Calumet Roots

Change angle, add perspective to get clear picture

2013-12-01T00:00:00Z Change angle, add perspective to get clear pictureBy Archibald McKinlay Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

We all know that what something appears to be depends upon the angle at which it is observed. That is, an object can look different from the left side or the right side or the top side or the bottom side, and so forth.

What we don’t give the same weight to is the perspective – what something looks like in relation to other objects. A simpler way to say this would be “distance.”

During the 1930s, our worlds changed according to when we found perspective. Let’s consider a couple of examples.

One is a baseball player named Rabbit Marranville. The other is Taft Wright. Rabbit never built up the kind of statistics that made the front office have a religious experience. Nor did Taft Wright ever convert the ingredients found in a bathroom into ambrosia.

They were just ham-and-egg players looking for a dusting of magic that would transform their rather prosaic existence into something beyond belief. I witnessed both of these men perform pure magic.

Rabbit used every form of magic to get on base, including a few that were hidden treasures. Taffy had just enough good days to keep his betters from giving up on him.

Neither won any prizes. Our perspective on these two gentlemen came out of a combination of rare flashes of brilliance and everyday humdrum. As to a point of perspective, that usually involved a work site or an everyday site.

Every once in a while that perspective would be electrified by the presence of a Guy Cartwright, who threatened to knock down all the fences in town. But quick-chill reality never failed to restore order, if not sanity.

In the worst of times, what helped without fail was recovering perspective. Usually we did this by lying down and letting perspective sweep over us. Sometimes, we had to charge back into the battle and grab perspective by the shoulders and give it a good shake.

It was always surprising when, by whatever means, we recovered perspective and saw clearly what we must do. It was amazing the way we could shake down ourselves and find the perspective to see straight.

My discovery of perspective, surprisingly, coincided with a good idea. The actions to achieve both often are the same. For instance, there are few better ways to get a good idea than to turn the subject upside down. That is, to literally turn a subject on its head.

Another method is to simply change positions at the same table. All in all, it gives one’s imagination a good shaking and a fresh perspective.

As you go along in life, you find for yourself different little tricks that work for you. One that I learned as a fledgling copywriter was that, to give a photo perspective, one only had to place a shoe or a ruler next to the object being photographed. That usually did the trick.

Actually, any familiar item will do the trick, as long as people recognize the item and are familiar with its typical size.

To bring the subject to a close, one needs only to use the simple word “stop.”

Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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