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The Struggle to Achieve Balance

By Veronica HDPublished 4 years ago 4 min read
By Veronica Hernandez

I am no professional photographer, but I have always been passionate about recording and capturing moments of life on camera. I love how photography shows messages and stories instead of telling.

I took this picture on a beach I was visiting on vacation. I was taking endless pictures of the beautiful landscape before me, as the sandy beach and the logs made for quite a scene to admire. After taking a break walking down the shore, letting myself sunbathe in the heat of the summer, I saw Isaac jump on top of a log, which rested atop another log, and spent a few minutes trying to find the centre of gravity that would hold himself up straight and balanced. The feat took a while, and once the log was balanced and straightened out, I saw the perfect opportunity to snap a shot at what he had accomplished. His shirt has printed “Unbeatable”, which perfectly describes how he overcame this challenge, and is victorious in the moment that I captured on camera. I was impressed with the perseverance and effort Isaac had in making this see saw work in his favor, I wanted to capture the very moment when he succeeded. What you do not see in this picture, is the process of him leaning from left to right trying to fix the log into a balanced position. For many attempts Isaac pushed the log on top back and forth so that it was equal on both sides. Once he pushed it into the perfect spot, he had to stand on top of the log and use his feet and his body to lift the log up and straighten it out, all the whole his legs are shaking and arms wavering. When the log finally straightened out, Isaac then moved his feet closer together and stood up straight, proving the message on his shirt, that the challenge was easy, he is unbeatable. This goes to show how frames of time, highlights, and moments that are captured or displayed, do not often show the work and the struggle that occurs behind the scenes to complete a task, overcome an obstacle, and be successful. What you see is the end product, and what I see in this image, is the process it took to make his victory happen. In order to be unbeatable, Isaac could not quit although the challenge became hard and time consuming. Even when it comes to the photo I took, I had to edit it, crop it, adjust the lighting to please my senses. The photo satisfies me now, and looks aesthetically pleasing, but there was a production in the works behind the scenes to compose an image I thought would appear perfect in the eyes of the audience. To take this concept to a grander scale, in the media there are so many photos and highlights posted and praised, without knowing the true story behind every shot and journey. The perfected moments are not the reality, there is so much more stated within photos that need to be read and appreciate to understand the story behind the image. I think this photo nicely shows a highlighted moment where Isaac accomplishes something, but also implicitly shows that the picture is a product of a long, effortful process, with a struggle to achieve balance. This moment of balance would not have happened without the process. To be unbeatable, and to achieve balance in whatever case that may be in life, you have to remember there is so much more that goes into reaching that goal than it is often implied by the media.

To go into more detail about my own process in making this photo, I will explain how this image was edited with the adjusting lighting features on the photos app. The initial picture was bright with colours of the sky and sand, and my first instinct was to de-saturize it to focus on the lines of the horizon in parallel with the logs, and their shadows on the sand beneath. I also wanted to darken the image to add a dramatic effect, and emphasizing the seriousness of the image, putting less emphasis on the bright colours of the sunny beach and neon t shirt. By adding a warm filter over the image, I hoped to blend the colours together, making them appear more gray and washing out vibrant colours. I wanted the focus to be on Isaac and the balanced log, so I deepened the contrast to highlight the shadows associated with the logs, and the message written boldly across Isaac’s shirt. This effect altogether works together with the message that achieving balance is hard work, and a serious process that is not all happy and colourful the whole way through.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and I hope you can appreciate the time, efforts and thought Isaac and I put in to make a masterpiece showcasing the reality of hard work put in to make something like this photo, appear accomplished.


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