The Art Of Seeing and How To Better It

gec basketball court post
The age-old basketball post of Goa Engineering College (GEC) on a full moon night.

During my early years as a photographer, I focussed on quantity of photographs instead of quality of photographs. I would merely document things with my camera rather than capturing it as an artist. Every subject or location would be a one time thing for me and re-visits or re-tries were avoided.

Over time the quality of my photographs took a hit and I had to re-think my approach to produce more unique work. In this article, I explain a simple challenge I took up to change my approach to composition which helped me see beauty in everything.

1. Select any subject of your choice.

Photographers specialise in varied genres. Be it any genre, select a particular subject of your choice that you would like to photograph. You may choose a person or an object. Food photographers may choose a particular dish. Landscape photographers may choose a scene. Portrait lovers can go with a model. You do not need a professional model for this. You can have a family member or friend as your subject. At the end of the day, they will be getting some lovely photographs clicked so most of them will not reject your offer.

I was a regular visitor to Goa Engineering College (GEC) for its proximity to my house and picturesque campus. The age-old basketball court of GEC had my attention. I chose it as my subject. This is what makes the challenge so much fun. The possibilities are infinite. You can go to any level of randomness.

gec basketball court post
gec basketball court post

2. Keep photographing your subject without limits and termination.

This is the tough part of the task. No matter how boring your choice of subject, you need to photograph it endlessly. During different times of the day, during different seasons, in unique angles, you have to keep at it. You need not finish the task in a single day. You ought to keep coming back to your subject of choice and keep experimenting. Unless you experiment you won’t know what works and what doesn’t.

gec basketball court post
gec basketball court post

As for my subject being stationary, there were endless possibilities of experimenting with angles. I tried different compositions at different times of the year. I made all the photographs at nighttime, giving me more time to reflect on the composition. Trying to shoot at different times of the day would offer a whole lot more variation, but I refrained from it. I chose to test myself with stronger limitations so that there won’t be any problem when there are none.

gec basketball court post
gec basketball court post

This will be an ongoing challenge with no end to it. With time, you will notice your photography get better even though the subject remains same. In her book The Photographer’s Guide to Posing, Lindsay Adler talks about a technique called “making the rounds” wherein she makes around 40 unique photographs of a couple in 5 minutes by making slight adjustments to the 4 base poses and changing her composition. Training your eyes to see minute details and beauty in everything will keep you relevant in this profession for as long as you be.

gec basketball court post

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6 thoughts on “The Art Of Seeing and How To Better It”

  1. Very well articulated! Loved the way it kept a reader engaged, offering and altering perspectives. Your choice of words is aesthetic and inspirational. Your work, shows your dedication and passion. There’s only way forward! Keep inspiring!

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