We learn to recognise objects by sight very quickly.
This is a dog. That is a chair. That over there is a cup.
The same is true of places.
Shown a picture of the Eiffel Tower, most of us could identify Paris. The same with a collection of yellow taxis between towering skyscrapers. Or a red double decker bus in front of a tall clocktower.
If we took the photo ourselves, we could probably do it for most places we’ve been.
But what we see isn’t the whole picture. There’s much more to things than that. There’s the form. But also the purpose, the ideas and the mindset that underpin it all. There’s far more knowledge to be gained, far more information to explore than what we capture in a momentary snapshot.
It’s not just a dog. It’s a specific dog, belonging to a certain person, with its own distinctive personality, its own likes and dislikes, its own moods and its own way of behaving.
How much would we miss out on if we just stopped at ‘dog’?
So instead, we can take a different approach.
We get the surface level immediately. But we can ignore that. We can disregard the temptation to record everything we see.
Instead, go deeper. Don’t just look, observe. Ask questions. Discuss. Explore.
See what you find.