Letting the Mind Wander

haystack rock cannon beach

     When practicing photography it isn’t always easy to compose and capture great images that are uniquely yours. Of course you will need good light and interesting subjects, but this isn’t the whole story. Even with the best of conditions you can still walk away with snapshots or work that isn’t quite what it could have been if you had put your own spin on it. This can become even worse as you focus on looking for compositions becoming more frustrated as what you keep trying doesn’t work.

     The biggest issue when in the field looking for images is limited time. You just can’t show up to a spot and drop your tripod in the perfect spot. Allow a couple of hours to walk the area and explore various views before settling on somewhere/something. Not only does this give you the ability to look around it also makes you less rushed when the best light is happening!

     Also, leaving time to explore has a side benefit I find very helpful in my photography. When I have the space in my schedule to walk in nature my mind will start to wander. I think about things like what I will have for dinner, what I should have worn out, and then I start to get creative thinking about relationships between different elements within a scene. Suddenly, I might pause staring down a small part of the forest that stands out to my creative eye!

     As the mind wanders further away from the location I am in the more it can see the scenes for more than just a set of trees, rocks in a pond, or patch of flowers in a valley. I find relationships between different elements and then it is a challenge to combine them into a composition. Once I get into a groove like this I could find 3-4 compositions throughout a morning exploring a forest! All by allowing the mind to wander and become intertwined with the environment instead of actively searching for compositions alone. This is quite possibly the best way of improving your eye and finding unique images you can call your own.