BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Apr. 13, 2016, Toronto, ON - I see the sky as blue. The colour blind man sees it as a lulling shade of grey. The nearsighted woman sees it as a bluish haze; an abstract blur, indistinguishable from the other oddities that surround her.
We each interpret this world through a varying set of perceptions, altered by presentation. What I can see may not be what you can see, and the things that we both can see are each seen through the lens of our own subjectivity. These experiences are what make up what we believe. Studying photography, one comes to understand the importance that perception and presentation have on interpreting our own reality. What we can see, another may not. And all of this can be distorted. What we can experience, another cannot. And all of this is subjective. Two photographers can look at the exact same landscape and present two very different images. What’s more, once edited, one can skew their image even further into its own very distinct reality.
Pick up a pair of sunglasses; look at the world around you with your naked eye; then slide the sunglasses down over the bridge of your nose. How much different has the world become? What pair of lenses are you choosing to experience your own reality with? In photography, these adjustments are known as filters. In daily living, these adjustments are known as choices.
The foods we choose to consume; the amount of exercise we choose to undertake; the number of hours we choose to sleep; these are all just choices that we make over our own conscious experience that we call life. Altered in it's presentation, affecting our perception.
Whether it be food, exercise, sleep, drugs, study, music, or meditation; our life, through our awareness, is presented through a very polarized set of filters. A polarized variety of what we decide to be our own additives to our own experience of life.
How you grew up; where you grew up; which activities you choose to participate in; these all become the individual additives that we layer on over our own consciousness, affecting the way we see the world. We each actively affect our own reality on a moment-by-moment basis, and no matter which decision we choose to take, an alteration and an affect has occurred. So, with so many varying and alternative ways of seeing and experiencing this world, how will you choose to see it?
Will it be through a darkened haze of a murky grey, or the lively and distinctive pop of a fluorescent yellow? Our filters, like our lives, are entirely up to us.