Seeing With New Eyes

March 18, 2011 | 2 Comments |

Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscape but in having new eyes.”

Increasingly, we all find ourselves photographing at locations where many have photographed before us.
When I encounter this I ask myself many questions.
Here are a few.
What’s been done before?
What made it work?
How could it be improved?
What hasn’t been done before?
How have things changed since that work was done?
What could be done to reflect that change?
What’s unique about this moment?
How many ways could that be made clear in images?
What’s special about my perspective?
How many ways can I make that strongly felt?

The right set of questions can help generate many ideas as well as guide and focus work.

I usually have so many thoughts and feelings that I need to make notes to catch them all. Trying to find the best words to express them with makes my understanding of them clearer.

Next time you find yourself in familiar territory, I recommend you start asking many useful questions.

Read more about the creation of this image here.

Find more resources about developing your personal vision here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.


  • This kind of thinking process lead to the creation of one of my most popular images. The view looking west at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley has been photographed time and again. I gave it my own twist. But it took a lot of thought and a second try to get it.

    Ironically, I’m photographing there tomorrow at the start of a workshop. Again, I’ll be looking for new views.

  • lokaapiwat

    Really useful, thanks so much.

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