.  You take walks a little more slowly.  You pause for thought and consider the detail.  Here’s the case in point: we have been growing a beautiful purple clematis in our garden for about 5 years.  I knew that it had enormous purple flowers, and that they bloomed all summer.  I didn’t know anything else about it.  I’d never noticed the velvety, soft green spikes that opened into buds; I didn’t know about the intricate basket-like formation of the seeds after the petals fell.  I had no idea that these seeds became fluffier until they worked their way loose to float away.  I didn’t know that dozens of spiders live amongst our clematis.  I do now: I’ve stopped to look around, and I’ve photographed it all.

*I still don’t know my way to places and my sense of direction has not improved – maybe that’s a topic for another day?

Comments on: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (2)

  1. I totally agree with you! Photography has completely revolutionised the way I see the world. There’s something interesting and/or beautiful around every corner, if only we can open our eyes and see it.

    Love the quote and I’ve really enjoyed reading though your blog. x

  2. I agree a hundred percent. Last January I was a girl who had found a camera at a bus stop. Now I’m someone who, when she sees raccoons staring in her window, thinks to photograph them before she thinks to chase them away! I look for details and patterns. My friends look at my patterns and say, “How did you even think to take a picture of that?” I love it.

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