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If you find it’s a struggle to imagine something other than what you’re looking at, for now, I encourage you to be willing to pretend. Stretch your imagination. Even if you’ve never seen something before, just imagine it as you wish. You don’t need to stay rooted in rigid, logical thinking. Nature photography is a creative act and your mind has infinite bounds — push them! In particular, other photographers’ images can have a profound effect on your previsualizing process. Seeing what someone else did can give you ideas about how you would do it. Here’s a simple exercise to help you begin to previsualize photographs:

 

  1. Think of a location in nature that you find intriguing. It can be anywhere.
  2. Go online and search Flickr.com for photos of that place.
  3. Spend 15-20 minutes looking at photos of your location.
  4. With each photo you examine, think of how the photographer set up the shot. Visualize where the camera must have been placed. Get a general sense of what it must have been like to be there at that moment. Try to be as specific as you can.
  5. Still imagining being on location, picture yourself moving the camera to make different shots. What kinds of compositions could you come up with? What’s happening with the light? What do you imagine you would see if you looked behind you?
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