Photo Daily: Exit Exit

Exit Exit, Chicago ©2014

Exit Exit, Chicago ©2014

I learn a lot from watching what other photographers see. What I mean by that isn’t the meticulously crafted studio or planned shoots, but what they see during their downtime. One of my wonderful photography friends, Steve Diet Goedde, completely inspires me in this regard. His formal work is beautifully crafted, but his found moments photos on Instagram give a special insight into how he sees the world.

I define found moments as those unplanned images that you simply see appear before you, when you’re not really looking. But a good photographer is always looking. We can’t help it. We’re never “off.”

I’m getting better at remembering to see when I’m not looking. When I’m rushing to a meeting or a job or to the store. The world is unfolding around us, but it takes a bit of practice to get out of the, point-A-to-point-B, focus sometimes.

This exit sign is a good example. I’ve walked past this hundreds of times. Literally never noticed it until yesterday when something about the shape caught my eye. It’s just a sign. It has one purpose. Telling people where the exit is. But something about how I “saw” it yesterday made me pause. There was a beautiful geometry about it. Unevenly lit and organic.

Why did it catch my eye this time? I really have no idea. I had just shipped a great project I’ve been editing and I was in a good mood. Maybe my mood sparked my visual brain cells. I could take something off of my plate and get back to seeing.

The lesson it taught me was that I still have to make a better effort to see, even when I’m in the thick of things. Let my mind wander when I have too many mental plates spinning. Leave some room for dessert.

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