Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Objective Observation and POV...

Objective observation is the key to creating a setting in writing or the aspect of an illustration but everyone’s point of view is different. One person may call the solid hunk of earth in front of them a stone while the other might call it a rock. One person may be taller or color blind and miss the tiny yellow flower popping up between the cracks of the sidewalk. Someone’s perspective may be tainted by tragedy and another might not see the horror of an accident but another notices that all victims survived unhurt.

Perspective, attitude, context, frame of reference, objectivity and relativity all play a part. Do you really see what is there or do you filter it, assuming you know the reality? For example; the snow on a mountain on a sunny day is white, right? Yes, but what color are the deep shadows? Most people will say the shadows will be darker and probably gray. Nope. The dark shadows on snow are the same color as the sky. Objective observation. (to read a more detailed explanation by James Gurney : http//gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/01/vertical-planes-in-shadow.html

Amazingly children manage to master language. My son once asked me to “turn off the dark”, which in his mind was just as logical as “turning on the light”. Children also understand objective observation. A young child’s drawing of a face often looks like the example on the right: two eyes right next to the nose and the nose with two holes. Some think it is just because they don’t know any better but they may know more than you do. Get down on your knees (child height) and look up at a friends face. What do you observe? Two eyes right next to the nose and the nose with two holes. Objective observation.

Next time you look at something, think about what you are seeing and question your filters and the reality presented. You might be very surprised at what you see.

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