Photography Vision, What We See in Our Mind’s eye

In photography, vision is more important than gear (cameras equipment). Vision determines whether a work looks outstanding or not. Photography vision means a “personal viewpoint” of the photographer itself that can not be seen by other photographers. For example, in a photo hunting event that followed by some photographers, a lot of photos looks similar to each other. But sometimes there is a participant who make some photos that completely different from the others. Apparently, that photographer have a different vision with others, and able to express his vision in a good photograph.

Actually, vision is to see what is not seen by other people. If you see a landscape photo or a place you’ve visited and it has a very different impression to what you see with your own eyes, it means you’re looking at the vision of the photographer, not photo documentation of that place. Thus, vision training is very important especially for landscape and travel photography since anyone can go there and take a picture freely.

Vision is born from inside, influenced by the historical background of ourselves and what we love. In other words, Vision is a reflection of ourselves. We can not get the vision of someone else. Thus, actually vision can not be derived directly just like a science.

Back to the photo hunting event: Why there are some photographers that produce very different photos than the others? Or in other words, why everyone does not have the same viewpoint? The reason is the vision itself. Vision herding everyone view and focus on different things. Some photographers at one location may be interested in “Grand Vista” or whole/panoramic scenery. But the other photographers might be interested to shoot the detail of trees, fruit or insects, and some other photographers may be more attracted to the human interest such as farmers or ranchers who are working.


By focus on an idea, concept or subject, then the chance to make a good photo will be higher, due to the concentration and mental energy focus into the concept. But everything is need patience and perseverance. Search within yourself what is the draws on that objects or locations. What is perceived and how is the photo/editing technique that can communicate that feeling.

Vision is the view that we see in our mind’s eye. To be able to realize our vision, we need an imagination and creativity. Selection of the right tools and some editing process are also needed to realize a good photo work. Without technical ability, vision will not be realized perfectly. Vision is also strongly associated with the style of photography (personal style). If we consistently develop our vision, the personal style will be created and people will more easily recognize our work.

Just like a life, vision and style will also change as time goes on. Maybe once we like a photo with high color saturation, but after a few years maybe black and white. Maybe now we prefer to use large aperture lens and make blurred background (bokeh). But in the future may be we love sharp detail from the background until the foreground. Everything gonna be changed, our photo quality will also changed to be better and better.

Well, How to train your Vision?
– Master the basic techniques of photography and make a commitment to learn continuously and follow the evolving imaging technologies.
– Focus to see and pay attention to one or few preferred subjects, don’t push photographing variety of subjects of photos at once.
– Select the right equipment (cameras, lenses, accessories) according to your budget, it will save the time and optimizing your photo quality.
– Training and continuous practice will produce good work, it’s not just talent and luck. The most important practice is not only photographing activities, but how do we see the subject.
– Learning by seeing, take a look at the pictures of other photographers and other visual arts such as painting, movies, and so on.
– Create a personal photography project, for example, a collection of old trees photos, vehicles, portrait, culture etc.

by Duwi Mertiana