I've already noticed changes three weeks into my year of black and white photos, and it goes beyond the photos themselves. They seem to be acting as symbols for facets of life itself.
I'm becoming more visually aware.
I look for opportunities that are from a different angle or there might be something unique about them. The picture I'm featuring this week doesn't have anything unique about it on the surface. I'm taking notes at a staff meeting.
Then I noticed the sunlight streaming through the window behind me and how it highlighted my water bottle (featured in Week #1). If I had set it a few inches to the left or right, it would have been just out of reach of the sun's rays. But as it stood, the point of visual contact was mesmerizing to me and so I took the photo. (Please don't ask me what was going on in the meeting at that moment, oops.)
I'm noticing more photo opportunities I would have previously ignored. Routine views I see everyday are beginning to take on more meaning. The insignificant is becoming significant. I'm beginning to see it in other areas of my life as well. The mundane is starting to take on more meaning.
Items pop out that surprise me.
Sure the contrast of the pen to the notebook would have been noticeable in a color photo. The black and white makes it pop more substantially though. It's the first item I notice after the sunlight streaming in. Because of it, my attention gets drawn to the writing in the notebook itself.
I'm letting myself be more surprised by life itself. I'm more present in the small moments. It's in the minutiae that something happens, and I wouldn't have given them a second thought previously.
The background is no longer just the background.
If this was a color photo, I would have paid no attention to what was going on behind the items in the foreground. This has been the most profound part of this experiment so far. I see the background more often now. I see the details, right down to the electrical outlets beneath the screen.
I'm trying to do a better job of this in my life. What I see as background is significant to someone else, and I'm tuning in instead of dismissing it or only being partially there. I'm making it a priority to stay in that specific moment of time. While it doesn't always happen, I'm a work in progress.
But I am making progress.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.