what do i see?

“To me, photography is an art of observation.  It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them”

-Elliot Erwin

I had recently read this quote and couldn’t get it out of my head.  For the past five years or so, I’ve gotten more and more interested in photography.  This interest probably coincides with my second son being born and purchasing a d-slr camera to take photos of him.  I scoured photography blogs, checked out every book I could in the library, created my own photography set-ups.  And even though I love taking photos of my kids, I love taking pictures of ordinary things in unusual ways — maybe a higher or lower perspective, an unusual focus point, or an overlooked detail.  That’s why this quote resonates with me. As a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to get bored with life, doing the same things everyday, packing the same lunches, driving the same routes to school and activities, seeing the same things go by day after day….but how true that “it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”  That’s the way I would like to see things.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great quote and your beautiful images. I came across your site rather accidentally, but I guess there truly are no accidents. I aspire to be able to take photographs that are as stunning as those you have posted. Would you be willing to share what kind of camera you use and recommend any books that have been especially helpful in your photography journey? I am just beginning to learn how to go beyond taking pictures to capturing artful photographs. Any advice you have would be most appreciated. Thanks.

    • Thank you again, Dr. Jude Rathburn! I appreciate all your encouragement, and I agree that things happen for a reason! I currently use a canon t3i — but more than the camera body, having good lenses and knowing when/how to use them make a great difference. Photography can be very expensive, but having a quality prime lens like the 50mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.4 is a good place to start to get sharp photos with low light versatility. It’s funny you mention book recommendations because I was thinking of writing a post about photography books that I would recommend — however, in the meantime, there are a series of inexpensive e-books through craft&vision (craftandvision.com) that are very inspiring and that I have learned a lot from (particularly those from david duchemin & andrew s. gibson). They are both technical, but also stress the importance of vision and intent, which I believe is very important in photography. Hope that helps! Please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions — the best to you on your journey!

      • Thanks Neely! I wasn’t aware of craftandvision.com – there are some wonderful resources on the site. I have read a few of David Duchemin’s books and am especially interested in his views about combining vision and craft. You seem to have a knack for capturing both elements in your images! Please keep sharing your photos and your stories – they are very inspiring to someone like me who is just beginning to experience the joy of photography.

    • Yes — there is something very inspirational to me in that quote and how I see my life as a whole — not just from a photographic perspective. The things that happen in life can be perceived so differently just by how they are viewed and the perspective one takes.

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