Looking v’s Seeing

Whilst at work the other day I had to stop and make a phone call so I just pulled into small layby.  Whilst on the phone I looked out of  the window and was amused to see this sign fixed into the grass.


I just found it odd to see such a sign in this environment, why I should I don’t know but I did.  I have driven passed the sign numerous times but never stopped and looked at it properly.  I guess that can be said for so many of us these days, I am certainly guilty of it, I look but I don’t see,  a bit like listening but not hearing.  The amount of times I wait to hear the weather forecast after the news, I watch it but have no idea what was said, mainly because I was too busy looking at what the weather girl/man was wearing or thinking about something else and that goes the same for seeing.  I really believe we have to train ourselves to see, to really look.  I think that is one thing that photography makes you do, stop and look to see the photo.  How many times do you hear “there was nothing to photograph” there is always something to photograph we just have to see it.  There are several exercises you can do for this I can’t remember where I have seen them so unable to show the links, but happy to admit I have taken these ideas from others and done some, here are just a couple that are worth a try  to improve your ‘seeing’.

1)  Shut yourself in a room until you have taken 30 photographs.

2) Choose an object and take 36 different photos of that object.

3) Walk 5ft from your door (or chosen spot) and take 10 photos.

4) Used a fixed focal length.


Give them a try and have fun.  The first two are great for pushing the creative side in you.


5 thoughts on “Looking v’s Seeing

  1. It sounds like you’ve thrown down the gauntlet – I need to try these 4 approaches ……….. although I might wait for better weather before I do number 3! I challenge you to do them as well … agreed?


      1. Okay, so 30 photos from one room. What sort of timescale are we aiming for. I can’t really think about doing it until half term which is w/c 17/2/14. Is that okay for you?


  2. Half term will be fine Eileen, The rules are you go into the room and do not come out until you have taken 30 photos. So once the obvious photos are taken the creatively will kick in which involves seeing. x


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