Different lenses, different angles and different experiences offer us each a different perspective on how we visualize the image prior to clicking the shutter.
The perspective alone does not yield great landscape photography – at least not for me.
When in the field, I have an absolute need to be connected with the environment. No doubt this same feeling is shared by many, if not all nature photographers.
Alone, with no other person, my phone buried deep in my camera bag. I need to become totally aware of my surroundings. Only then do I start to see images before me, and hear the music it offers.
Ever Had A Creative Block?
Have you ever stood on a lakeshore, hiked deep into the woods, or sat silently among wildflowers, only to have a ‘’creative block”?
Despite my best attempts, nothing presents itself for further study. When caught in this situation, I begin to wonder how my golden retriever would view this same environment.
Create an Active State of Curiosity
He wouldn’t stand around passively observing the world go by.
Rather he’d be in a state of active curiosity, seeking out the sticks in the woods, the fish swimming in the shallow waters along the shoreline, or trying to catch butterflies as they wing from one wildflower to the next.
“Power Of Participatory Photography”
Using my golden retriever’s perspective as a means to creativity was an idea I picked up while reading Galen Rowell’s “Inner Game of Outdoor Photography”, specifically the essay titled “The Power of Participatory Photography”.
In this essay, he describes his trip sailing to the Galapagos Islands. To pass the time while en route, the couples played a parlor game.
The question being asked – If you had one wish, knowing you could back out, what would it be?
Galen’s response was “to see the world for a day through my dog’s brain”.
He then writes at length within this essay as to why he made this choice. Admittedly, I always go back to the essay to remember his reasoning for this selection, though the mere suggestion of seeing through his dog’s eyes has never left me.
Turning To My Dog’s Perspective
When this ‘creative block’ descends upon me like the winter gray skies of December, turning my perspective to what my dog may view opens my mind to becoming more involved with the surroundings.
Suddenly I am again seeing things that had previously been overlooked, hearing sounds that were silent in my disconnected state.
Opens My Mind
My senses become more receptive and metaphorically, I start to hear through my eyes. My mind is once again open to new possibilities.
Fine leaf veins emerge as highways to new photographic creations. The undersides of wildflowers become the target rather than the distraction. Grains of windblown sand are transformed into miniature vista landscapes.
“Visualize Oneself As An Active Participant”
As Galen Rowell states later in this same essay, “The key catalyst for all forms of creativity is to visualize oneself as an active participant rather than a passive observer.”
Oh, the great joy of seeing through my dog’s eyes!