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Familiarity breeds Indifference

Old City, Jerusalem

It helps to retrace your steps. I had taken a photo from this spot in Jerusalem’s Old City on a previous visit some years previously but knew I could do better. After searching around to find the location I set up my tripod and waited – the Decisive Moment strategy most famously championed by Cartier-Bresson.

It so happened I was standing next to a Christian bookshop (religion is a big thing in Jerusalem!) and the manager became curious about what I was doing and came out to investigate.

“Why would you want to take a photo here?” she asked.

I love this. It shows how we can become inured to the beauty that is around us. And raises a question: if I ran a shop there, would I recognise that which is on my doorstep, or would indifference slowly seep in? I will never know, but I do see it as my job to resist such complacency.

To do otherwise is to grow old.

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