Anyone who’s been photographing regularly for a while will I’m sure have noticed how we become able to see potential photographs far more easily.
In fact it can become almost impossible to switch off one’s “photographer’s eyes”.
On a walk even without camera, I still see possible compositions around me as I ramble through the countryside.
Whether I then capture these compositions or not, is a choice.
I went through a phase where I felt I had to always have a camera with me.
When I was shooting film, I felt that I had to always shoot a couple of rolls of film each photowalk, just to justify the venture, perhaps even to prove that I had seen, and captured, and made worthwhile images.
It became more of a burden at times, and I didn’t feel able to just wander through fields and woodland purely for the pleasure of it. Even though I enjoyed using the camera(s), I was too focused on the end goal of the photographs I’d made.
My views are now somewhat more relaxed.
I don’t feel this (self created) pressure any longer.
I think you could argue that one of the greatest benefits of using cameras for a sustained period is this enhancement of our previous, more limited, vision.
The way they draw our attention to our surroundings more, immerse us deeper in the world around us, encourage us to value and appreciate what’s there all the more.
Even if I never used a camera again, I know I would be forever changed in how I see the world around me, for the better, because of the experiences I’ve already gained.
And that’s unrelated to whether I wish to capture a scene in front of me with a camera in this particular moment, or not.
How do you feel using a camera has changed the way you see the world around you?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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13 thoughts on “A Photographer’s Eyes – Always Seeing, Sometimes Keeping”
Yes… I “see light” all the time. And I wish I could have a camera with me at all times, like this morning when I was making coffee and the family was all there talking, and timid sun rays were falling on a flower bokeh just right – but it would have been wrong to stop our family conversation to go get a camera upstairs…
So I just enjoyed the scene for what it was.
In regards to photo walks, I don’t do them as much anymore, I really should go out for walks a bit more. But when I did them, sometimes I would come home with no pictures at all – if the light is ugly there’s not much one can do. At other times I would surprise myself with like a hundred pictures in a very short time, and quite a bit of keepers. It is just the way it is.
Ahaha I meant bouquet not bokeh…
When we’re talking about photography, either flower bokeh or flower bouquet works equally well Chris!
I have those family experiences often too, I just sort of sit back and take the photo in my head. But half the time my phone is next to me, so I can often take a picture too.
I like what you said about the light being ugly. So many times I used to go out with film cameras, desperate to use them and make some memorable pictures, but knowing that the light wasn’t going to allow anything worthwhile. Then shot anyway and was so disappointed afterwards! With digital the disappointment is much less, not least of all because there’s no financial loss in delete a bunch of images from a memory card!
We almost live in a postphotographic world. Equipment is already good, but life a bit has been structured in the same routines, while before it would be common to watch people enjoying outside today most (me myself many times) are staring their cellphones to feed them with simulations of life. Or maybe is just this and the previous year that gives that impression.
You mean street photography is going to be more about pictures of people staring into their phones, than of them going about their day to day?
I hope to be wrong, is what I see in my immediate reality. Maybe is just the novelty of devices, a trend that will be replaced : )
Yes, I think phones can only evolve so far in form and function, and arguably are already as good as they need to be, so future upgrades seem less necessary, and the novelty less appealing.
That artist’s eye 🖌📷. A writer looks for stories. I look for visual compositions and interesting objects to tell a tale.
Very true. I guess whatever our preferred art forms, our sense and minds seek out and focus on fragments of life that feed them.
Well put 👍
One of the rare occasions I do not carry a camera with me is on my walks to work, yet even then, I find myself watching the morning skies changing colours, finding virtual compositions in my minds eye.
I find these visual exercises stimulating, keeping the cauldron of creativity fed until the next time I am able to get out during leisure time.
Thanks Andy. I think once you’ve been making photographs for a while, it’s near impossible to not be on the lookout for beautiful images – whether you have a camera with you or not.