As in, why do I like to photograph some things while you are attracted to others? Better yet, what is the mental/creative/visioning process we all go through in order to ‘see’ a photograph we want to shoot? Is this process the same for everyone, or is it unique for every individual?
These are some of the thoughts banging around in my head today. I’m thinking especially about the process by which we ‘see’ photographs to shoot, where maybe yesterday or the day before, in exactly the same location, we walked right by without seeing a thing. Why is this so true? Fascinating, don’t you think?
I was reminded of this central fact about our photographic process yesterday. I was in the laundry room of our home and glanced to see a small, tight bundle of dried roses my wife had saved. The bundle has been hanging there for two, maybe three months, up under a dry erase board we use to write grocery lists between trips to the store. I’d never really thought much about these dried roses, other than thinking it was vaguely attractive and wondering what my wife was planning to do with it.
Well, yesterday the light was very diffused and soft in the room, and as I went to write something on the board, I glanced down and saw the most incredible softness and detail in the bundle…something fragile and beautiful in all of those petals….I rushed to get a camera and spent the next 15 minutes or so looking and shooting.
What had changed? What was there that day that wasn’t there before?
The answer, I think, all lies between our ears: what we’re able to visualize and photograph is entirely dependent upon what we’re capable of seeing in this amazing world we live in. And that, of course, is very dependent upon our frame of mind at any given point in time. Some days (maybe most days) we’re in such a rush we can’t see a thing. Trying to shoot when you’re this preoccupied can be a mechanical and unproductive activity. Other days, when the planets are aligned for you just so, the photographs are everywhere! This is when life is good and you give thanks for being alive and being a photographer.
May we all have more of those days!
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog
Related articles on the web:
‘Seeing Photographs’ at Shutterfreaks
‘Seeing Photographs’ at Outdoor Photographer