Empowering Shifting Perspectives – Your View or Mine – Picture to Ponder – v8-5

by Sheila Finkelstein on February 2, 2012

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you undoubtedly are aware that I often find art in bird droppings on the boardwalks where I wander. You also know that one of our consistent themes in Picture to Ponder has been around querying the possibilities that open up from shifting perspectives.

Today’s Photos and Stories
I had an interesting, “accidental” experience the other day, relevant to both the “art” and changing points of view. A particular “droppings” pattern caught me eye, so I’ve course I stopped to photograph it. Given I’m in two different online classes, right now, both with a “self-portrait” theme, I intentionally included my feet in the shot seen below.

From behind - Walking toward bird dropping art in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Then somehow, in the downloading it from my iPhone, it opened up as seen below, walking toward the viewer, as if someone else had taken the picture.

  feet coming toward the bird dropping art on Wakodahatchee Boardwalk

I invite you to spend a moment or so with each photo individually. Is there a difference for you?

So as not to “color” your unique response, I’ll share my observations in the Self-Reflecting Queries section below.

And while we’re looking at perspectives and interpretations, I’ll include another photo here. The self-portrait was specifically taken and “altered” for Bindu Wiles course, “Lens on the Human Condition” . Here we use our iPhones for photos which we ultimately convert using Black and White and other effects APPS.

This particular photo received an interesting range of  responses in the comments section on both FlickR and Facebook. Again, my comments in the SRQs.

b & W self-portrait altered with iPhone apps - Sheila Finkelstein

If interested, you can see others of the photos I’ve done in Bindu’s class and in that of Susanna Conway in my FlickR account. See Inspirational_Sheila. Some of the photos done during self-portrait week in Susannah’s class are private, only visible to group members.

Note, “Self-Portrait” does indicate more than “face” photos. There was/is the opportunity of getting to know oneself on a different and deeper level, using the camera.

Self-Reflecting Queries –
Sharing my responses to the on-the boardwalk photos above:

The top photo, from the perspective I took it, shows a possible tentativeness, the opportunity for holding back.

The next one has the appearance of being viewed by another person. From that perspective, I have the feeling that the one seemingly walking toward me is fearless, confident and strong.

The dichotomy of the two reminded me of the fact that so often people see us far greater than we see ourselves. Consider the “niggling”, self-deprecating self-talk, the “chatter” in your head, that most likely happens at some point for you, no matter how confident you are. It seems to be one of the automatic human responses we often have.

So, the bottom line invitation and query for you today, is to look at a situation where you are having a self-doubt, internal conversation. Then, I invite you to consider with whom else you might be interacting and ask that person how they see you/your role in that scenario.

Then if it’s a far stronger reflection on you than you have of yourself, I invite you to take on their interpretation. At least for a day, think and act as if you are, in fact, how they see you.

Regarding the Self-Portrait:
I had just purchased a Timer APP for my iPhone and was attempting to figure it out. The camera was propped up a couple of feet away from me and I was wondering if/when it was going to “click.”

When I saw the photo, after playing with a few different APPS, I titled it “Moody or Thoughtful?” From my perspective I had simply been thoughtful and some other people had a different feeling.

I remembered several years ago, during two different presentations I was asked why I was “angry”. I was far from angry and an NLP person pointed out that my face tightens up when I’m thinking. Others may not know what to make of it, so they might label it as “anger”.

I invite you to consider, “Have there been times when people have misinterpreted your facial expressions or actions?” If so, the next time it happens, pause and make note of what’s going on in your face and/or in your body posture.

As always have fun with the photos and queries and please share your experience with us in the COMMENTS below.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti Ulrich February 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Wow – Sheila what a provocative photograph! Something about it just draws you in. When I saw lonliness in the picture, I realized that I was projecting my own lonliness. Interesting.

You are very talented!


Sheila Finkelstein February 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for your kind acknowledgment. It’s interesting. I hadn’t even thought about the photo reflecting “loneliness” and I can see it.

Interestingly, in relation to that, the photo was taken on Sunday. As I wrote last week, this was the the day we would have been celebrating his 80th birthday were he still alive. So I guess there was the undercurrent of loneliness.

Later in the day, I went through my photos online and printed out several color ones to photograph with my iPhone and then turn into Black and White for the course.

Still a lot more to do and you can see a couple of them up now at http://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirational_sheila/


Morgine February 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Your photograph of You reminds me of the famous migrant farm worker taken by Dorthy Lange…similar quality… The bird droppings give a totally different point of view each way for me at first glance… The top one is like two or three birds, like humming birds playing near some water… the lower one.. a dolphin is jumping through a hoop straight at me and in the back ground are spirits…at least the top one is very clearly like a man or woman in a robe reaching for the sky with someone else following below.. his or her foot by the head of the next person.. Very fun to look at again and again and see what NEW things one can see!!


Patti Ulrich February 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Yes it does look similar in style to Dorthea Lange’s work. I had never seen her photographry before. Thanks!


Sheila Finkelstein February 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks, Morgine, for your response. I’m honored that my photo reminded you of the work of such a famous photographer.

And, I smiling at the rest of your comment. You know how I usually pay attention to the various shapes and images in my discoveries. In this case I got so caught up in the “meaning” – difference between “going” and “coming” that I never even studies the art!

Thanks for taking it to the next step and noticing the differences there also, as perspectives are changed.


Heidi Richards Mooney February 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

As always, Sheila your pictures really do make one pause and think…

Thank you for giving the world a welcome rest from all the things we are do-ing. Your photos allow us to BE for more than just a moment.

Time is precious and your photos make me realize just how precious and valuable each moment of each day is.

My best, always!

Heidi Richards Mooney


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks, Heidi. I am so glad that you do allow yourself to pause and have some respite here. I hope fun also, with some of the photos. And I appreciate your acknowledgment.


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