Until college, I had lived in Roanoke my entire life, and I’ve been downtown hundreds of times. So I’ve probably experienced all it has to offer, right? Wrong. So wrong. While I’ve been on multiple trips downtown specifically for photography, it wasn’t until I went with people not from the area that I gained a new perspective. While I grew up thinking the Roanoke Star was a typical city asset, and that the Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) Building was just another building, I found that people see things like these special. Would I ever in a million years look at the Wells Fargo Building, something I’m so used to seeing, and think, “oh, that looks interesting, I should photography it?” Probably not. But someone on the trip thought that it was interesting and worthy of a permanence in a photograph. I know the things that Roanokers love about the city and think are special, but seeing what non-Roanokers found interesting was an entirely new experience. I encourage all of you to go into your hometowns and cities, places that you think you know like the back of your hand, and imagine you have never seen them before. What would you find interesting? What beauty have you been overlooking because of its familiarity? What are the attributes that make your area special? If you’re going to be home this summer, take advantage of the time and gain a fresh perspective. Eat lunch at the old diner on the corner, go to a concert at the farmer’s market, visit a historical museum. Fresh perspective will go a long way.