Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 74 - Photo Contest - Use a Different Filter

Red Velvet
When we took Felipe and Jula around to different parts of America for them to experience, I had to get a new camera.  Felipe had a 12x optical zoom lens but I needed something a little stronger to catch the photos of my birds. The warblers are so tiny.  I didn't have the money to go buy a new one so I checked Ebay and other auction sites to search for a good deal.  I found a Buy-It-Now price on Ebay for a 24x Nikon Cool Pix Camera for $250 including shipping.  This was a camera with a retail value of about $800.  Needless to say, with this new bad boy,  I now have hundreds of thousands of photos.  After each outing Jula, Felipe and I would trade our digital photos after we got home.  This was interesting as although we had been to the same place we each had a different view of what we saw.

Skins - White skin with his animal skins
Like life I suppose, we experience the same things differently.  Based on our past experiences we filter events differently.  I taught Felipe a saying I use often, "the luggage I bring to the relationship."  This means that sometimes when there is a breakdown in communication it may be because I will think that someone means something differently than what they intended. This filter is based on what a particular phrase or word had meant in a previous relationship or occasion from my past.  Different words mean different things to different people. In one of my diversity classes, we were separated into groups and given one word.  We were then asked to write down the first word we thought was a synonym for that word on a piece of paper.  In a group of eight, the word we were given was money.  I wrote down the word currency. The other seven people wrote down the words dollar, buck, power, time, cash, bank, and bill.  The same word had eight different meanings to every single person in my group.

So as a foreign exchange student he was not only dealing with a language barrier but he was dealing with a luggage barrier as well.  I was honest about it and he would sometimes ask me, "Is that your luggage?"  After some deliberation, I concluded that about fifty percent of the time it was.  The right thing to do when there is a communication breakdown is to examine ourselves and see if we are at least part of the problem. 

He was immediately smitten with his new camera and Jula wouldn't take any photos at all.  We asked her why and she told us because she could remember it all. She didn't "need" a camera.  This bothered me a little bit.  First because our intent was to show them both so much of America that I knew that pictures would bring back the memories.  But most of all because it was in my opinion a selfish decision.  We had a family meeting and discussed how much it would mean to send photos back to her parents.  Her parents paid a huge amount of money and sacrificed their own feelings of sending her across the world for her wish to travel to America.  We explained this is the least she could do.  So she obliged and she eventually became better than myself at taking photos of dragonflies and other various nature.  For Christmas upon her return to Germany, her parents bought her a better camera!

Baby Great Horned Owl
This week is the deadline for a photo contest of nature at our  local State Park.  We were there last year for Earth Day and I took a rare photo of a baby Great-Horned Owl that was born there. We entered a total of five photos and hope that we win one of the prizes.  It was a chore to have the digital photos sent off to be printed as 8x10's, go to the store to buy mattes which were required, fill out a two page entry form for each photo, write your name, address and photo title on each one and deliver them to the office between 11-3 on Friday.  Total cost $30 and four hours.

Proud Papa Great Horned Owl
It bothers me that the rules are such that contests usually end up costing the participants money and time. The park gets full rights to your photo upon entry.  After all they did provide the subjects of the photographs.   I've entered contests in the past and not won after investing time and money.  When I have seen the winners, I wonder how my entry was deemed of less value than the winning entries.  Knowing this I'm going to unpack my luggage and go back to the park on Earth Day again this year and just be thankful that we have so many beautiful parks to visit. Who knows, I may get more opportunities to capture a winning shot, now that I've unpacked my "luggage" I might find a different filter.

And where does that come from? Were you born with that ability or did you grow into having that ability? Did you pop out of the womb fully capable of thinking for yourself? Of course you didn't. That ability developed in you. Your environment made you into the self confident man you are. That doesn't happen to everyone. Not everyone reads the same data from the same circumstances. Every thing you see is filtered through all the things that you have seen [before.]  ~Omega Man

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