Some artists think better standing on their head. Personally, I produce better edits when I turn photographs upside down.
Last week’s vlog broke down a few images into the essentials of composition, shapes, and lighting. But to discover these elements in the first place, I flipped the image upside down or horizontally to trick my brain into thinking I hadn’t seen it before; it’s a trick I shamelessly stole from middle school art classes.
According to 1979-era perceptual psychology, beginner artists are encumbered by their preconceived notions of how objects ought to appear. Betty Edwards, author of the bestselling book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” proposed a teaching methodology that tricks the brain out of its modus operandi so it only perceives edges, spaces, relationships, and lighting.
My mom is a traditional media artist, so growing up, I was forced to take art classes. I landed in software development, but not without enduring some instruction in art principles. Now, as a landscape photographer, I find that those artistic principles have counterparts in photography, especially during post-production.
Next time a shot with potential is stuck in post-production purgatory, flip it upside down or find a mirror and apply your analytical skills to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. It might be as simple as a busy texture, uneven saturation, or poor cropping choice.
Depending on your fitness level, now might be a good time to master handstands or your Lightroom keyboard shortcuts. How do you overcome editor’s block?