In pursuit of your own seeing

There’s no question that photography causes excitement and the urge to capture the world around us. However, very often in this excitement we lose sight of our own seeing. It is common, especially among novice photographers, for them to rely on others for their seeing – often for the right reasons. After all, their lack of experience or direction causes them to search for help to navigate through the frenzied waters of the photographic life.

Rightly so, in a moment like this we look for guidance and advice – I did for many years. There comes a time, however, when we must get in the boat on our own and set sail for the New World. Yes, it will be an experiment at first but I believe that eventually it will lead you to your own seeing.

While most imagery that arrives at random will fail in its visual proficiency, it should be considered the price to pay for the one single perfect image that is born of this visual voyage of your own.

Don’t let the internet to tell you which image it will be. If you follow the common narrative you will end up with another “me too” or another “pretty” visual. It may even get super popular but it will never be truly yours. I know that the road to this small success in a sea of failures is hard and often discouraging. Trust me, my photographic friend, you must stay on course in pursuit of your own seeing. There is no other way.

Here is some imagery taken on the streets of Vancouver with the GFX paired with the GF 45mm F2.8 and GF 110 F2 lenses.


next time…



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12 thoughts on “In pursuit of your own seeing

  1. I think it takes a while to develop your own style, at least it did for me. When I first started taking photos I’d see interesting light or an interesting person and not think about the background or secondary elements. And yes, looking at all the amazing images online can be discouraging. Great photos in this set, especially the first and last.

    1. Jeff,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Appreciate your kind words. Looking forward to hearing from you again. All the best,


  2. Olaf, I really enjoyed your text today with your photos! Your use of descriptive language affirms you as visual poet.The last photo of the gentleman is intriguing and makes me wonder what mysteries lie beneath the surface of his life. You capture life in a unique way Olaf!

  3. Olaf,
    The last photo of this series moves me. It combines shape and contrast as well as insight into who this gentleman might be.

    The internet is rich in images to look at. Very hard not to compare one’s own efforts with those that look great on the screen. I am feel bombarded with images yet can’t stop looking, trying to understand what makes this or that one good. But now and then an image really sticks in my thoughts and this I know is a good one. Now and then one of my own does the same.


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