Details add to meaning
It didn’t take long for over 400 photos to arrive. I looked at them and saw a mixed bag of photos that were, not to put to finer point on it, absolutely meaningless. Anyone looking at the site would have been confused and unable to make anything of the album.
Adding details to create meaning
So, I spent a bit of time over the holiday weekend labelling each image with the photographer’s name and the date and the place the photo was taken. Then, I tagged people in the photo and set up a sort and filter facility for everyone to select photos, whether they be of an event, themselves or others in the group.
As I experimented with the sort and filter facilities, I began to see the emergence of stories about specific people or places, told in around ten to fifteen selected images.
I was delighted because, with a little bit of work, I had turned a meaningless collection of 400 photos into a collection of meaningful reflections for people to look at.
It may seem obvious, but I learnt this weekend that the greater the details, the more meaningful something becomes.
Depth and details are important
I recall now how some years ago, the National Gallery in London published highly detailed photos of their ten greatest paintings. Online visitors could zoom in on the minutest detail of the paintings. Brushstrokes, colours and layering of paints became instantly accessible in a way that would never be achievable on a physical visit to the gallery. The images gave far more meaning to the paintings than had ever been possible to the everyday visitor. Again, the details provided meaning.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of finding meaning through developing a deep understanding of an issue. In a similar vein, I believe that we can also find meaning by focussing on the details of whatever interests us.Details and understanding go hand in hand and help us search for meaning. So when leading a meaningful life, make sure you embrace both depth and details.
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