Change the Way You See the World in Twenty Minutes

Change the Way You See the World in Twenty Minutes

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Have you ever walked in your own neighbourhood, suddenly noticing something that you have never seen before, but that was there forever? It could be anything like a detail in a building, a really awesome or special tree or a piece of art in someones garden. Probably you have. Why didn’t you see it before?

A few years ago I bought a DSLR and to train myself to take better pictures I joined the 365 days challenge. I was going to upload a single picture every day to Flickr. I saw photo streams of people who had completed the challenge and had 365 days captured on photos. That is amazing: having a record of each day of last year.

How hard could that be was my thought. Well… hard. It is definitely a challenge.

I took the challenge in a time where my iPhone could not produce a decent photo and Instagram was not there to hide the fact that those photos were actually really bad. So I had to take a camera with me, every single day.

The first two weeks were easy. Even when I did not leave the house for a day I could still take an interesting photo of something on my desk. But after a few weeks, I found myself out of original subjects. My weekly routine as a student was not very interesting, it was more or less something like wake up — go to college — eat — have a drink — do something on a computer — sleep.

To come up with an original photo every day, I had to look for the hidden gems. And slowly I noticed that I saw a lot more. I saw the beauty in small things that we normally take for granted. Perspectives and compositions in our every day lives.

Photography makes you stop for a moment and look at something really well. It makes you look at the things you easily take for granted.

I have to admit, I did not finish my 365 days challenge. I think I stopped after about four months. But those 120 days, were enough for me to change the way I see the world forever.

Now I am not suggesting you to take the 365 days challenge, but I would like to challenge you on something a little smaller:

The twenty minute challenge

Put down your computer or your phone, take a camera (or your phone, but don’t use an app like Instagram) and go for a walk around your neighborhood for ten minutes.Take a route you are familiar with. Shoot only things that you think are really interesting. Look at buidlings, gardens, walls, roofs, windows, trees, plants, rubbish, the streets, the people. How many things can you spot that would make a great photo?

And then think of it, how many of these things have you ever stopped at and really looked at before?

Do the same thing tomorrow,the same route, and find other things to shoot. Notice compositions and details.

You’ll notice that there is so much more beauty to see than you initially thought.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.  It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
―     C.S. Lewis

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
―     Wayne W. Dyer