Our eyes scan thousands of images every day. Many of them go unnoticed, some get a momentary glance, but how much do we really see? And how do we know if we're merely looking at something or actually seeing?
(Read slowly here) Observe. Scrutinize. Recognize. Pay attention to. Contemplate. Discover. The English language contains an array of words describing ways of seeing. (Slow down again) Glimpse. Glance. Gaze. Survey. Regard. Review. The "look at" words have a different flavor, a passing by rather than sinking in.
Scrutinize this scene.
How many compositions do you discover? Did you recognize this one?
Or this one?
What about this one?
One way to see a potential composition is to observe through a rule of thirds grid, finding horizontals and/or verticals that align with those in the grid, or to align potential focal points with the grid's intersections. What a super tool for taking us beyond looking at to really seeing.
You can build your own adjustable rule of thirds grid.