Chasing the 'Mind's Eye'

       Once in a while there is an idea we hold in our heads of how we want something to look before we have ever seen it. Sometimes we re-imagine the location in different weather, lighting, etc... This happens when we enjoy something so much that our imagination goes into overdrive and we start formulating a mental image that embodies our desires.

       There becomes a point of this imaginative process that starts a transformation towards something far more special than simple mental imagery. Once our preferences, such as lighting conditions, weather conditions, angle of view, composition, and depth of field, become one with our mental image it becomes the image of our 'Mind's Eye.'

       The 'Mind's Eye' is one of the most powerful tools of any passionate artist. Like achieving hyper focus, seamlessly working a 3-stop reverse graduated neutral density filter into the horizon, or choosing the correct flash compensation value for fill lighting, it simply takes practice!

       Anytime you see a tree in a field from your car and imagine what it would look like from another angle or a better time of day, you are using your 'Mind's Eye.' It is a good idea to practice as often and thoughtfully as possible. Try to imagine elements within a scene from different angles, different compositions, and under all sorts of lighting and weather conditions. This ability to imagine and lock in a mental image of exactly what you wish to capture gives you a great comparative guide for when you are actually at the location photographing.

       The shot above represents a one year process. I had visited this location at Mosquito Beach twice before, but each time the weather would not cooperate during the duration of my trip. Each time I would leave with an image burning in my 'Mind's Eye' of the photograph I wished to capture. After a year I had another chance to visit the location and this time with a better idea of what I wanted than the first two visits. The weather cooperated perfectly and I was given a chance to capture the image I had trapped in my head for a year, I wasn't about to blow the opportunity!

Technical details:
Canon 6D, Nikon 14-24 F2.8G ED lens, Novoflex Nikon Lens to Canon DSLR Adapter, Canon Intervalometer, One photograph taken at Twilight for foreground lighting - ISO 100, F/16, 2 Seconds. An additional 45 images were captured for the star trail - ISO 400, F/11, 30 Seconds per image.

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