... blog post:
I have spent so large a portion of my life looking at the world through the viewfinder of one camera or another that proper seeing has become mostly ingrained into my vision.
When we go about our daily business in the world, we mostly go "on automatic" and things go by unnoticed. It's typical even for those us lucky enough to live in the mountains or in the forests or in the countryside or in the wilderness, even the great beauty of these places become commonplace to us and go by unseen, whereas a stranger often gazes around in awe.
When I put the camera to my eye and survey the scene through the frame of its viewfinder I see everything anew again no matter where I am, both the big picture and the detail. I really see it, I see it with my photographer's eye.
That means I am really looking at what is in front of me and how all the components of what I see relate together and visualising what a final picture made up of these components would look like, as captured by my camera and lens, i.e.the final processed photograph.
Thus I am truly looking, seeing, analysing and synthesising with my vision switched on. I am totally engaged with subject in front of me.
When you I the world this way I discover details I have missed, things that fascinate me that, in my own environment for example, I may have walked passed unseen regularly. I find a visual richness that stimulates my mind and my imagination. Plus it is dynamic. It can change minute by minute as the light changes for example or mood by mood as the people in it change or the seasons change and so on.
Then when I lower the camera it can be gone, though I find myself wandering about in "photographer mode" most of the time - even without the camera to my eye - these days. Proper seeing has become ingrained into my vision.