Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Humble Pie

It is easy to think, as you grow older, that you have learned a thing or two. Even though our teenagers might believe else-wise, we know a bit from life. We know that good comes with bad and vice versa. We know that good things come in small packages, and are received infrequently ;) We know not to put the cart before the horse and that pride comes before a fall.

But we have forgotten a few things.

We have forgotten how to be students. We have forgotten how to be an apprentice and that we need to put aside all that we know to be learners. And by "we", yes, I am meaning "me". Becoming a student again has been a humbling experience! Going back to studying photography, 24 years later, wow. It has changed. The basics, aperture, composition, etc... are still there, but very, very different. Digital photography is a whole different technology and I am really grateful to be learning more about it and am newly inspired to use photography as a tool for exploring life. But first, I have to start with the basics. I have to introduce myself to my camera. I have to get to know all that it is capable of and much of it lies beyond that far-too-convenient "automatic" setting. There is a difference between taking pictures and being a photographer and I can now see that I'm not there yet. But I am looking forward to the journey and the possibility of learning how to be a photographer again.

In the meantime I will share with you a photo and a story of two young men I met recently. They are both recipients of educational grants from proVISION ASIA, a local charity/ NGO that offers support to people with varying disabilities in the greater Bangalore area. These two men, Nazir Hussein (age 18) and his brother Abdullah Hussein (age 20) are both students at a local college. They, along with a younger 12 year old brother all have a visual condition that makes seeing very difficult. They are able to see only out of the corners of their eyes and only at very close range, really only having about 10% of their vision.

Here Hussein is showing me the book that he takes notes in. Yes, it is an old magazine, but since his notes are in braille it works quite well for him and is much cheaper than specialized books! These boys have been working very hard at school and consistently earn very high marks. Nazir's favorite subject is political science and Abdullah likes Economics. They are both quite cheeky and a real inspiration.

Guess I'll get back to my studies now...