The lens shutter made a silent sound, as I once again snapped a member of the crew in action. The sound, however, is audible only to me, an imaginary sound realised and timed to perfection in the trappings of my own mind.

I pressed for the review, and, satisfied with the result, headed over to the said crew member to show him the man of the minute.

That man might well be the man of the hour, judging by his smile. “Wow, when did you get that?” he smiled, his teeth slightly yellowed by the nicotine abuse. “Just a moment ago,” I said, showing him my own teeth in return.

He shook his head, and carried on with his work, a certain spring bouncing his step further.

I smiled to myself, happy that slowly, I am integrating into the way of things.

Things have been slightly slow in that regard, trying to weld myself into the group. Not quite helped by the relative weakness of my own mother tongue, a shame that I try to actively rectify, at the very least, I've been able to converse with them without truly making headway.

Until now, for the picture that paints thousands of words has saved me much of the effort.

I spent some time musing about this possibility, about how, with a simple snap, I am able to get further than my own words will. I came to realise that with the picture, what I am showing them is not just them in action, or at work.

No, the gift of photography allows me to show them how I viewed them. How people other than themselves viewed them, even in that split second of the surreal click.

People know what they think of themselves. Rightly or wrongly, that is a view that no one else will ever be able to give to them. By the same token, they won't be able to take the position of others, to view themselves from a completely different body. I read somewhere that in the old days, the Chinese used to fear those who took pictures of them, for, in looking back at the end product, they believed that the picture has captured their soul. I can't be in two places at once, must have been the thought that ran through their minds.

More pertinently, I can't be me looking at the someone else looking at me.

Though the modern generation won't give rise to the same effect, deep down, I suspect that similar feelings (negative or otherwise) are brewing. Fortunately, these has only been positive thus far, making it an experience that is positive for me as well.