I’ve talked here before about pre-visualization. But for some of you, my discussion has been too ethereal. You want some concrete steps you can take to improve your pre-visualization skills. In order to effectively pre-visualize, there are some things you can do to prepare.
a. Go somewhere quiet.
b. Relax and get comfortable
c. Turn off the phone, TV, radio, iPod and your computer
d. Bring a pen and paper – yes – pen and paper – it works better than a laptop
e. Close your eyes and concentrate on creating a blank page
Now you are ready to start painting a picture in your mind’s eye. Here’s your first exercise…
1. Look at one of your older photos that failed – now visualize ways in which the photo could have worked. What could you have done differently? If you were at that place right now, how would the photo come out in a perfect world.
The value of this exercise is that it helps release any feelings of anxiety or fear of failure that might be blocking you from successfully pre-visualizing new images.
2. If you could only take one more photo before you die, what subject would you photograph?
The value of this exercise is simple – it helps you determine that which is really important to you – photographically. It also helps you to practice “seeing” when there is nothing tangible in front of you to look at.
3. Previz Scout – go on a hike or a bike ride or a car ride through a very visually interesting and/or beautiful area. DO NOT bring you camera. Instead, use your mind’s eye and try to SEE images WITHOUT the camera. Do the old-fashioned frame with your hands in order to see the picture. Take notes if you see something special and return with your camera if you like.
The value of this exercise is that you are forced to work like a painter. You start with a blank canvas and then SEE the thing you want to produce – without the limitation or the crutch of equipment (or the lack thereof.)
4. Try non-photographic visualization exercises. Record your dreams. Try to use more visual words and phrases in your everyday conversations. Doodle.
The value of this exercise is to strengthen your creative muscles. Think of it as weight-lifting for your creative mind.
5. Before thinking about any particular image – try thinking about the emotional and psychological impact you want the image to make on the viewer.
The value of this exercise is to help you become a visual storyteller.