Are You Looking Or Are You Seeing?

Have you ever looked for something and not find it? Disappointing, ain’t it?  On the other hand it’s exhilarating to see something that you weren’t expecting.

Looking for something means that we have an expectation to find something specific. If we don’t find what we’re looking for we may be disappointed.

Seeing means that we became aware of something from observation. The specifics and expectations of looking for something are replaced by the elation of unexpected discovery.

When we look for something it’s like putting blinders on to everything else around us. When we see we become a spectator watching everything with a wide view.

Next time you want to make pictures, try to resist the usual impulse to go and look for things to photograph. Instead, see and become aware of something from observation and photograph your visual discoveries.

Stop looking and start seeing.

 

6 Responses to “Are You Looking Or Are You Seeing?”

  1. Catherine says:

    That’s so true! I always have my camera with me but I’m not looking for anything. It’s more like something jumps out at me… And I find it so exciting because I never know what it’s going to be!! (Do I sound like I have a boring life? 😉 ) It’s also exciting because I’m never quite sure whether I’ve nailed it or not; but that’s another story… And then sometimes I am fascinated, surprised when a picture I wasn’t expecting to be anything great is a beauty on my laptop screen… Okay, enough rambling!

    • It’s a different mindset and approach.

      I think that approaching creating photographs in this manner results in a feeling of spontaneity in my work and imagine, yours too.

      Don’t worry about “nailing it”. Make the picture for the sake of making the picture.

      I can’t imagine your life as boring.

      Please keep rambling.

  2. John Ciccone says:

    Very interesting question and the essence of what is at the core of photography…seeing. Ther were only 2 responses to this question. By contrast, there were about 30 to what kind of camera do you use. Funny I do a lot of competitive target shooting, on the online groups thee, there is always a lot of disussion about equipment and little about technique. To shot well you must master the fundamentals and DO it. To shoot interesting photos, you must master that fundamental of seeing without preconceived filters.

    • Sam D'Amico says:

      Well put John. While equipment is needed, it’s much more important to have a good understanding of craft and to apply craft thoughtfully. I’ve always thought that the photographer was more important than the camera.

  3. valter schleder says:

    Great way to improve the skill of photography,when i start i was like that.
    but a got carry away by other aways to photograph. next time i will be more in tune with my self and what is around me , and try to photograph the unexpected.

    thank you once again, Mr.Sam.

    Best regards .

    Valter.

    • Sam D'Amico says:

      I think we are all like this when we start, and somehow we replace seeing with looking.

      I think it’s good to go through those phases so you learn to distinguish one from the other.

      The question is which do you do?

      Thank you for your reply Valter.

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