Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Art of Seeing - 090411

One of the more difficult things to teach is how to see. What goes on in a photographer's brain that enables him or her to casually look at something and immediately (or maybe not so immediately) see that yup, there's a photo there? What I'm planning on doing from now on is to try to show you, whenever possible, what I see and then what I've made from that scene.

In this case, the top photo is what I see when I walk along one of my favorite beaches here on the Oregon coast. I've had people come up to me and ask what the heck I'm shooting. To them, it looks quite ordinary. And I can understand why --this is the high tide line, where the water meets the bluffs twice a day, and it's usually strewn with rocks, kelp, broken shells, etc. To me, however, it's a gold mine. The cracks in the rocks and their saturated colors can keep me busy for a long time. So from the rocks that you see in the top photo, here are two photos I made.

The role of a photographer is to show people what they might otherwise miss. And to do so in an artistic way.

This is my first go at this "here's what I saw/here's what I made" concept. Please let me know if you find it worthwhile. Thanks! ©Carol Leigh


Anonymous said...

Hi Carol:
Your concept is super worthwhile and a great teaching tool. Do you plan to show us what a scene looks like to the casual viewer and than what CL sees? Personally I need all the help I can get to learn the "How to See". I will embrace your "Here's what I saw/here's what I made" concept. Major Kudos.....
Gisela from NC

Carol Leigh said...

Hmmm . . . The top photo IS what I see, showing the way the rocks are all laid out, etc. It's a horrible shot (notice the weeds at the very bottom) and not very interesting. I guess I need to make it clearer that the top shot is the overview, the other two are the (I'm hoping) better, more artistic images taken of those same rocks. Obviously I'm not getting my point across very well. Going to have to work on that. -- Carol Leigh

Judy Tillson said...

Hi Carol: Love this concept!!! Maybe the over-view shot is too broad? Or is it possible to circle the two sections on the overview to point out where you "found" the close-up shots.
Looking forward to seeing more.

Anonymous said...

Think this is a great way to help us with the skill of "seeing". Like your idea of the overview shot and then how you break it down into smaller sections. Plan to try it. You do keep us open to more adventures.Thank you. JC in NC

Anonymous said...

Lovely, as usual, Carol. Thanks for reminding us to look deeper.

Betty in Fortuna

Anonymous said...


This a wonderful idea and will certainly help others. and myself, with the skill of "seeing". The concept of breaking the scene or item into "parts" by photographing the examples would be a fantastic teaching skill. Thank you as always. Bev.