Thoughts on “Creative Vision”

When She Got Up

Photographer Nick Mayo of Grand Rapids. MI recently held his first popularity vote competition on his new Facebook fan page related to his art blog Nick Exposed. Launched on February 25, he basically wanted readers to answer the following question in their own words:

“What does photographic (or creative) vision mean to you?”

Whoever’s response garnered the most “likes” within 5 days won a copy of David duChemin’s book “Photographically Speaking”; signed by the author.

As a commercial artist, I think the contest was an impressive marketing tactic. As someone who is somewhat of a student of art theory, and is always curious about others perspectives on art; whether they’re artists or not, I was highly motivated to observe the responses (Nick’s fantastic question is so closely related to a “Viewpoint” that I’ve already expressed).

Most of the submissions seemed like emotionally-filled or metaphysical opinions. Here are my top ten favourite expressions:

10 “Heart and and mind as one seeking, seeing, pursuing possibilities others do not see; understanding, interpreting, speaking for them their story.” – David Schuler

9 “To provoke thought. To elicit wonderment. To encourage the inner smile. To warrant a second glance. Or a third.” – Jane McLoughlin

8 “To capture a moment in time, a person or place, and create an image that rattles our emotions, makes us feel, see, and hear differently; an image that leaves us warmed, inspired, stirred, changed.” – Hattie Wilcox

7 “Photographic vision is the ability of ‘Seeing it First Hand’: – snapshots of life at a point, both beautiful and complicated. It is that split second moment of heightened awareness as we witness the stories of life’s humanity played out in the lives of the world’s everyday players.” – Jack Brewis

6 “My idea of photographic/creative vision is the task/skill of expressing to others what you have taken particular interest in when looking at something. Sharing your unique perspective of the world.” – Mathew Wilthone T.

5 “Photographic vision to me is showing people the extraordinary, and suddenly have them realize it’s the beauty of the ordinary that’s all around them . . . if they only took the time to notice it.” – Emilio J. D’Alise

4 “For me it’s all about bringing everyday things to life, and making the ordinary extraordinary.” – Richard Cooper-Knight

3 “Seeing beyond what I’m looking at.” – Dano Gruen

2 “To me, photographic vision means capturing what speaks to my heart and sharing it with other people who may otherwise walk by without noticing its beauty!” – Cindy Guest Taylor

1 “For me it is seeing what others don’t, capturing what others miss, and believing. Believing that my seeing the world through a viewfinder always has and will forever be what makes me, me.” – Kara Burns Heller

The winner was Michael Cooper with:

“I think photographic (creative) vision is keeping an open mind in finding something in nothing. Taking a regular picture and making it into something meaningful.”

Congratulations to you, Michael!

Gifts from the Sky

I contacted Nick for his interpretation. He said that he’d have to get back to me but I’m still waiting.

C’mon, Nick!

Yes, I did participate in the competition. Here is my typically analytical (perhaps dry) sounding contribution:

Creative vision is the ability to recognize a person, place, event or other thing as not only what it actually is but in a way that amplifies or intensifies its existence and/or meaning on the human psyche. Creative vision may also involve the adding of one or more profound meanings to that person, place, event or other thing, and it is needed before that person, place, event or other thing is presented or expressed through some artistic means; like photography.

Photographic vision; therefore, is profound foresight on the creative presentation of an image of a person, place, event or other thing through the recording of light or other electromagnetic radiation.

Thanks to Nick, David Schuler, John Milton and Rob Twig Wood who did “like” my definition. I very much appreciate it.

Nick promises to keep initiating competitions. You can find Nick Exposed at, and the Facebook fan page at You can head right to Nick’s blog through the link in my blogroll, under the “Respected Writers” subcategory.

Competition aside, I hope to see more personally expressed definitions of “creative vision” or even viewpoints on the interpretations already posed.


4 thoughts on “Thoughts on “Creative Vision”

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