Becoming a photographer: Learning To See – Part 2

This is part 2 ~ Learning to See. 

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Learning To See

 

Strange as it may sound, one of the limitations we have as photographers, are our eyes.

Our eyes are highly functional. They simply see what is in front of us. Therefore, the temptation to photograph only what we can physically see is very powerful.  In fact, this is what most new photographers assume they need to do; you see something nice, so you photograph it. Simple.

The results as I discovered, are often sterile photocopier images; nice pretty pictures, well exposed, but nothing more

My early attempts at photography were frustrating in this regard, but it lead directly to the most significant step I took in learning how to become a photographer; a realisation that I was not seeing things in the same way that experienced photographers saw them.

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Becoming a photographer ~ part 1: the struggle to see

Part 1: The struggle to see

I remember being disappointed at my early attempts at photography.  I would look at my work, and my heart would sink.

Now, looking back, I can understand.

In those early days, what I was producing was a functional record of my day out with a camera. It was as if a photocopier had just copied what was in front of my eyes. I saw something nice, so I would take a picture of it. Simple.

The result was nice pretty pictures, well exposed, but there was not a lot more. I felt uncomfortable because I sensed that something was missing.

What I know now is that a ‘photocopier’ had taken those shots. I had been, not much more than a courier,  transporting a camera to a location and then letting my camera do all the work. I had thought I was a Photographer!   In reality, I had no idea what that meant.

Continue reading “Becoming a photographer ~ part 1: the struggle to see”