Perception alters our reality: Seeing things up close.

Perception alters our reality: Seeing things up close.

by Nadia Ramoutar MMM Communications Coordinator                       Ireland                             28.01.2024

For my day job, I am the Communications Coordinator for the MMMs. For my night and weekend job, I am an artist.

I think the lack of words and the interaction with colour and shapes are important to balance my life (if there is such a thing as balance) with all the words I have to use all week long. I spend a lot of my time on screens and using words in writing, texting, emailing, presenting, meeting and discussing. I love words but even I have my limits.

So, I try to spend time in nature on the weekends and love a good walk in a forest or woods. I love to just ramble and have no agenda in comparison to my scheduled time during the week with lots of times to adhere too. I often take photographs and later paint what I see, but I challenge myself to try and see things in a new way. I don’t want to reproduce reality. I am not a camera.

Recently, I very fortunately came across a set of photographs that were finalists in a contest to take close up photographs of things in nature, flowers, animals and insects. I was fascinated by what I saw. Here is the link so you can be fascinated too, though I run the risk of you stopping reading…Okay, I will put the link at the end instead. You will have to wait.

It is so fascinating to see how beautiful an insect is up close. Amazing to see the tiniest mushroom of the forest floor look like a giant tree. There is an incredible image of a mosquito egg raft and if it was not labelled I would have not known what it was. It is beautiful, but if you have travelled to the tropics or lived there referring to a mosquito as beautiful is very rare.

What captivates me is seeing things in a new way. We have a pattern seeking brain that likes for things to be safe and to stay stagnant. Change is avoided and things unrecognised are highly suspicious. I think this is an issue for us humans who have somehow placed ourselves at the top of the planet’s food chain. We often seem to rush and lose sight of the beauty of small things. We often miss the small and less obvious points altogether.

In our rushing we experience a lot of stress which doesn’t do us any favours at all. I love to study neuroscience and how our brains operate. It seems that we often miss how many beautiful patterns there are within our natural lives. We just don’t see the beauty and marvel that is right there in front of us.

Slowing down is an act of rebellion and defiance in a world so motivated to focus on productivity and function all the time. What if we commit to seeing things in a new way and to train our brains to seek beauty in the ordinary. What then?  The Website as promised. It is from Close Up Photography of the Year.