Multiple Perspectives in Photographs

Posted on
Oct 24, 2011

As you may have noticed, I’m usually the one wielding the camera during most of our trips. Rand doesn’t share my same enthusiasm for snapping pictures of amusing copywriting mishaps, nor my tendency to meticulously photograph desserts. His snapshots tend to be of landmarks or geographic points-of-interest, or – gasp – of his friends. I know. He’s weird. I try to keep my camera away from him for precisely this reason. I don’t want him using up all my non-existent film on stuff like that.

As such, I’m used to seeing things from one perspective: my own. But that wasn’t the case in Peru. Rand’s coworker Casey, who is far more adept at using a camera than I am (though let’s be fair: the same can be said of most primates), captured some great images. And their colleague Tom was there, too – snapping away photos on his soul-catcher of choice: an iPhone.

The inevitable result of so many of us trying to record memories? We ended up with several photos of ourselves … taking photos. How incredibly meta. And so, here’s Peru – from my point of view and a few other peoples’ as well.

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At the top of Huaca Pucllana, I took the obligatory photo of me and Rand kissing. You’ve probably seen this one before (or at least one like it):

I'm having deja vu.

But I found this photo that Casey took, of Rand and I posing for the above photo, to be far more interesting. It’s just so odd to see yourself caught candidly. Especially when you aren’t used to being in any photos, save for self-portraits.

Also pictured: my husband's adorable posterior.

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On the train up to Machu Picchu, I sat across from Casey. This provided me with a wonderful opportunity to torment him mercilessly take this picture of him:

He returned the favor, exhibiting far more talent that I in the process:

Also, do my hands look wrinkly? BEHOLD THE RAVAGES OF TIME.

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Since only one photo of me and Rand kissing would clearly not be enough, I also took this:

I like how his nose is smooshed. Smooshed by love.

While Tom caught the same scene on his iPhone, from his vantage point:

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When I first saw this photo I took of Tom and Rand at the top of Machu Picchu, I didn’t think too much of it (I took hundreds of photos there, after all):

But I love it in conjunction with Tom’s photo of Rand taken at the same time:

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I was so awed by Machu Picchu, that I didn’t want to take my eyes off it – not even to look through my own viewfinder. So I snapped a few photos while my camera hung around my neck:

Tom caught my curious behavior on his iPhone …

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I don’t have a corresponding photo for this one, as it was taken by someone I don’t know (though I do find it funny to think that I’m forever a part of the background of one of their vacation photos). I nevertheless included it, because I found it weirdly delightful. I took this at the exact same time that someone else’s flash went off.

This has never happened to me before.

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Seeing everyone’s photos in relation to mine taught me a lot: that we all have a unique and valuable perspective on things, that even things that are seemingly factual can be interpreted differently, and that my nose doesn’t look half bad from certain angles. The whole experience was so enlightening, I might even start letting Rand use my camera again … despite how much fun it is to make him fight me for it.

Leave a Comment

  • I love the picture that Casey took of you two posing for a kissing photo! I am curious – what camera do you use? I am in the market for a new one (mine now takes pictures with a big black blob in the middle – don’t ask)

  • The same moment via different perspectives is such a beautiful thing to see. Aren’t smooshed nose photos wonderful? The last picture gave things perfect closure. I just loved this post.

  • I frequently have a similar situation: seeing photos that random strangers have taken of me at reenactments. I mean, I know that we’re meant to be a spectacle and all, but it’s still weird to browse the “reenactor” tag on flickr and see pictures of me taken by complete strangers.

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