To see what isn't there sounds weird. I get that. Perhaps a more practical way to express it is in the following description: Slow down. Be quiet. Calm yourself. Settle your mind so you can think clearly. Search. Question. Explore. Be prepared to be surprised. Have an innocent and open mind. Have a beginner's mind. Be completely and precisely aware of your surroundings. Note everything. Overlook nothing. Look at what's in front of you and then close your eyes. Now imagine what you saw and recreate that in your mind. Often your sub-conscious will be drawn to something deeper in the scene than the painfully obvious.
This type of photography was practiced by a great landscape photographer named Galen Rowell, who tragically lost his life in a plane crash. Besides Rowell and Shaw, there are others who've taught me to think like this. It boils down to some high-level concepts that are beyond most photographers' will. We live in a drive-through window world. I understand the need for instant gratification. I'm speaking here to the few of you who want to feel your way to a photograph. I'm suggesting that by searching for harmony in our photography - by looking for what's not there, we can elevate our images to the highest level. It's hard to explain in an essay, but I hope it starts you on the path to seeing in new ways no matter how you get there. Why? Because that's where true growth as an artist starts to happen - when you learn to see in a new way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Photo Courtesy Tracie Maglosky
Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional wildlife photographer, author, lecturer and a signed Master Photographer at Studio of Masters, China who specializes in bird photography.
He was one of the founders of This Week In Photo, founded Photofocus.com and is co-founder of the Photo Podcast Network. Scott is also an executive at Skylum Software, makers of Luminar, Aurora HDR and Photolemur.
Scott is a regular contributor to several photography related blogs and podcasts and his photography has appeared in more than 200 books and magazines. He is a trainer at lynda.com, and is the author of 11 photography books.
Scott is available to speak to your birding group, photography group and for private bird photography workshops. For more information on engaging Scott as a speaker or workshop leader, or for image licensing and print information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.