Learning To See

Originally Published March 7th, 2019


Hey Gang,

Everywhere around all the time there is an inverted world of shadows, shapes, textures, lines, reflections—the eerie underbelly of the mundane.

My goal for the coming week is to spend a little time learning to see that murky alternate universe.

Here are some tips for learning to see. I’ll share my results next week in a more detailed blog with photo examples.

Use A Wide Lens

Shooting wide automatically adds visual interest to your photos. A wide lens has a natural tendency to distort, warp, and bend reality. That’s a good thing! Keep your 28mm on all the time. Get awkwardly close to your subjects. Bend reality to your will. 

Use The Same Lens

Keep your kit simple. Use the same camera & lens. We’re not shooting a wedding or a magazine cover. Strip away all the discretions and focus on seeing. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera or sensor you’re using. Seeing isn’t the job of the camera—it’s yours.

Find Layers

I love shooting through windows, bushes, tree limbs—finding reflections. Adding layers to your photos creates visual interest—it can also create mystery. Layers conceal, add depth, and make the viewer take a second look at what they’re seeing.

Shoot All The Time

Just like any skill—learning to see takes practice. The more you’re in the creative mindset—the more likely you are to identify interesting things. Take your camera everywhere you go—be that guy & don’t be ashamed. You’re on a treasure hunt, don’t forget your shovel.

Be Persistent 

Don’t expect to walk outside & immediately find something visually interesting. This process takes time. Slow down, walk around the same area at different times of day. We’re searching for light & that’s something that’s continually changing. Keep looking & keep digging—be persistent in your goal to see creativity.

I’m excited to see where this takes me, I might make this a weekly thing. I’ll keep you updated. Thanks for reading!


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