Giovanni Barron: It Starts With a Single Shot

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An interest in photography leads Giovanni Barron to take a trip to the city. He came home with a new outlook.

“It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we are born and never get to see any of it. I don't want to be most of us.” These words spoken by Pedro Pascal's character in Game of Thrones are the same words I now follow in my own life.

When given the opportunity to travel to a different city, I take it upon myself to enjoy every bit of that time spent. On the BART platform, I can feel the winds of the Saturday afternoon blowing against my face as I wait for the 1:10 train for Daly City.

Before my ride into the city, I looked towards the window and thought to myself. “You’re really going to carry all that expensive camera equipment borrowed from your high school into a city you barely travel to any more? All that for a class assignment? Yeah, because why not?” I replied to myself.

When I reached my stop on Montgomery Street, I was overwhelmed by the buildings above that looked like they tipped over me from below. It’d been a while since I visited San Francisco, so I didn't waste any time and made my way through the city. As I reached Chinatown, I took in the inviting surroundings, wading through crowds and watching cultural festivities, taking pictures all the while. A group of dancers in the street captivated a crowd and I stopped for a couple shots too. I came home that night with a full SD card of buildings, cafes, shops, performers, peers, and parks. This travel experience opened my eyes to a new hobby – photography – but most importantly, I came home with a sense of independence.

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For me, spending time alone and exploring new places is therapeutic and this trip definitely had an impact on me. It got me thinking about traveling the world and how we are endowed with these beautiful places that most never get to experience in a lifetime. But life is meant for living, not just being cooped up in the same place. By traveling and capturing the beauty this world offers, I can finally feel free, not like a bird trapped in a cage.

With a Perspective, I’m Giovanni Barron.

Giovanni Barron is a student at Tennyson High School in Hayward. His piece was produced with free curriculum from KQED’s Perspectives Youth Media Challenge.