Abhi and I have been having a discussion by PM over the past two days about 'seeing' with regard to photography. As it's quite interesting and seems to touch upon many of the problems that are thrown up on the forum I thought it worth posting and opening up for general discussion. I have Abhi's permission to do this, and to copy his (edited) PM contents.
Originally Posted by abhiRobOriginally Posted by rob marshall
There is clearly more to taking a good shot than having a good scene and a decent camera. Photography should be a way of expressing something to the viewer. We are all guilty (me too) of just presenting a shot because we are pleased with out technical ability, and failing to appreciate that the content, and the way in which it is portrayed will by of far more importance to the viewer when it comes to carrying a message that evokes emotions and thoughts.Originally Posted by abhi
If you come across a great landscape view you might think it very 'pretty' and pleasing and wish to capture it. When presented to a viewer, they may also think it pretty and pleasing. End of story? No, I don't think so. Surely you are trying to evoke in the viewer at least some of the thoughts and emotions that you felt at the time, and want the viewer to share in that? Achieving that is rather difficult, and for some subjects it's an easier task than for others. But I'd suggest that you can do it for any subject by treating photography as a thinking exercise, rather than one just concerned with the practical aspects of camera hardware and processing software.
For me, what remains vitally important is taking the time to see and to observe, and to think about what I see, then think about how it should be portrayed. I'm then in a better position to use the practical/physical techniques, such as lighting, composition, set-arrangement, camera angles, different lenses etc, to get to my goal.
I'm sure that Abhi and I would welcome your views on this.