The art of seeing {exercising your eye muscles}

Hello everyone! We’re having a wonderful summer and I’m gaining a lot of strength to hit the ground running in September. I had a wonderful topic posted in my Facebook discussions area and wanted to quickly share my thoughts on having a ‘good eye’ and the art of seeing.

I got into photography knowing nothing about it except that a photographer said I had a ‘good eye’ and I had no idea what that meant. When you exercise your muscles they will grow. Spend as much time as you can doing your photography of choice and you will start to see a trend. You might find just one photo out of a whole day of shooting that makes your heart skip a beat and from there, you’ll begin a mental catalogue of the things involved in getting those shots. Before you know it, you’ll be ‘seeing’ shots all the time. And maybe more importantly, knowing when a scene ISN’T going to be a good shot. Take a look at Zack Arias’ de_vice series. He’s got serious guts. The x100 he’s shooting with has a fixed 24mm (I think?) lens which means he was right there next to them taking these photos. Sometimes, he even stood right in front of someone and took their photo! I find this so inspiring.

I’m a fan of looking at street photography but not particularly crazy about doing it. But from my explorations with it, I found that these things helped exercise my ‘eye’:

  • Imagining things from a different perspective
  • Unlike brave and bold Zack, I employ a super zoomy lens so as to remain in the background. However, I’ve also found that it draws unwanted attention from others which sometimes ends up tipping off the person I’m shooting. Perhaps working with super-guts instead of a super-zoom would better serve our purpose?
  • Learn to people-watch. Knowing your subject is the #1 most important thing when you want to photograph it well.
  • Try a series? Zack chose to photograph people engrossed in their devices and when the images are displayed together, it tells a powerful story. I like to photograph old couples together, old people sitting on benches, old people with babies.

How do YOU exercise your muscles and the ‘art of seeing’?

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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford

ELIZABETH HALFORD IS A PORTRAIT AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND.

She blogs about photography and business with her unique plain English approach. Elizabeth has been-there-done-that with running a photography business that doesn’t profit a penny and loves teaching photographers how to get away from the starving artist model of running a creative business.
Elizabeth Halford

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