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The Art of Seeing

13 Nov 2021

The Art of Seeing

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Photography in the first place is a matter of seeing. As photographers and artists, we strive to develop the ability not only to respond to and enjoy the world around us but also to study, analyse and understand it.

The Photographer’s Eye is a skill that anyone can learn and strengthen with practice.

We all see the same thing, but we see it differently, and our images show others how we see the world.

When somebody says, “Seeing something”, we assume that our eyes are responsible for that seeing. But that’s only partially true. When the light comes into the front of our eyes and hits the rods and cones in the back of our eyes, that information is passed off to our brain. And our brain interprets and processes all the visual information that we see every single day. So the cool thing about seeing is that actually, your brain is doing all the work.

The key to making truthfully creative and unique images is learning how to translate what you see and feel into a photograph. Your camera doesn’t do that, YOU do that.

You just need a willingness to explore and find what’s extraordinary in the ordinary things around you.

You can see beyond the subject by asking yourself how do you feel about what you are seeing? What does it express to you? Are you drawn to the subject for its texture? Its shape? Is the light expressing a certain mood? Is the scene funny, or sad?

The answer to these questions may not come to you immediately. So be prepared to sit with the subject and see what happens.

When you get in touch with what you feel, you will find ways to photograph your subject that expresses your unique vision.

Your goal is to get past what the thing is, by textbook definition, and look at it for any visual delight it might offer.

Be curious instead of labelling or judging; see different perspectives and possibilities.

If you do that, you will let go of the preconceived ideas in your head for what things suppose to look like.

Suddenly a flower can look like a dragonfly, or an alien, a slipping beauty or even a dancer.

Even the most simple subject will look different if you look at a specific angle or light. Just use your imagination and play with your camera.

Seeing more often means acquiring a new attitude. If you believe there is beauty and interesting stuff all around you, you will see it, more and more, as you open yourself up. You just need a willingness to explore and find what’s extraordinary in the ordinary things around you. It doesn’t matter what the subject is.

Check up on my new online course, The Art of Seeing