POTD: Post-Previsualization

Seal Rocks, Oregon

Previsualization is a common topic of discussion in photography. Often attributed to Ansel Adams, previsualization is, in short, the idea of “seeing” the final print in one’s mind before a photograph is taken. I think every photographer, even one snapping simple images with a cell phone, uses some degree of previsualization in the act of composing a shot. Obviously some will give more thought, consciously or subconsciously, to what they are capturing than others. I know when I am out photographing I use varying degrees of it–at least on a conscious level (who knows what’s going on behind the scenes in my head).

In the case of this photograph, I was easily envisioning in my mind how this pattern of pebbles in the cracks of the larger rock surface would look in black and white. I was sure the subtle tonalities of gray produced in the conversion to black and white would make for a pleasing image. But I was wrong, no matter how I tweaked the image in Photoshop to try and get it to line up with what I thought I could see in my head, all I got was a drab, bland image compared to presenting it in color. So that’s what I ended up doing, thus proving the value of post-previsualization, a practice which occurs all the time among creatives in order to adjust the realities of what is actually achievable with what was floating around in one’s head.

6 thoughts on “POTD: Post-Previsualization”

  1. In addition to the greater clarity of the color version, the slight blue of the pebbles reminds me of water. So I see fish swimming upstream left to right. More post visualization since I was not on hand for the capture. 😉

    1. Is it possible for there to be post-visualization if you didn’t have previsualization? One for the philosophers of photography I guess.

  2. Stephen E Johnson

    Either way, an interesting shot of rock eggs laid by a rock mother in the birthing chamber. Did you shoot straight down or at an angle?

  3. You give new definition to the “mind’s eye”. Very striking image and I like to imagine how the water deposited those stones – all at once or bit by bit?

    1. Thanks Judy. It’s interesting to stand on a rocky pebble beach, where you can actually hear the waves pushing the rocks up and down as they come in and recede.

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