So many times I’ve read that photography is the art of light, but in my experience first and foremost photography is an art of observation. Observation of light and shadow, color and texture, pattern and shape, and of course subject. What has most energized me creatively over the years is the charge I feel when I see and create something that so many others look past with indifference.
I’m a firm believer that great photos start with great observation skills. Technical knowledge will only take you so far. Improving your observational skills is akin to removing mental filters. Once you discover how much of your surroundings you mentally filter out creative doors begin to open. Removing mental filters is a learned process for most, but with regular practice looking for subjects and elements of a photograph, whether you have a camera in hand or not, you’ll find that new visual opportunities begin to appear.
[tags]photography, intimate portrait, observation, creativity, stock photo, fine art[/tags]
Right on, Jim! Side note: I’m still doing all my online work from my cell phone. Before your post finished loading, I automatically jumped to a different ending for your last title word, “observation.” I read “obsession.” Is that too far off? 😉
Well said, Jim, and I agree totally! I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world, but since I’ve started being more serious about photography over the past few years, I’ve found that my appreciation for the beautiful details of nature is so much more. Instead of just admiring the grand scene in front of me like I used to, I find great pleasure in the smaller details of natural beauty. I think my interest in photography has caused me look at the world differently, even when I don’t have a camera in hand. I often find myself smiling and stopping to enjoy something that catches my eye in just the right light, when I surely would have walked right by it previously.
Thanks Pat. It makes a big difference when you take note of the finer details of a scene. You definitely feel like you connect with nature more… well at least for me.
I think you could switch them and it would still ring true 🙂