Do You See What I See?

Finding beauty in unlikely places is one of the reasons I took up photography in the first place.  I remember what I was doing the day I decided photography was going to be my pursuit – I was driving down the road, on my way to work while appreciating God’s green earth.  I can remember thinking how beautiful it was and how I wish everyone could see what I see…  Then the light bulb went off and I decided the only way I could share my world view with others was through photography.  It was either that or telepathy and my telepathy skills are weak at best.


I was reminded of why I took up photography today while walking through the city with an open mind and empty memory card.  I decided before I left my house that I wasn’t going to look for anything specific, in fact I was going to try to avoid the normal “street photography” shots I had been taking recently (though some found me anyways).

While taking the shot above a woman asked me what I saw…  “I just don’t see it, what do you see?” she said.  I didn’t really have a good answer and that was actually the second time someone asked me that question in that same spot.  I bumbled out something like “colors and textures…” to which she seemingly accepted as an adequate answer.

JMB_9672Ordinary scenes would catch my eye and I would challenge myself to narrow down what exactly it was that I found interesting about it.  Sometimes that meant that I had to move in close and frame in a way that distractions were eliminated while other times I had to step back and try to include certain aspects of the scene that built off one another (like in the photo taken at the parking garage with the telephone and gate).

JMB_9675Whether you like the photos you see here or not doesn’t matter, what matters is knowing what you like.  If you don’t like these photographs then there is a good chance that you see the world differently than I do and all the more reason to pick up your camera and photograph it…  Show people what is beautiful to you.



Have you taken photos that you think showcase how you see the world?  Share them with us on Facebook or the PhotolisticLife Flickr page for a chance to be featured here on the site.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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6 replies on “Do You See What I See?”
    1. says: John Barbiaux

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to share the photos in the Flickr pool and I’ll check them out. Have a great night!

  1. says: John Robin

    I like your method of looking for an alternative way to “see” the same thing. I try to do the same with my photos. It is a lot harder than it sounds, though, when you actually stop for a moment and think about your photo before snapping away. I usually try to go down a mental list like this…
    “what am I trying to say?” (what impacts about the scene that I want to express)
    “how will I say it?” (composition, lens, exposure, etc.)
    “is it worth saying?” (usually takes place in post-production)

  2. says: jwalzer

    Great article – sometimes I find myself repeatedly taking a shot of a scene on which in my mind’s eye I’ve captured perfectly, but for some reason doesn’t translate into the photograph I’m trying to capture, but when the translation works, it’s the best feeling in the world

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