Month: June 2021

How To See the World Like an Artist

Lines. Black and white abstract photo by Mihaela Limberea.

”Seeing,” really seeing what you’re looking at, is an essential skill for a photographer. For any visual artist, in fact. Some people may have been born with it, while some may struggle. No fancy equipment can compensate for its lack, though. The good news is that you can learn to, as any art student can tell you.

And this is not something you’d turn on and off; it’ll change the way you look and see the world. For example, the black & white abstract photo above …

… was converted from this.

It’s part of a terrace roof in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Marrakech. As soon as I stepped out on the terrace and saw this pergola, I knew it would make a perfect abstract photograph. It was just a question of trying various compositions and angles until getting that ultimate photo that all photographs dream about when they press the shutter button.


How To See the World as an Artist

Simply put: practice, practice, practice. A few tips:

  • Similar to beginners, when learning how to draw, you need to let go of identifying various objects (a chair, a vase, a hat) and see the shapes, lines, and contours that make up those things instead.
  • Notice the play of shadows and light, the contrast, the textures, the colors, and the patterns they create. How complementary colors work well together, such as orange and blue, or red and green.
  • Look at things from a different perspective: taking a photo from a low angle can show the world as seen by a small animal or a child, or turn a flower into a towering tree.
  • Look at the works of established photographers and painters and analyze what you see. What makes that artwork good? What did the artist do? How? Visiting museums is a good start, and nowadays, you can do that online too (a good thing in pandemic times).
  • Practice, practice, practice. And practice some more. Learning any craft requires effort, perseverance, and dedication.

Related Posts


To read more on photography, click here. Artsy has a good article on how to learn to see the world as an artist here.


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Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
  6. Departing Spring
  7. The Skylark
  8. What a Strange Thing!
  9. Although The Wind …
  10. The Old Pond
  11. Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
  12. Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
  13. Youth and Age
  14. A Postcard From the Volcano
  15. The Kraken
  16. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  17. There Is a Solitude of Space
  18. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  19. Mad Song
  20. Answer July
  21. Success Is Counted Sweetest
  22. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  23. The Bluebird
  24. A Vision of the End
  25. The Crying of Water
  26. A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey
  27. Winter
  28. The Dark Cavalier
  29. There is no Life or Death
  30. Sheep in Winter
  31. To a Snowflake
  32. Sextain
  33. A Crocodile
  34. Sea Fever
  35. The Giant Cactus of Arizona
  36. The Coming of Night
  37. Going to the Picnic
  38. Moon Tonight
  39. A Southern Night
Close up of apple tree flowers. Photo by Mihaela Limberea
Spring is like a perhaps hand 
(which comes carefully out of Nowhere) arranging 
 a window, into which people look (while 
people stare 
arranging and changing placing 
carefully there a strange 
thing and a known thing here) and 
 
changing everything carefully 
 
spring is like a perhaps 
Hand in a window 
(carefully to 
and fro moving New and 
Old things, while 
people stare carefully 
moving a perhaps fraction of flower here placing 
an inch of air there) and 
without breaking anything.

By e. e. cummings (1894 – 1962), American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright.


To read more poems, click here.