Lakey column: See the city from a different perspective
By Jon C. Lakey
Nothing catches the eye faster than seeing something very familiar from a different point of view.
The average person sees the world 5 to 6 feet off the ground, depending on his height and where his eyes take in things. So any changes to that norm cause someone to stop and process the new information.
Many times an average, unremarkable scene can be greatly improved by a simple change in perspective.
Recently, a friend of mine who works in downtown Salisbury stopped by my desk and asked, “Do you want to take a picture of Pilot Mountain?”
My first thought was how long it would take to drive the 65 miles north on U.S. 52 toward Virginia to see the knob of Pilot Mountain known as “Big Pinnacle.”
But I quickly realized that I didn’t even have to leave Salisbury to get a glimpse of the North Carolina landmark. The top of Salisbury’s tallest downtown building, The Plaza, could provide the platform.
On this particular day, the easily recognized knob could be seen from The Plaza looking almost due north, just to the right of the top of Rowan Regional Medical Center. The hospital sticks out above the tree line.
A very long lens with an extra magnifying device barely made the Pilot Mountain image useable.
Photographing through 50 or so miles of haze, even on a clear day, is challenging and makes the mountain ghostly faint.
But closer to home were a world full of new images: the green tiles of St. John’s Lutheran Church, the shelter on the top Dunn’s Mountain Park, a line of traffic moving along Innes Street and the many pedestrians moving around town all proved to be captivating.
After an hour-and-a-half had passed, I realized I had better return to ground level. I descended with a camera full of new images.
Whether or not you view the world from the top of a seven-story building or, at your next birthday party, you decide to lie on the floor, a little change of perspective goes a long way.
Jon Lakey is chief photographer for the Salisbury Post.