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"Seeing" and Photography

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Posted

There is one disease that is an occupational hazard to a photographer. We learn to see everything, but forget how to appreciate the things we see.

This post is an introduction to what seeing is all about.

A lot of people ask me, "What can I shoot? There's nothing around that's interesting."

But there are actually millions of things around all of us that are casually miss in the day to day activities of just taking care of business. The following images are all, without exception, the things that we miss. They can be found anywhere, at any time. By no means am I claiming that these are award winning photo's, but they are part and parcel of the environment I live in. SO how do I make them interesting?

As a photographer, I generally use the guides of composition (Often called "rules" of composition) to make the viewer see what I want them to see. These guides are made to be broken, but they usually work quite well. Do not center the main subject. Put more empty space in the direction the subject is facing, and there are many more.

So enjoy the humdrum... :)

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In these two images, we see the dramatic difference a tiny crop can make in an image.

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In these last two images, I used Depth of Field to change the way we see these fence posts. The larger the aperture (the smaller the number), the less of the scene is in focus, the smaller the aperture, the greater the focus depth. Some startling results can be obtained by being able to manually control this process.

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So, what I'm trying to demonstrate in the above is just how much we miss. All of the above photographs were taken within a block from my home. And they are just a small sample of what can be "seen" if we only look.

If people are not interested in learning about this stuff, then I shall go back to just posting my birdy shots... :)

Dave

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Posted

I have a friend who is a photographer and he's told me much the same. I spent far too much time watching him take pictures of cracks in walls and such like. :)

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Posted

I have a friend who is a photographer and he's told me much the same. I spent far too much time watching him take pictures of cracks in walls and such like. :)

Well, (hehehheheh) I didn't say it's an interesting process to watch, only the results are supposed to be interesting... :)

Your friend probably enjoyed the process a heck of a lot more then you did!

I'm into wildlife photography, which is my specialty. But the guides of composition, technical aspects of a camera, etc, etc, are the same whatever form of photography a person gets into. All of the images on this thread were not taken with a fancy $5000 dollar camera, and $2000 dollar lens, which is what I use for wildlife, but rather a good quality Point and shoot.

Here's an image that was an experiment, and does not work.

The human eye has a very shallow Depth of Field. We are totally unaware of this because when we look at something close, and then abruptly look at something far away, the eye changes it's focus in a manner transparent to us. That we cannot actually see both close up and far away is simply something we don't think about.

In this image, the result looks wrong, and yet I suspect that to the casual observer they wont know why it looks wrong...

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With a different subject, this kind of image probably wouldn't be so glaringly "off," but the knowledge of how to do this is all part of the "trade."

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Actually, I do enjoy what you are doing, you do have a good eye and have gotten some great shots. I do enjoy photography too, but get out very infrequently.

-Scott

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Edited by Scotty

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Posted

Actually, I do enjoy what you are doing, you do have a good eye and have gotten some great shots. I do enjoy photography too, but get out very infrequently.

-Scott

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I've taught people one on one, and I've answered (as well as asked) questions on the net. But I've never tried to teach photography in this medium. So, it's a learning process, as to how to start and how to proceed. Photography, as much as any other form of Art is dependent on the technical knowledge of the craft. Yet any beginner, if they're in the right place at the right time can take an award winning photograph. Difficult to say that about any of the other arts. :)

So, I'll just muddle along and hopefully people who want to accomplish specific goals will ask questions. The nice thing about living in todays world of digital, is that after you make your investment in a camera, it doesn't cost a dime to take as many pictures as you want, and any image processing program would have made me green with envy back in the days when I had my own darkroom set-up.

Dave

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