A dose of perspective

Things are getting pretty real.

Next week is my last week of college classes. The week after is my last finals week. That weekend is graduation.

It’s a terrifying time, definitely putting the last four years of my life into perspective — a perspective that is about to totally change.

So when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed today, I wasn’t surprised that I got stuck on Nuno Assis.

Assis is an architect living in Macau — one of China’s administrative region — who I found on one of those “12 people you should follow on Instagram” lists I turn to whenever I get annoyed with yet another picture of a well-lit cocktail from a subpar restaurant. I liked his work immediately, enjoying how he plays with geometry and scale. But today, I stumbled upon his image of a sky in Seac Pai Van, Macau, and was taken aback.

Nuno Assis

It’s a simple picture, showing high-rise buildings demarcating the sky with jagged edges. The pale blue mass above is trapped, reigned in by these man-made creations.

The image itself is gorgeous. Assis composed the shot perfectly, taking full advantage of the geometry of the situation. The snapshot takes the mundane and gives it life and interest. I am a firm believer in the importance of perspective in photography, and Assis plays with it masterfully.

Today, the image was exactly what I needed. My future seems like the blue expanse of the sky: unknown and unbounded. The possibilities are exciting and also frightening. But for now, I have a path. I have an internship for the summer and an idea of what I want to do after. These plans are giving me the security I need, structuring my journey much like the high rises in Assis’ image give structure to the otherwise limitless sky.

His other pictures are similarly geometric, often placing people in the midst of grand architecture that leaves them dwarfed. He never goes for the obvious, always drawing the viewer’s attention to a detail he or she probably never considered.

Looking up at the sky is a tricky task. Sometimes, it can be entirely overwhelming. It’s so obviously significant compared to our fragile, tiny selves. But then, the sky contains everything possible, anything we can or will be. It blankets our every move, protecting us from what lies beyond.

On the brink of perhaps the greatest change in my life so far, looking up at the sky as Assis found it gives me comfort. I don’t know quite what I’m looking for, but it’s out there somewhere. All I have to do is find it.

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