Seeing the Big Picture

DSC_0258A friend’s girlfriend recently commented that she couldn’t appreciate the convocation photos I took in my ex-secondary school because everyone in it was just so small (see left).

It struck me as an odd observation because I never saw things that way.

During my convocation ceremony in NTU, my photographer friend did something that struck me as odd too. Shot-after-shot I had been posing for in-your-face digital snapshots with other friends but when I was posing for his shot, he suddenly took many steps back to frame me.

“Eh, why you go so far?” I said.

“I want to take with the surroundings,” he said.

That comment struck me again today as I was thinking about why I loved these “big picture” shots. Perhaps it reflects the way I see things: everything has its context, and humans are but a small detail of it.

But for these convocation photos, it took a greater significance. I couldn’t have graduated alone, there was a lot more than just me in a snapshot of my graduation. Here are things I wished were snapped when in my graduation photos:

+ my parents beaming with pride
+ the friend whom I never spent enough time with
+ the former groupmate whom I never spoken to since
+ the guy I wished I knew better
+ the lecturer whom I could never say more than ‘Hi”
+ the admin person whom I never met except via e-mail

So, returning to the pictures, I like to think I was capturing the big picture. And in this particular one, I’m not inside the shot but this is still my graduation photo because in it are the friends, the teacher and the environment that made me who I am today.

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