Looking and Seeing

What I love about photography is that it stops me looking at the world, and forces me to try to see it a little instead. When I am writing, thinking about writing, or even thinking of the usual nothing, I am listening to a braid of voices. Everything I see forms part of the conversation in my head. This can be exhilarating when the conversation is good. But often the conversations in my head are just as dull as those outside it

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7 Responses to Looking and Seeing

  1. rupert says:

    How are you getting on with Flickr? That’s had a big effect on me – probably the competitive element – and on the way I think about the photos I take. I’ve also started to go out on expeditions where the primary purpose is taking photographs, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. The effect is psychoactive: by the end of a couple of hours prowling the back streets of North London _looking_ at everything in terms of composition, dynamics and contrast, the world itself has changed.

    R

  2. acb says:

    I agree that the competitive aspects of flickr are important. I try to put up there only the stuff that I really want the world to see, though I should also use it as a repository for family photographs. What is your username there? I ought to add you to my friends.

    (I’m seatrout — at least my external flickr site is. I think my name there is perca fluviatilis)

  3. Rupert says:

    I’m On Alien Cinema – I’ve pressed the button that should have added you as Perca fluiatilis to the contact list. There was also a seatrout that was you, but that had no photographs.

    R

  4. John says:

    Andrew — I agree about the unsatisfactory blacks in digital prints. But some people are saying that the new Epson high-end printer (which allegedly has two ‘black’ inks) is much better.

  5. qB says:

    Something I’ve noticed about flickr is that it isn’t kind to pictures of rectangular dimensions or subtle subjects because of the small square thumbnails. I wonder if “noticability” factors like these are going to influence the way people who use the app take pictures.

  6. acb says:

    qB — I don’t know. I think they may, because there is such a huge boost when people look at and like your photographs; and the shot so carefully cut down to “a long thin letterbox”:http://photos6.flickr.com/7661045_e0388c7737_o.jpg just does not show up at all well as “a square.”:http://photos6.flickr.com/7661045_e0388c7737_s.jpg

    John — I don’t want to spend

  7. Gordon Ferrier says:

    I’ve just read the more extended piece relating to this topic (photography, and how it makes one see the world rather than just look at it) in today’s Worm’s Eye View in Guardian Unlimited. I’ve been an occasional amateur photographer for years, using film, always interested in technique and how to compose and “see” great pictures, but never, ever able to take any. Then I moved to digital, and have learned more in the last year than I probably had in my life up to then. The key feature for me is the near instant feedback: I can see the results of my stumbling efforts, can think about why they did or didn’t work, and can then try again to replicate or improve. Just thinking about seeing, and looking at the world in a different way, has made a big difference.

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