I would never have gotten this shot had I not had the sense to listen to someone else. I crossed the scene probably 20 times searching for an interesting angle, and seeing nothing much, left to find something better. But, luckily, I ran into a guy who nearly grabbed me by the elbow and said, “Hey, come over here, you’re missing a shot.” I do hear this stuff a lot, and I’ll be honest, the missed shot rarely pans out. Usually it’s just someone who wants a picture with their boy/girlfriend, or of their grandma, and, of course, I’m happy to oblige. But this guy was so anxious, I was a little intrigued as to what he would show me. It took several looks to see what he was seeing, too. But as I looked through my lens, and slowed my tempo just enough to really hear what he was pointing out, I realized, “Wow, look what the water is doing to their heads…that’s refraction, and it’s amazing.”
I later learned that it is an example of Snell-Descartes law, which describes refraction, so not only did I learn a new really cool photography technique (that I will surely use again if ever given the chance), but I got to review the laws and theories behind refraction—which has its own rewards.
In the end, the lesson I learned is, you don’t just look, but you have to listen if you want to take good photographs. The pictures are everywhere, and sometimes it takes more than just your sight to find them. I’m sure this is somehow metaphorical for how we should live our lives, too. But I’ll leave that to others to explore.