Perspective. Do you see what I see?

There’s a cliche in the photography world that is probably heard more often than the sound of the shutter – “you have the eye”.  I know I’ve heard it a hundred times and I’ll admit that I’ve even passed it on once or ten times.  I can’t help but wonder what exactly it means.  I know it’s intended as a compliment to someone who creates beautiful images with a camera.  Some people insist that you either have “the eye” or you don’t – is that true?  If two experienced photographers produced images from a similar location, but only one of them had “the eye”, would you be able to tell?  Can you learn to photograph more like someone with “the eye”?

All of these crazy ponderings have been in the back of my mind for quite some time.  It wasn’t until an old friend paid me a sweet and very profound compliment that I realized what all of this meant {I think}.  I’m a visual person, so I’m going to show you the conclusion I came to {please pardon the crappy mobile pictures}.  Don’t worry, I will share the enlightenment from my friend as well – at the end 🙂

Here is my view at Kylie’s school every day:

A stroll toward the building brings you to this cute statue and flowers…

It’s just some grass with a parking lot in the background, right?

To be sure, let’s look closer and get a little lower.  Do you see what I see?

This is what I see.

April…I haven’t seen you in forever, but I see some of your posts here and there and I have to let you know that you’re so talented and have such an eye for what you’re doing. Your photos capture all the beauty in this world that a lot of people take for granted. i love seeing the world through your eyes 🙂 keep up the good work and may this be just the beginning ♥ ♥ – Gina

I realized that it’s our perspective that separates us.  We as photographers are able to share a unique perspective with people who may not see it otherwise.  Our view of the world is “the eye” and our photography is how we are able to share it.  Although it’s been attested that you either have the eye for photography or you don’t, I would like to believe otherwise.  Maybe it’s only a matter of digging just a little deeper and learning to change your perspective.

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8 thoughts on “Perspective. Do you see what I see?

  1. I have thought a lot about this issue April:) I have a 14yo who has the ‘eye’ as you put it:) She & I can go do a shoot & her photos just have a certain panache that most of mine don’t. I have pushed myself to get better but I am slowing coming to the realization that I am here to help her get her career started & just have fun myself;) It is humbling to come to that. Have I grown as a photographer ABSOLUTELY! Am i a naturally gifted as she is NOPE! My .02 for what it is worth:)


  2. Great post! Just for whatever, here’s my perspective today – might be different tomorrow. There needs to be something there to begin with – maybe it is a “God-given talent” maybe just an appreciation for creation and the gift of being able to see it at all. There is a great quote by John Ruskin on “Seeing” – I’ll leave it for folks to find themselves – it is worth a little effort and who knows what else you might find on the way. There is also a great quote that I just saw a couple days ago by Dorothea Lange about what a camera can do for a person. I’ll leave that one for folks to look up also. I believe that skills and technical expertise can be developed, but I also believe that whatever is beneath the actions makes a huge difference. Just my “two cents” worth and – actually my opinion on this will probably be pretty much the same tomorrow! Blessings!

  3. Oh, April! I absolutely love your post with the mundane images “Most” people see contrasted with what you see as the photographer’s “eye” ….. what a beautiful & spot-on illustration. And the final image, I think Amara said it best – it is breathtaking! Beautiful work. 🙂

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