Pearls in a Pig Sty (a brief description of How to 'See' Photos)
I’m often asked, ‘How do you see photos in such everyday places and things?’
Hmmm, tough to put into words. I've been involved with art and design for so long (literally my entire life since I grew up with it) that when I see art and design in the everyday, it catches my eye.
In other words, it's rather like developing a knack for spotting pearls in a pig sty.
I view it this way because life, by its nature, is rather chaotic (a pig sty), so when I see something in the chaos that has form and balance, simplicity and order (i.e. 'the pearl', and the basic qualities that to me make a good photograph), it almost smacks me in the face because it seems so out of place with what’s around it.
Then it’s rather like zooming your attention in on the ‘pearl’, shutting out for a time all the ‘sty’ that’s around it, and then deciding if the pearl has enough merit to bother taking it or not.
Simple as that. ;-)
In my opinion, the biggest mistake by far that aspiring photographers make is putting too much into a shot that is extraneous and irrelevant to the purpose of the shot. Before taking every shot, photographers should ask themselves 'Exactly what am I photographing here?' and then putting only that into the frame.
Here are a couple uninspiring examples quickly done to illustrate the point. I'll post something better when I get around to it.