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The Visual Experience

excerpt from Natural Design: Image Design for Nature Photographers

by Gloria Hopkins

The visual experience is one where the observer is engaged in viewing, studying, and/or evaluating a photograph or painting. This visual experience includes all the internal processes that occur at this time including perception, interpretation, recognition, understanding, association, evaluation, acceptance, approval, and so on.

The visual experience can be as casual as a brief glance, or it can be a deeply moving experience where the observer feels he or she is communicating with the artist and gaining an understanding of the work.

You get out of the visual experience what you put into it. A great way to begin expanding your vision and get more from the visual experience is to expose yourself to new arts, new styles, new techniques, and the processes involved in creating visual art. Become and remain aware of the various dynamics and processes these experiences have to offer and learn from them. One of the best ways to do this is to go into the visual experience with an open mind and the goal of understanding or at least acquiring an appreciation for the image.

For a continuation of this writing, please see "Approaching the Photographic Image."

excerpt from Natural Design: Image Design for Nature Photographers

Revised August 2011
Text and images copyright Gloria Hopkins