On looking up & out.
I’ve always been observant. Sometimes selectively so, but specifically concerning the physical world around me. On car trips when I was young my eyes would be peeled to the backseat window, watching the buildings turn into farmhouses and the pattern of the trees or shadows, always internally mapping the route, mile by mile. If I did nap, I could quickly decipher our whereabouts upon waking. Even in the houses of family members and friends, no matter the length of time between visits, I was quick to notice the things that had changed: slight furniture rearrangements, a new rug here, a favorite knick-knack missing there. Tracy, in her education-lingo says I am a visual-spatial learner. To name a few qualities, it means I think primarily in pictures instead of words, that I relate well to space rather than time, see the big picture and may miss the details, read maps well, must visualize words to spell them, create unique methods of organization (is this where putting things into stacks rather than putting things away come in?), have good long-term visual memory rather than short-term auditory memory, and may be a late bloomer. I think I subscribe to all of these, some more than others. While they may not all apply, it is comforting to see similarities in my personality and to be, for lack of a better term, labelled. Anyway, while I do have a good visual memory, I still feel the urge somehow archive a moment as best I can. Enter, photography. I like to take photos that don’t necessarily document the entire experience, but ones that would jog my memory to a certain emotion or experience. I have a fear of forgetting and it makes sense to me that photography is a simple way to record a day’s activities…”a picture is worth a thousand words.” That said, sometimes, and more recently, I have reminded myself to put down the camera in order to visually record the moment; to enjoy it fully without one eye looking through the view finder. It helps to make the moment more meaningful. After all, what good are thousands of photos saved as digital bytes, archived on hard drives, if you don’t look at them periodically? Oh right, I am a hoarder. But really, maybe it goes back to my learning, processing and application traits: storing away memories (in this case digitally), no matter how insignificant to others, as a way to remove the burdon of having to remember them offhand. If only it was as easy as using a pensieve (so maybe we had a HP marathon last weekend, so what?)
Right. So join me now on how I view the world around me with my walk / ride / walk to school this morning. We have had remarkably beautiful weather here in Portland. Nice and chilly but with plenty of sun and blue skies in a time where we are supposed to be saturated with dreary grey gloom. While a lot of the photos are above eye level, maybe it will encourage you to #lookupandshootapic every now and then. Thus proceeds an architectural-visual walking tour of downtown Portland from the South Park Blocks to Oldtown.