Different eyes

Looking through photos I took during the visit of family members earlier this year, I noticed that for the first few days, I didn’t have many. It’s not because I’m blasé about the beauty with which I’m surrounded, and dismiss various sights as ‘seen it, don’t need photo of it.’ I have hundreds of photos of the Duomo, for example, and a view of the city from my apartment that I take a moment to appreciate every day.

However, I live here and often when I’m going into town, I’m doing errands and intent on getting in and out of the center of the city as fast as possible, especially during tourist season. Some of the sights that tourists gather around—like the street artists recreating famous paintings on the pavement or the sculptural gelato displays—I dismiss as ‘for the tourists.’ Also, in this case, I was very conscious of my role as ‘tour guide’ and intent on getting us to places so they could see as much as possible. Oh, the responsibility!

It took seeing this photo of my sister’s, which is of one of the street artists, to make me slow down on our walks through the city and appreciate anew some of the sights I see frequently and some of the details I had never noticed. More, though, I found my appreciation of the beauty amplified by the reaction of my visitors, especially my sister. Perhaps it’s because we are sisters and both photographers, but noticing what she was photographing and hearing her reaction to what we were seeing almost overwhelmed me.

I find my dedication to capturing images waxes and wanes, but thanks to seeing the city through the eyes of my sister and the lens of her camera, I’m enthused again. 

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