Seeing is Believing

Chapter 1

Olmstead Point image

I love photography...

It has allowed me to not only see but to use all my senses. I like to first feel the big picture, and with that in mind I am able to capture the small details which make a photograph unique. In nature photography, take time to sense the environment around you.

I remember when I first began to ‘take pictures’ – I would look at a photo and wonder why I hadn’t seen that ‘big blue thing’ in the middle of the picture or that huge shadow engulfing my subject. Over time, and making a lot of mistakes, I began to see much better. I still make dumb mistakes but they happen less often.

At a Yosemite Workshop I attended in 2005, I noticed the approach of another student who was clearly advanced in the art of "seeing". I cornered him at one point and asked why his photographs seemed so much better than everyone else’s? He replied, “A couple of years ago I really began to see – simple as that”. In some respects that simple statement changed my life. The truth is, ‘seeing’ in all parts of our life, not just photography, enhances everything. Although I have a long ways to go, the awareness that comes from ‘seeing’ has opened up my world. Photography is just part of the fun.

Take a few moments to see, feel and sense your subject. Try to understand its place in nature. In time, the complicated will become easy, and you will find more to your photos than imagined.