About seeing
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    Doug
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    About seeing

    by Doug » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:23 pm

    A while back in the "depth of field weekly challenge" thread, Eden was having trouble with getting a photo of a textured wall to come out the way he saw it in his head.
    He also pondered how good it would be to have a camera implant in the eye so photos would appear as we see them.

    I was going to put down some ramblings on this but never got around to it.

    But I just watched a very good doco that covers it nicely.
    It is on how the human brain works at constructing our visual reality, how the eye only takes in information on what it finds interesting or relevant and the rest is just an impression the the brain constructs from past experience called the "internal model".
    You are probably not aware of your internal model because your brain is designed so you are not aware of it.

    Watch this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MSw2irv0-A from 28:15 till the end of the bit about the painting and you will know what I'm on about.

    When you are out photographing the "internal model" is the enemy, it's the bit in your brain that allows you to drive to work on auto pilot and not remember anything you passed on the way.
    The act of "seeing" in photography is to make your eyes take in what is around you and actually process what it is, flood the brain with visual stimulus and suppress the auto pilot bit.

    It is also important to be aware that our eyes work differently to a camera. You might glance at one thing in a scene that is close to you and then something else in the back ground that if combined would make an interesting picture.
    Oh good you think I'm seeing photos.
    But in glancing at the two separated interesting things your internal model was filling in the gaps between them.
    You only see what the rest of it was when you look at the picture later and find that what looked great in your head is lost in the photo.

    When you see a photo in your head is the time to start evaluating how a lens will see it instead and come up with a plan that will work to convey it.
    The cameras viewfinder shows more than the eye can take in at once also. Your eye free to roam around the viewfinder can be as misleading as just looking at the scene.
    If I have doubts that a photo works or I'm just kidding myself, I'll check it on the live view as well where it can be taken in as a whole.

    This is a bit of an analytical explanation of something most photographers pick up on anyway though experience, trial/error, and having a data base of photo's in their head that just work.

    But sometimes it's just interesting to know what is going on under the hood.
  • Mattyp
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    Re: About seeing

    by Mattyp » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:21 am

    Great read. Its something I have really struggled with to be honest, as photography is one of my many hobbies I simply dont get to spend enough time behind the lens. I used to go out and take 100's of pictures of stuff that looked cool only to get home and have zero usable ones. Even the ones I thought were "killer" at the time.
    However I have noticed that more recently I spend more time framing and taking in the whole scene, trying to understand how the camera will see what I am looking at, (most of the time) thinking before pressing the button.
    Ive also been solely using my 35mm lately, getting used to it and learning alot. I think it is my favourite part of kit at the moment. Hopefully my shots are improving too.
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    Re: About seeing

    by Doug » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:35 pm

    Mattyp wrote:Ive also been solely using my 35mm lately, getting used to it and learning alot. I think it is my favourite part of kit at the moment. Hopefully my shots are improving too.


    It is a good approach to learn a focal length.

    There was a long period where I just had three primes, a wide, standard lens and a medium tele.
    You can really get to know a lens and its focal length a lot more that way, than with a zoom that covers the same range.

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