We’re told by the best photographer that pre-visualisation is a key technique to make good photographs. You are supposed to look at a scene or subject and try and imagine what the final result will look like before you press the shutter. And by ‘final’ what is meant is after all the post-processing is complete and you’ve printed your image or published it to your blog.
Pre-visualisation is something that I am trying to do learn and do more often. It forces you to slow down, take in the scene and actually think about what you are doing and why, and what you hope to do with the image when you’ve got it back in your Lightroom. I must say, that I think that such contemplation before taking an image has helped my photography (clearly, that’s just my opinion!).
I first remember doing this (and knowing I was doing it) back in October 2008. We were in Virginia to see and stay with some friends of ours. One day, we took a walk through some woods nearby, taking in the fall=autumn colours that we miss living here in Hawaii. I saw some leaves lying on a log and I remember thinking through the process of composition, exposure and also the final print/image. At the time, my nascent pre-visualisation led me to believe that I was about to take a great image which would ultimately look fantastic as a black & white.
Back in my Lightroom, indeed the image did look good as a black & white. I was pleased with the results and felt vindicated – I was learning! But then, I started to look at the original colour image and played with that a bit (prompted by my trial and ultimate purchase of the Nik Software Complete Collection plugins for Lightroom). In my view, the colour version turned out to be so much better.
Just goes to show – instinct, spontaneity, experience, judgement and careful thought all play a role in pre-visualising the perfect image. But (as the scientist inside tells me) you should always explore as much of your parameter space as you can and consider all your options and results, you never know what you’ll get. You can never know the thing you never thought of!
P.S: Do you think that my misspelling of the word “Photography” in my watermark will make these images collector’s items one day?!