A while back I wrote a post called: Seeing The Invisible A Photographers Vision.
In that post I gave you an exercise – to describe a tree to a blind person. The point of that post – and this one – is to improve your visualization skills.
I want you to take that exercise and switch it up a bit. Now I want you to draw, paint or sketch a picture of a tree. I don’t care if you suck – just do it. You don’t have to show the picture to anyone. You won’t be graded on your work. The idea is simply to engage different neurons in your brain and to help you “see” better.
I like to practice this exercise at home – away from visual stimulus. I try to draw the tree from my mind’s eye. What comes of it?
You exercise a different brain muscle than the one you use when making photographs. That might just spur you into a whole new realm of creativity. Beyond that, there are many possibilities. I once tried this exercise and drew a tree while sitting at my house on my couch. When I was done with the drawing, I realized I recognized the tree. I had drawn it from my subconscious. I immediately grabbed my camera and went looking for the tree. I wasn’t exactly sure where it was. That resulted in a bunch of exploration that led me to many more locations I loved. I even eventually found the tree and photographed it.
Lastly – doing this exercise, I was reminded of trees I loved when I was kid. They are gone now or far away. I won’t see them again. But the memory of those trees lives on in me and motivates me to go find more trees, or birds or whatever.
So you see there can be many benefits to this simple little vision exercise. It’s the one time I am okay with you sitting on the couch instead of shooting! Have fun.