A Moment to Reflect

22 May 2020

A Moment to Reflect -22

The late Ansel Adams, renowned landscape photographer and environmentalist, once wrote:

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”—Ansel Adams

Of course, there may be more than two …if there are any people in the picture itself.

I was thinking about Adams’ words in the light of yesterday’s reflection on perception and reality. In a sense the photographer tries to tell a story with his or her picture, but the story that the viewer sees may be an entirely different one. That was borne out by some of the comments yesterday. [All forms of communication face the same issue—real communication only happens when the message you send (and what you really mean by it) is the exact same message that is received and fully understood.] Very often that is not what happens. Things get ‘lost in translation.’

Is this why Jesus repeatedly said, Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear’? He knew that not everyone would get what he meant.

But to return to today’s ‘portrait’… there are definitely two people in the picture itself—the subject of the picture (Suleiman Eid al-Hathalin, elder in the Bedouin village of Umm-al-Khair) and the photographer (me). To see the photographer, you’ll have to zoom right in and look into Suleiman’s eyes.

I met him in 2014. He was very pleased for me to take his photograph. He is about a year older than I am, but our life stories are very different.

You can read about the story of his village here. http://living-archive.org/village/um-el-khair/?lang=en