Hi it’s Catherine again. Let me tell you a little story about seeing:
“Mommmm! Where’s the ketchup?”
“In the fridge, on the first shelf.”
“I CAN’T SEE IT!”
“Seek and you shall find!”
Oh, the number of times I had that conversation with my sons! If they weren’t looking for ketchup, it was socks, underwear, homework, lunch kit…and so many times they were staring right at the item they were looking for! They just couldn’t see it!
Recently we had some posts here on oopoomoo on the topic Something From Nothing that reminded readers to not just look but look to see. This is not a new lesson in photography but it’s one that many of us have to stop and think about when we’re out shooting. Perhaps you’ve driven miles to get a great shot of the sunrise or wildflowers only to be disappointed with a grey morning or were too early in the season for nature’s beautiful multicoloured carpet. What did you do when you arrived at your destination? Throw your arms up, say To heck with it! and drive to the closest coffee house for a cup of java? Or did you stay and make lemonade with the lemons you were given?
When Sam was talking to a group of people at a workshop she said, “Sometimes I like to just sit down on the ground and take it all in. I take time and look at the intimate details of my surroundings.” In his post on the Something from Nothing theme, Olivier Du Tre mentioned that he was looking at the light for a bit before deciding to photograph it. Ian McGillvery showed us the magic in the mundane of a typical kitchen! Tom Robbins said he likes to wrestle something from nothing but it requires a good long look. Are you getting the theme here? TIME. Take time to see the ketchup on the first shelf! Take time to make and enjoy lemonade with dem lemons! Take time to see something outta nothing! Take time and send us some of your Something out of Nothing photos! (send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – 585 pixels in the long dimension is sRGB colour space along with your story in making the photos plus your website).
Be sure to check out oopoomoo’s latest workbook on Learning to See (it may help you find the Ketchup as well!)
Following are some quotes about seeing. Hopefully they will inspire you to stop and think about slowing down to see.
The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau
Look hard at what pleases you and harder at what doesn’t.
Seeing is a gift that comes with practice.
- Stephanie Mills
One looks, looks long, and the world comes in.
- Joseph Campbell
There’s a saying among prospectors: “Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.
- Robert Flaherty
The contented person enjoys the scenery of a detour.
– Author Unknown
If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.
- G. K. Chesterton
Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When there’s nothing to see, look.
- Dakota Indian saying
I have also included a snapshot I took last summer with my cell phone. I took the snap because the lady in the red blouse reminded me SO MUCH of my mother who passed away two years ago. The likeness was unbelievable! I was so focused on getting the shot to show my brother, that I didn’t take time to SEE. Do you see the laughable moment? I think Sam would call this a ‘pokie’!!