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Thread: How to look at a photo

  1. #1
    Member cameronpatrol's Avatar
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    How to look at a photo

    Hi all,
    I have tried the search button and google and thought I still havnt got what im after.
    So here it goes, it maybe the silliest question youve ever heard


    How do you look at a photo???

    Is their a technique to anelize the image??

    Are your eyes meant to travel in a partiuclar way around the image?

    How long do you look at it for, before you make any thoughts or coments on it??

    What do you look for in an image??


    Sorry if its already been done hundrens of times before but i couldnt find it.
    Id like to know how to properly look at an image, and maybe disect it to be able to take some nice photos myself.

    cheers cam

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    Art is personal and there are many ways to appreciate an image. There are the usual "so called rules" which you can pick up on many sites, books and mags. Then there are the ones who break these conventions deliberately.

    For me....
    If an image holds you attention then it has probably achieved its maker's intention.......john

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    Member adza's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I don't put that much thought into looking at a photo. For me, while I don't process a photo or 'study' them (I take it as I see it), I have found that as my knowledge increases with photography (especially through critique), I naturally notice more things in an image than I used to, and appreciate more as well, without having to actively think about it.

    For instance, when I first started taking portait photo's - most photo's I saw I liked. Then I had a mentor that had been in the game for over 40 years. He critiqued my photo's with things. One example is cutting off fingers, or arms at the wrong places, etc. I work hard on learning from him, and strive when I'm composing an image not to 'break' those rules. (Although in some cases it's OK, but that's a whole 'nother topic)

    But now - when I look at another photo, if the fingers are cut off, I notice it straight away. Not because I'm intentionally looking for it. (I don't pick up a photo and deliberately look to see if fingers are cut off). It's more a subconscious - and without thinking I will notice things like that, because it's something that I've had to deal with, in my own photography.

    Likewise I will appreciate a correctly cropped / composed photo more, just naturally than I used to.

    My suggestion to you would be the same. I wouldn't want to look at a photo and consciously look for different things. Rather, offer your photo's up for critique and see what people pick up on. (Or alternatively look at the critique that others point out in other people's photo's) - and try to improve your own photography in those areas. As you do more, I think you'll naturally just see more in photo's than you have in the past.

    But bewarned - sometimes ignorance can be bliss too. There's lots of facebook or instagram photo's that people put up that get lots of comments like 'wow', 'beautiful', etc, and I'd think the same. Now, many of them that I see - I can see faults straight away and want to 'fix' their photo.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    I tend to look a photos with my glasses on!
    Though not addressing your question directly, you may be able to use it as a bit of a guide ....... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...g_entries_1-10
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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    Thanks for the reply's fellas
    The look is helpful also
    Thanks again cheers cam

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There is a CC guide here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...-for-Beginners

    But in the end how you see a photo is a very personal thing. We could both look at the same photo and it could evoke an entirely different reaction from each of us. Our life experiences in particular affect how we see the world, and that includes photos. You and I could look at the same photo of a beach, to you it is just a beach, but to me, it is the beach where I got my first kiss, and thus the connection I have to that photo will be so strongly different to yours.

    In the end, we are each entitled to our views, opinions and right to give CC, and just cause you might feel differently about a photo to everyone else does not make your views wrong. Photography is an ART, and thus the subjective nature of Art comes into play.

    As for how to look around a photo, or any piece of Art, there are immense studies on how to make humans look where you want them to look. There is no rules on how you should look, but rather the Art is in the creator making you look where they want you to. So consider what grabs your attention, and is it the thing in the photo, painting, etc tha the artist wanted you to look at first. Then the extra benefits come from finding those little extra details that you did not notice to start with.

    We also have a composition tool you can use on any photo, right here on AP, to help you understand the compositional 'rules' : http://www.ausphotography.net.au/aptools/rule.html
    Last edited by ricktas; 22-09-2013 at 8:29pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    There is a CC guide here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...-for-Beginners

    But in the end how you see a photo is a very personal thing. We could both look at the same photo and it could evoke an entirely different reaction from each of us. Our life experiences in particular affect how we see the world, and that includes photos. You and I could look at the same photo of a beach, to you it is just a beach, but to me, it is the beach where I got my first kiss, and thus the connection I have to that photo will be so strongly different to yours.

    In the end, we are each entitled to our views, opinions and right to give CC, and just cause you might feel differently about a photo to everyone else does not make your views wrong. Photography is an ART, and thus the subjective nature of Art comes into play.

    As for how to look around a photo, or any piece of Art, there are immense studies on how to make humans look where you want them to look. There is no rules on how you should look, but rather the Art is in the creator making you look where they want you to. So consider what grabs your attention, and is it the thing in the photo, painting, etc tha the artist wanted you to look at first. Then the extra benefits come from finding those little extra details that you did not notice to start with.

    We also have a composition tool you can use on any photo, right here on AP, to help you understand the compositional 'rules' : http://www.ausphotography.net.au/aptools/rule.html

    Whooa thanks for the reply and the links. perfect

    Thanks for the deep reply, youve made me look at it in another way now.
    And it makes sense a lot more.

    So I guess I need to find my own way/style and have some fun

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