Camera Position 67 : The Mind as Camera

Photographers must love the act of photographing; the mechanics of making a picture. But, before that, they have to love the simple act of seeing the world around them. Some pictures are best made without a camera.

Lunch - Still Life with Tomato & Basil Salad - Photograph by Jeff Curto

Lunch – Still Life with Tomato & Basil Salad – Photograph by Jeff Curto

  • “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
    – Dorothea Lange
  • ” I am always mentally photographing everything as practice.”
    -Minor White

4 thoughts on “Camera Position 67 : The Mind as Camera”

  1. Thanks Jeff for another great podcast. Keep em coming. I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to ‘seeing’ a photograph before you take the shot. There have been a lot of times where I have taken out my camera and were a bit trigger happy with the shutter, and ultimately become unhappy with the result. I think this is because you approach a scene that we conceive to be beautiful for whatever reason, but don’t actually ‘see’ the photographic potential of what we are looking at. There have been many occations where people have shown me photographs of their vacation, and have said to me “It was more beautiful in real life”

    Training the eye to see a photograph in terms of composition, colour theory and interest can add a huge amount to how we see our own photographs, and give us confidence to try photographing scenes that we wouldn’t usually see.


  2. I don’t really see anything before the shot, mainly because most of the looking and framing happens when I have things on the screen. It makes the captures less precious to me and allows me the freedom to capture the images with other purposes in mind.

    However I don’t think it has hurt my level of observation, in fact if anything the post processing has increased my ability to connect to forms, shape color and other nuances of gesture and meaning.

    I saw that you are on the Photo Expo presenter list and hope to arrange my schedule that week to get over to at least say hello and if the gods smile my way get to the presentation.

    If you have a chance when you are in NY, hope you’ll stop by the Halpert Gallery to see the exhibition.

  3. Hi, Ron;

    Thanks for the post and for the continued support.

    I think the part about digital capture that’s changed a lot of things for folks is the way in which it frees us up to try things we might not have tried in the film days… that “less precious capture” is a big part of our new deal, I think.

    I’ve scheduled an extra day or so in NYC so I can get out and see some things. I’m hoping to see your show while I’m there. I’d love to say hi and chat a bit if you’re able to make it over to the Javits Center.



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