On Seeing

A series of articles discussing looking and seeing.

Expectations of Pictures

I got thinking about how we each look at images and how we bring our own expectations of how images work. What really interested me was how we deal with the times when that expectation is not met.

Material ingredients

Several years ago as we were building our new house, I was taken by the idea of recording some of the materials we used or found on the site.

Talk about your picture

Try this as an exercise. You’ve got three minutes. Describe your image and give me some idea of what motivated you. Intimidating? Impossible? Here’s how.

I saw the light

This year, a new camera has changed the way I take pictures. I’ll not break the habit of a lifetime – this won’t be a camera review – so this is all about how you see.

The value of a good editor

Finding someone else to help with editing our pictures and choose our collections can prove useful. It works in other fields; why not photography too?
Statue of Neptune in Bologna

Critiquing others to improve your photographs

Surprisingly perhaps, you can improve your own pictures by learning how to critique other peoples’ images. Being specific about, and putting into words, what you do and don’t like will help when you come to create your own images.

How do you title your pictures?

Do you need to tell people what your photograph is about? As ever it all depends on circumstances – what does your audience need to make the most of your images?
The Shieling on the Tweed

Make your intentions plain

Being clear about your intentions for a photograph before you actually press the shutter button is the first step in creating images that say what you want them to say.
Chad. No! A study of brick walls in Manchester

Why monochrome?

Working in monochrome means you can’t rely on colour contrasts to separate elements in your photographs. You have to use the light and capture differences in luminance to produce an image with impact.

Simplify, simplify! Pictures with impact

One of the hardest lessons to learn when starting with photography is not how to fit everything relevant into your pictures, but how to leave everything else out. Here are three steps I follow when I’m trying to create images with impact.

Don’t just look – See!

“Seeing Things” by Joel Meyerowitz was conceived as a “Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs”, but it works for older people too.