Thanks very much to Sofia, who echoes what I always tell my friends, photographers or not. I make a habit of looking up, wherever I am. Most people, when they are in a city, walk or drive along looking forward, or down at their phones (which is dangerous!). I suggest that they take their eyes off the screen, and look up at their surroundings, so they won’t miss the wonders there. Especially in the central business district of any city, there are almost always features awaiting your view.
Many years ago on this blog, I specifically did a post on architectural detail of buildings in downtown Seattle. Many buildings there were built in the early decades of the 20th Century, after the big Seattle Fire in 1889. I took a walk downtown on a Sunday morning so there weren’t big crowds, and I looked up. Here are some examples of what I saw.
I am very fond of the Art Deco period in art and architecture, so I always keep my eye out for buildings built during that period of the late 1920s through the 1930s.
When we went to the Grand Canyon on our southwest trip, I got some good chances to look down. Most visitors take their photos of the grand vistas there; this time I just pointed the camera straight down.
When I go to the beach, aside from the other sights, I usually pay close attention to the sand and rocks beneath my feet. Sometimes, I will nudge aside a big rock, to see what crawls out from underneath; mostly I just admire the patterns made by the rocks and sand.
Below is what we walked upon, in the Columbia River flats near the Rocky Reach Dam. The beach is made of pieces of the columnar basalt cliffs that line the entire Columbia River Gorge. They all still have sharp edges, since the water along the river is not tidal, so they don’t get bounced around enough to knock the edges off.
On the Dungeness Spit, however, the constant waves and tides round off the edges of the pebbles along the extensive beach.
Seeing patterns in the clouds is one of the benefits of looking up. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get all sorts of beautiful clouds, and my camera is always at the ready to capture puffy white clouds. I also keep my eyes open when flying, to capture those puffy white clouds, looking down from above!
When we traveled to Israel in 2007, we went to the Masada fortress, where a band of Jews fended off Romans for many months, eventually committing mass suicide rather than be captured. From there, I looked down to the plains around the Dead Sea.
Some geographic features simply must be looked down upon to see their beauty.
One final look up, which everyone should do whenever they encounter this feature.