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Ways of Seeing

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Where were we?  Ah, Ways of seeing.

In the last post we used the analogy of a Landscape image to start thinking about how we look and then decide what our image will contain. But we don’t always shoot pretty post cards. Whatever the genre the same applies regards the content of the image, it will need to make some kind of sense to the viewer.

Now this sense is open to interpretation and many Photographers of course shoot abstract art as they would call it, but, in most cases they will be able to justify the image which shows that they were concerned with its content. Always be concerned with your content ladies and gentlemen, that is non negotiable. Even if it is a simple photograph of your family on the beach, when you frame that shot really look before you press the shutter button. What is in the frame that either doesn’t belong there, is a distraction, or obscures something that does belong there. It is the subtle differences of method like that when making a photograph that separate a picture from a snap shot.


I guess part of developing ones sense of seeing is to look at most things as an opportunity to make a Photograph. This will push you to look with this new photographer eye that you are working so hard to improve. I think that most of not all accomplished Photographers would agree that this will become an obsession eventually, almost a way of being. For example, as I drive along a pretty road in my mind I am taking a hundred shots a minute. My eyes are darting and framing likely images, this is ‘auto pilot’ for many a Photographer. It is a developed sense of imagery that becomes habit without call or command and should be a goal for you if you are serious about developing your craft. It will just come one day, keep working on it, you can’t stop it.


So we are talking about awareness also. An awareness of what would work, visually. It can be a scene, a moment or a still life that has been set up for the purpose of creating an image. But the fundamentals are the same, that all those elements within need to come together to make a thing of interest and/or beauty.



If you fancy some homework, then try these two articles on Lightism:
How to train your eye to take better pictures and Use Psychology to take Better Pictures:


Next we will talk about “seeing the light”

This weeks reading recommendation. Well, when it comes to ways of seeing I must hand you over to Monsieur Cartier Bresson … of course. Henri Cartier-Bresson: 002 (Masters of Photography)





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