Art of Observation

February 06, 2013  •  2 Comments

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” - Elliott Erwitt

For me a huge part of photography and in finding a personal style is in learning how to see. It’s something that’s not easy and takes some time to figure out.  Earlier I was focused on learning how to use the camera and different lenses,  I was focused on learning different processing styles and I was learning how to edit my photos. Through all the practicing I was also learning how to see. I’m constantly in the process of learning how to see and really learning how ‘I’ see. Learning how ‘I’ see is what’s most important to me because it’s how I believe my personal style will come about. It will be my unique take on the world and the things and people who I photograph. Often I will just go out to shoot and just photograph what catches my eye but there are some moments when I will not take a single picture and just watch people. I’ll take some pictures with my eyes and mind to practice, to think about and understand why I noticed something or why I would take a picture of it or what angle and framing I would use to best capture a scene or moment. At times it’s just observing to get inspired to even shoot a person in the environment or a detail that speaks to me. The question I continue to ask myself is “Why?”. Why take this picture? Why am I attracted to certain people and things? What’s my message? Why does it interest me? Even when I go through others photographs I’ll ask this question to myself. Why do I like it? Why did they take the photo? Why that angle? I’ll ask why with regards to possible camera settings and possible focal lengths. This also really helps me to learn more about myself and also the photographer who took the photo. There are other factors in finding my personal style like the cameras I use, the settings I use, the quality of light I use, and many others but I think that learning how “I” see is at the top of the list. I feel that as I continue to learn, experiment and figure this out that my style will continue to evolve and grow but I also feel that it’s such a rewarding experience because it is such a challenge.


2.James Hsuen(non-registered)
Rinzi, thank you for your Blog post. It is one of the most insightful article I have read about photography. The whole reason we take photographs as photographers is to share what intrigues us in the first place. We want our viewers to feel the same emotion or sensation that drew us to the subject. I have also been on the quest to learn how to see or better still observe. Your writing really spoke to me just as much as each image I have studied to enquire ,dig and figure your thought process. I stumbled into your Blog this morning while browsing on Scoopit. Your work and writing has inspired me. Best wishes. James
1.Michael Bacon(non-registered)
Hey, just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog for a lot of the same reasons you listed above. I like seeing how you think and work and what considerations you're making. Not just you, of course, but I very much like your work and have benefited from both your blog and from the inclusion of camera settings (from your EXIF info) when I view your images on Flickr. It's essentially letting me skip past some of the experimentation I would have had to do, though I am still constantly experimenting with light and how I can use it.

Anyway, I noticed it's been a long while since your last entry and I wanted to make sure you knew that your blog has been appreciated. I just read through it all after hearing your interview on the Shooting Street Show.

Great work, keep seeing, shooting, and growing!
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