February 2013
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X-ray Vision

I’ve decided I have a new superpower: extreme observation. Eye sight that is now drawn to the things I used to pass without a second glance. Starting to notice all the little details, the uniqueness, the artistry, and things that are just plain cool.

The cause for my new skills? Art courses. Throughout college, I’ve taken a Black & White film Photography course, currently a Digital Photography course, as well as several graphic design and computer graphics courses. They’ve taught me to seek out and savour every little detail that I find. Photography courses have honestly changed how I see the world. While walking along campus or down the street, I notice everything (I feel like Spiderman or Superman with extreme senses): cotton-ball clouds standing out against the blue sky, the reflection of a tree in the window, the light illuminating someone’s earring in class or an interesting texture off a rusty metal car.

Everything suddenly has beauty and value even if it’s just bizarre. No longer do I simply walk looking straight ahead- I look up to see rolling storm clouds or sunset-streaked skies against the dark outlines of trees. I look down and notice how the puddles from yesterday’s rain are reflecting the cloud-dotted sky. A rainy day produces beautiful raindrops on windows. You get the idea. I’m constantly searching, observing and waiting to find something other people haven’t noticed. I have photography classes to thank for that.

Then there are also my graphic design classes. Never have I looked at magazine ads the same way. The other day I opened my friend’s magazine to a car advertisement and was fascinated, “Look at this! They morphed the car into water droplets! Do you have any idea how much work that would take??” I now know the effort and skill behind the design and the graphics, what things are original and what can be easily produced with Photoshop. When passing a billboard, I literally do think, “Woah. That’s a great logo.” Or…not so great- I could do better than that.

Whether you have a great interest in art or photography or not, take it from me that just taking one little photography class can open your eyes to a whole new world. The mundane becomes interesting. The fascinating and beautiful suddenly appears all around. Want to spice up your life? How about acquiring some X-ray vision?

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