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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Pre-Visualization.....Once, Twice, Thrice

It occurs to me that as photographer/artists we pre-visualize our work more than once and often as many as three times or more.

Pre-visualization #1. When we are making images out in the field we need to have a reason for stopping to make a photograph.....to take time to think about what attracted us to the subject and to pre-visualize how we want it to look in the final print.

Pre-visualization #2. Assuming that we are shooting digitally, the image is then imported into Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop etc and, in my case, this is usually done in RAW format. When I import images into Lightroom I don't apply any develop presets on import and, thus, am greeted by images that have a generally bland appearance. Therefore, when deciding which images to work on, I not only have to judge composition, but also think about what I can make the image 'into' to 'bring out' the qualities that led me to make the photograph in the first place.

Pre-visualization #3. Finally, in todays digital age, we can frequently combine images to extend dynamic range, increase depth of field, or make panoramas. This, for me, is the most difficult pre-visualization, probably because I have just recently started using these modalities.

Obviously, in the 'pre-digital' days there were also mutiple pre-visualizations to be made when it came to making prints. However, as a 'slide shooter' who didn't often make prints back then, I really only pre-visualized once, and this occured when making the initial photograph. After that you got what you got and that was that.

I am not quite sure why it is that I find it interesting that as photographers we need to imagine and formulate our end result in our mind's eye so many times, but I do find it intriguing.