It’s interesting to see how perspective changes overtime.
Photos can help us see our own perspective and track how it has changed overtime. For example, below are three photos of the same place: a cathedral in San Luis Potosi, where I’m originally from. Each photo captures different times I’ve traveled back to Mexico since moving to the United States.
Three different photos in three different times from three different angles. These photos help me understand myself and how my perspective has changed throughout the years. The first photo, taken in 1998, four years after leaving Mexico, I was visiting the historic district in San Luis Potosi. This magnificent and colonial cathedral was calling my name, asking me to pay attention to her. Standing in a kiosk I snapped the photo without really focusing my camera as is the case with a rookie photographer who has just gotten started.
In 2000, I went back to the same place to take another picture, this time with a different and newer camera. By now I had taken a few more photos since the last time I saw her, so I felt I could do her better justice this time around. I stood far away at an angle where the majestic cathedral could be fully viewed by my camera lens. She smiled at me, joyous to see me once again and ready to pose for me, as if she had been waiting for me those two years.
The latest picture is from my 2014 trip to Mexico. By now, I felt very confident as a photographer, having traveled the world already on a few occasions. I felt confident that I knew what angles would snap an almost perfect picture. I bent on one knee, my camera pointed lightly upward, looking towards the sky, but also wanting to capture the movement from that day’s beautiful sky as well as the people moving across the cathedral minding their own business. I took that photo with much confidence.
The cathedral, tall immovable building that it is, was still there waiting for me. She was still the same with some minor renovations. In the same way my people from San Luis Potosi, their way of thinking, their culture and traditions, remained almost unchanged. Nonetheless, on the other side of the lens, the woman who stands there now admiring this grandiose cathedral as if it was the number one wonder of the world, has a new set of eyes and a new heart. She has traveled the world and has marveled at some of the most amazing man-made and natural wonders of out there. She traveled new paths, and on occasions created her own way forward, heading into places where no one else in her family even dreamed of, let alone dared to go. And after all these amazing experiences she still refuses to let go of the conviction that this place is still the most amazing place in the entire world!
As a young teenager, I refused stubbornly to leave behind my comfort zone, along with everything I knew and everyone I loved. And yet, had I not left, I would not be marveling and appreciating my place of origin right now – the place where I was once happy as a child. It took leaving my country behind in order to appreciate it and yearn for it in the way I do now. It took me leaving my country in order for me to grow.