Seeing To Learn - Two

on September 16, 2021

Now that you are up, had breakfast, and hopefully put your clothes on, we can continue. We need to learn to see as well as our cameras do.

I use the term " well " rather than " good " because photography has nothing at all to do with goodness. Too many pictures of shocking events - too many shocking pictures - flood our world to confuse the art with morality. Photography is neutral, and it is up to ourselves to be good as we practise it.

Okay, we're looking, but what are we seeing? The visible spectrum of light, bouncing off the world. Some of us get to see the whole thing, some get just a selected part. Some of us see it through lenses made of crystal and some of us get the linoleum optics. We cannot actually see what others see, but we can be shown hints and use our imaginations to connect their images to our experience.

Our cameras do better. They can see smaller, bigger, darker, lighter, and quicker things than we can. This started long ago - the first images captured the passage of time, if little else. Even then, they had more patience than we did. Time, chemical experimentation, and shutter development enabled us to make our cameras as hurried and anxious as we were. With the rise of artificial intelligence, they may even be talking to each other and not saying nice things about us at all.

How do we get to see better than the cameras? We don't. We all get poorer eyesight as we our external sensory perception declines. But as we do more and more looking and more and more image capturing, we develop our inner perception in an inverse ratio. As little kids we saw clearly but didn't understand much - as adults that equation reverses. The real beauty of photography is we can do something to tie our increased perception to the increased capture capability of the digital cameras - and to the artistry that is inherent in our treatment of the images in our computers.

Practically, how? Practically, attend a class on any particular subject you are interested in. Listen to the speaker tell you and then show you how the gear works. Then look at the results from the process. Tie those results into what you know of the world, and see if you can't go out and use your camera to do the same.

a. Start showing yourself what your camera can see.

b. Then make the camera see what you see.

c. Start showing others what the camera saw.

d. Finally, show others what you can see.

Shoot Photography Workshops are scheduling a new set of courses. Go to the section of the Camera Electronic website that deals with this and see if there is a course that will help your vision. It's an investment in yourself that pays direct dividends.