Unique Visions As A Photographer

Each person has his or her own personal vision. In other words, everyone sees the world differently. Photography gives you the freedom to fully express your personal vision when you make images.

Each person is drawn to different aspects of the world, whether the variety comes in the subject matter or the manner in which you interpret your subjects.

Image of Grizzly Bear sitting on a hill by Michael Leggero.
© Michael Leggero. All rights reserved.

One photographer can grow excited about making macro images along a roadside, while another is intrigued by vast scenics in distant wildernesses. Yet a third photographer is elated when photographing large mammals or magnificent birds.

Whether you’re excited by the small, scenics, mammals, or birds is unimportant in the creation of your art. What is important is that you’re true to yourself, and that you give yourself the opportunity to create artistic images of the subjects which excite you.

You may be asking, “How can I concentrate on creating artistic images when I’m still mastering the technical aspects of photography?” Study and learn until a specific technique is second nature to you.

When you no longer have to think consciously about the technical side of this craft will you be truly ready to let your subjects take you on a visual journey–free to create art. Then move on to another technique and do the same.

Once drawn in by the subjects you photograph, you’re empowered to translate your vision in the camera. Then you’ll make images which are a reflection of the experiences you were feeling while photographing. You’ll translate moments, as you see them.

Ask yourself what moves you deeply. Wander into the wilderness. Find a wilderness near your home. Be elated by your backyard.

Search for the creative child within you, and let that child guide you. Once you find your special style, once you free yourself to create art, you’ll have achieved a “vision unique.”

Image of the green lights of the Aurora Borealis by Andy Long.
© Andy Long. All rights reserved. Photo Vision Unique is making your own personal images. Vision unique is creating in the camera as a result of allowing yourself to absorb all that surrounds you at the precise moment when the shutter is released.

Close-up hoto of White-tailed Deer eyes by Jeff Parker.
© Jeff Parker. All rights reserved.

Photo Vision Unique is your way of seeing the world that is separate from the manner in which another photographer may experience the same subject.

To refine your art of seeing, it’s important that you take pictures regularly. As one photographer recently commented, “It’s been so long since I’ve had time to photograph, I’m not sure if I remember how.

While I do know my technical skills are still with me, my vision suffers tremendously when I don’t get out into the field and make images on a regular basis.” Another way to improve your photography is to look at the work of great artists–painters as well as photographers.

However, while studying art produced by others deepens your vision, nothing is a substitute for practice, practice, and more practice. This is what truly sharpens your vision and improves your art of seeing.

Photographing every chance you can not only deepens your vision, but it also helps keep your technical skills fine-tuned, especially for photographers who’ve only recently begun making images. Think of the experience as being like an engine which is regularly maintained and purrs when started. Your vision will purr, too, if you’re constantly challenging your eye to see.

Kayaker on lake created with intentional camera movement by Marla Meier.
© Marla Meier. All rights reserved.

It’s important to see with your heart rather than just with your eyes. When you go to a new location, give yourself a chance to get in tune with the place and become aware of all that’s happening around you, not just what’s obvious.

What’s meant by seeing more than what’s obvious? The obvious is nature the way it is, the absolute–what is real and tangible in the world. Let all areas of your brain work together – that which records reality and that which expresses an altered version of reality. Your photo vision unique will then document what exists.

While documentation and creation are both important aspects of photography, practice in the creative arena is necessary to enhance your photographic vision.

Photographers must see what exists in reality, but it’s also satisfying to reproduce in the camera what you’ve previously only imagined. Your vision grows out of your experiences with nature, and this evolution takes you a step beyond documentation into creation.

When you savor the place and see with your photographic eyes through the framework of your personal experiences, you open yourself up to being more aware of the effects of light, wind, color, lens and more.

Image of peach colored rose with dew drops by Juergen Roth.
© Juergen Roth. All rights reserved.

You free yourself to use all the tools available to you, your equipment and your mind.

To practice vision, first put on your photographic eyes! What does this mean? It means seeing the way your camera sees, taking into consideration technical and equipment limitations and advantages.

For example, if the wind is blowing, it’s your decision whether you want to show motion or freeze motion. If part of a subject is in the sun and another part is in shadow, you must decide whether you want to record the color of your subject rendered by the sunlight or the color of your subject that results from the shadowed light. Another question to ask yourself is which lens do you want to use?

Once you select a lens, how can the image be changed by where you position yourself? If you stand close, you’ll create an image that’s totally unlike the one you’ll have if you stand farther away. Facing the sun will allow you to create a picture different from the one that will be achieved by another photographer who may choose to photograph the same subject in a shadowed area.

Photo vision unique requires that you make many decisions. Each person will excel in his own ways. Each person will create her own art. Images generated by one individual are not better or worse than those made by another photographer. They’re simply different. If you copied another person’s vision, you’d restrict your freedom.

Image of highway in a canyon by Noella Ballenger.
© Noella Ballenger. All rights reserved.

Standing exactly where a friend stood and placing your tripod in the same spot to take your picture would serve only to inhibit your artistic growth. Photo vision unique allows you to express your inner feelings fully.

Enjoy, have fun —– subjects are unlimited!

by Helen Longest-Slaughter Saccone and Marty Saccone
Image copyrights of various photographers.

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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