Open Up Your Seeing

I must admit that the last few months have been intense. As you have probably noticed, I’ve been working on many projects and there is no question that I didn’t publish enough on this blog. That’s changing now! 

The first weeks of this year have been spent reducing my commitments and organizing my photographic life! Just a week ago I re-launched Simplicity-In-Seeing in a brand-new form and some of you have already contacted me saying that you like it a lot. Indeed, I find it such a joy writing personal LETTERS about photography. Now let’s get back to today’s point.

When I looked at the imagery shot over the last few months, I realized that I haven’t shown you the imagery taken in Paris last year. As I look back at the photographs, I realize that many of the shots are not typical travel images and to be honest with you, I like it this way. 

When we travel, we are intrigued by all the new things we are going to photograph. Many photographers I talk to make up must-have shot lists and detailed plans of their trip to make sure they don’t miss anything. I know because I used to do the same. 

We run from one location to the other following our list but the more I travel the more convinced I am that this approach does more harm than good to our “seeing.” 

One of the best antidotes to such pre-planned shooting is to calm down and linger in one space (thank you Ibarionex Perello for this term). It is a deliberate state of mind which slows down your visual impulses and allows your vision to linger over the spaces that surround you. You might practice this observational state on your trips. When exploring cities, I find an area, street or even a small plaza where I slow down and just linger photographically. 

This approach allows me to extract all the visual opportunities in front of me, even if they do not necessarily represent the place well. When I was shooting the streets of Paris, I let my eye and imagination lead me to unexpected places. I refused to follow well-trodden paths and allowed myself to be led by light and visuals, regardless of the route.

Why would I take such a radical stand? Because almost every time I came back from my trips, the images shot during those slow and creative periods were of much higher quality than those taken under the pressure of running around and checking items off the list. 

I noticed that during my last visit to Paris I took many let’s say “unusual” shots which some of you could argue might have been taken in any other place. Maybe you are right, maybe not. I strongly believe that when you travel, it is worth forgetting where you are and letting your “seeing” open up to the visuals around you. 

Today I’ve selected some images which I took in Paris during a photographic outing.  

next time…

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4 thoughts on “Open Up Your Seeing

  1. I really love these photos! Very, very well done!
    But, I wouldn’t call them travel photos at all, ’cause nothing in these photos tell where they’ve been taken. They could have been taken anywhere.
    So yeah, if this is travel photos, then me taking a photo of a chair in my kitchen is the same 😛

    With that said, like I said, I really love and feel inspired by these photos. Keep up the good work!

  2. I call this “pseudo-travel” photography and feel the same – i don’t go by any list to shoot all the visited popular sites and places, actually i’m trying also not to go to such places. You’re right – all taken by you images posted here describes everything, but not exactly Paris, known and recognizable to many people visited there. I think that this is a good sign of the formation of the artist.
    here the tag of my “pseudo-travel” posts – https://www.victorbezrukov.com/tag/pseudo-travel/
    One of my questions, which i ask when return back after the next trip – what exactly are we looking for during our travels if we are not interesting to take a bunch of images of a popular touristic sites or our selfies with these places at background behind us ?
    the feeling of being somewhere ?
    to go out of our comfort zones of the usual for us close to our living places places ?
    i don’t know. maybe you.

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