Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Learn To See

Put your camera in your car. OK, not right this second, but when you're done reading get out of the chair, grab the camera and go stick it in your car on the passenger seat. The next time you are out and about town it will be waiting for you to take a photo.

Of what? Well, it's fall. Take a picture of anything. Having the camera waiting beside you is one way to learn to see, and not just look. If you know it's there to take a photograph you'll soon learn to see good photos long before you put them in your camera. Things you ride by everyday, and not think twice about, you see in a different way. Everyday things. Random things. Even the most common views somehow are seen differently as the light changes throughout the day. Watch for it. Notice it. Then take a picture.

After a fifty or so photos you will begin to notice something: those places, and things you looked at everyday as you walked, or drove by them, are different. You begin to see the afternoon light touching them and casting a shadow down one side. The color of objects will take on different hues as the light changes during the day. The same object can look totally different at 4:00 PM than when when you saw it 11:00 in the morning. You start to analyze the scene. Compose the shot better, and in a short time, your photographs will start to look like masterpieces.

It's strange how we may know that the light changes throughout the day, but may not have been able to actually use it for something creative before. Just having the camera beside you, and not even putting it to your eye, opens a part of your brain you probably haven't used very often before. A creative place, and once you open up that creative right side of your brain more often, for some reason the black and white things coming from the left side are analyzed easier, and understood better.

Don't know why, just happens.

"How is the Right Brain / Left Brain Concept Relevant to Artists? When you start a painting, you need be able to to visualise the final painting in your mind (right brain, working from the whole), then develop the painting, choosing the elements, matching and mixing colours, placing in the shadows and highlights (right brain, working on various things simultaneously), but at the same time be able to look critically at what you've doing (left brain, being analytical). By finding out whether your thinking is dominated by your right or left brain, you can then deliberately set out to use the 'right brain' way of thinking in your painting or drawing, rather than working on 'auto-pilot'. By trying a different strategy you will probably be surprised by what different results you can produce." Source

Something so simple, yet it accomplishes so much. You'll start to actually "see" instead of just look, and you will critique your work and improve in a short time. When both sides of the brain are working in harmony you will begin to see, and analyze other things like problems, issues, and opinions in a different way as well.

And, as an added bonus, you will also have some great photographs to hang on your wall.

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