February 20, 2016

How Do You Respond?

Someone is looking at your work and says: tell me about your Vision.

How do you respond?


34 thoughts on “How Do You Respond?

  1. It is bad I have to use trifocals, until I hit 40 years of age I had 20-20 and my high power rifle shooting was a high master. In the 21 years since 40 I have acquired presbyopia really bad old man eyes and trifocals and have slid to expert class and have to use the diopter lens on my globe sights and camera view finder or live view. Oh I am sorry you mean the other vision, correct? The vision of my mind’s eye, the vision of the mushin no shin, the zen vision, the miksang vision, the art thing kind of vision, yes? well that is a really good question? Well the answer is it is really good, I like it, it follows me wherever I go, like my friend here the 6 foot pooka, his name is Harvey, say hello to these nice people, Harvey. As long as my wife is not near me I get away with it. If they are still with me when we are at the artsy vision part, the Harvey thing usually runs them off so they can go bother someone else. If not then Then we will all go off for martinis including Harvey, he and I like the Vesper martini.

  2. An impressionistic piece of art requires the viewer to interpret some of what is viewed. My vision for this work is to ask the viewer to create their own story from what they’re seeing.

  3. Hey Cole: I’ve been in the arts all of my life, so far, and there have always been pseudo intellectuals who throw around meaningless terms for the purpose of self aggrandizement. In photography, the buzz word, “vision,” is definitely one of them.

    I don’t know of anyone who has successfully come up with a grounded definition of what that means, without coming up with a whole other raft of bs to define it.

    Question: What is your vision?
    My answer: I don’t know what you means. Could you rephrase the question?

  4. Sorry…..previous answer…….I got caught between “I don’t know what that means,” and “I don’t know what you mean.” So, it appears that I found a happy medium, “I don’t know what you means.” Apologies!

  5. Tough question! One to ponder a bit. I would be impressed though. I mean of all the people that walked passed the work and took it in here is the one person that wants to delve deeper and understand more. Unless of course they were BSing you. But you can pick that up pretty quickly. I think it’s a pretty insightful question

  6. I go around with my camera (and brain) trying to make abstracts out of order and order out of chaos. If that’s “vision” ok. But don’t bring up the other bs word: “passion”. “Passion” in a photo job ad means they don’t want to pay you to shoot.

  7. Often ones vision can not be described with words due to it’s complexity. We all dont see the world through the same lens, the same brush stroke, or fell it through the same sculpture; so to the that question I would say: i create what moves me, now you as the viewer tell me what you see…

  8. I think it’s a sensible question… I believe that our photographic vision is simply a confluence of how we see the world; how we approach a subject, how we compose, and how we use or see light. Along with those, how do we handle the image in post production (whether it be in a darkroom or on a computer)? All of these things together represent vision (It is akin to Ansel’s pre-visualization). Put another way, vision is how, through our photographic tools, we present what we see to others. I think it’s that simple, and if someone asked, I would be able to answer.

  9. Hello Harold. I’m a huge fan. To replay to your comments:

    The elements you mention also can be related to style, a very popular buzz word. Also, what’s the difference between visualization and (another buzz word) PRE-visualization? And how do we know if the person asking the question knows the difference between style and vision. Is it their definition or my definition? I don’t know. I’m just trying to get things to look right. That’s my answer.

  10. Vision is imagination. Seeing beyond what is in front of the lens. Think not how you would accurately capture what you see but capture the image in your head. More about not what it is but what it can be. Imagination is something you develop over time by allowing your right brain to take control.

  11. Hello Tony! Right back atcha! 😉

    An interesting and entertaining discussion, and lots of interesting views! I think Michael Adkins says it well, and I personally think that the “capturing what you see” takes place over the entire process, including post. Tony, I’m thinking that visualization and pre-visualization are basically the same thing? In the film process, we would “pre” visualize what treatments we could apply with chemistry, etc., so I think it’s just an expression of the fact that there was a fairly large lag-time between shooting and the realization of the final image.
    What about style and vision? I would assume that the asking person knows the difference, but only Cole can speak to the thoughts of his imaginary person!;-)
    I get that lots of people might ask why we even talk about this stuff. I’ve always felt that it is only for the benefit of some other, maybe younger, artists, helping them to understand the importance of developing, or at least being aware of, a personal “vision”, which, in my opinion, results in an externally applied label of “style”. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never liked that last term. “Style” for me sounds limiting, with parameters, applied by someone else, while “vision” is, as Michael says, imagination.

  12. Artistic vision is your philosophy of life and is reflected in your preferred subject matter and style(s) which can change over time. Mr. Ross, light painting guru extraordinaire and Mr. Sweet, free spirit exploring all manner of subject matter and styles with incredible skill (variety is the spice of life) can probably identify how these quite different approaches (vision) reflect the way they live, feel and believe. Or, I think they can.

  13. Hey Cole – I have an endless curiosity with our species and find human behavior to be infinitely intriguing. My response would be to share my vision in hopes the questioner would learn something about how I see things; in return, the person’s response to my vision will hopefully add to my understanding of how others see things. My vision, is my vision, but how others view the same image is fascinating to me.

  14. I Had someone ask me that question not long ago and my response was at first puzzlement and asked them what they meant. The question rephrased was “I was with you when you took those photographs and I never saw what you photographed and I love these images. So how do you see them.”

    My answer was I have no idea and I am amazed at what other photographers see that I don’t see. We are all thankfully just wired a little bit differently.

  15. Each of us is a unique individual. No one else has experienced what we have and what has made us the person we have become. The deeper we each can dip into that well and express it, the more our individual vision comes forward.

    When seeing a single image, another may not see at first our vision, but seeing perhaps a number more, and then looking back at that first image alone, they can understand and see our vision.

    Vision is not a style. When it’s visible, it is who we are that’s made open to witness for those that are receptive.

  16. Harold, these are intellectual exercises at best. They’re interesting and can be fun. But, Emanuel Kant sums it up the best, to paraphrase, “theory without experience is mere intellectual play.” We are all alone to find our own truth, our own reality, what’s important to us, and to develop whatever style we may have. Ok, sorry to go off the deep end, but I have to crash. I have a non-theoretical workshop starting in a few hours!

  17. Doesn’t it depend on what is shown to that person? There’s a clear distinction whether one series is shown and the person doesn’t understand the idea behind the series (which is a possible scenario if he hasn’t read/understood the artist statement) or this is asked about life’s work (in which case this seems to be trolling).

  18. It’s as simple & complicated as whatever is right in front of me. Whatever portion that happens to connect is my vision. Others will connect to some other part. The magic of the connection is the vision; the image is the outcome.

  19. My Vision is “Essence” and the feeling emoted by the viewer as one takes in the image I photographed.

    My Essence shared through a photograph.

    Thank you, Cole. I am an amateur photographer with much to offer (myself) by sharing with others a captured moment in time. Just came up with a name, need to learn how to make a webpage. It will be TonyaGaylePhotography. Tonya@TonyaGaylePhotography.

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