Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Secrets of Visual Thinking: Looking Closely


Here's a lovely spring photograph from the Flower Log (HT: G is for Good, H is for Happy).

Because our brains become easily swamped by visual information, the practice of looking slowly and closely is one of the most powerful tools of inventors, artists, scientists, and other creative people.

In some circles, visual learning is equated with immersive learning from pictures, movies, computers, and the like. But remember the problem of saturation. To look closely, we may have to slow way down, change our perspective, and develop a relationship. To see 'more', we may have to see 'less'. From Georgia O'Keefe: "Still-in a way-nobody sees a flower- really- it is so small- we haven't the time- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Or Leonardo Da Vinci reminds us: "There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, and those who do not see."

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