During a recent visit to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, I photographed many of the trees. What I was intrigued most by was the texture and patterns of the bark, so these are not your usual images of trees.
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
The 19th century writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau made this simple but profound observation in 1851. It’s a thought that travels with me often as I photograph. We can become so used to what we are looking at that we no longer see (experience) it and all the detail and beauty that it contains. We can also have such preconceived ideas of what we are looking at, that the we miss subtle nuances or changes that may have occurred.
My day at the botanical garden was a practice in seeing not just looking. How can you practice seeing today?
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