Having New Eyes

by Deb Mallett on January 11, 2010 · 7 comments

in Art, Creativity, People, Photography


Yummy tomatoes? Or crazy stick guy with really big red shoes.

There’s something about looking through the lens of a camera. It’s the focus on a small piece of a big world. Like when you take a handmade cardboard frame and use it to zone in on the exact right clipping from an image to use in a collage. Or when you hold it up to a landscape to find the scene you want to paint.

Things look different through that little cardboard square and through the frame of the camera lens. All the clutter is cut away and you can really see the reality of that one little piece of life.

But say we want to …

Look even deeper

Through a friend, I was pointed in the direction of Sheila Finkelstein. And I’ve been reading about her and emailing her ever since. She is such a lovely person and has taken “seeing new things” to a new level – the level of seeing what others don’t see.

”The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust 1871-1922

As a collage artist, that excites me. Because I think that’s what collage is all about. We see beauty in bits and pieces of paper that others toss away. We look for things that can help us tell our story or make our point.

So shooting our own photos to use is a huge advantage. And learning to see things differently could really strengthen our collages.

Learn how to really see

Sheila is running a four-week telecourse starting next week (January 19 or 20, 2010) that is about using your camera to discover the unexpected, to open up and see things you’ve never seen or paid attention to.

The course is “Through and From the Lens Point and Shoot Photo Course – Seeing your world through new eyes.” I’ll be there with bells on and just thought I’d let you know about it as well. You can get all the details at that link.

Sheila is an artist, photographer, writer, coach and former art educator with a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Education. Her strongest mission in life is to “inspire people to see their worlds in new and different ways.” You can read more about Sheila, her courses and her websites at http://www.sheilafinkelstein.com

I’d love to meet some of you at the course or to hear from you in the comments on things you’ve discovered through your lens.

Please note that the link to the course is an affiliate link and if you do take the course after clicking on the link, I will get a small commission. That has no bearing on what you pay for the course, but Sheila has given a $30 discount at that link. I haven’t taken the course yet so I can’t recommend it on that ground, but I like what I see in Sheila and need to hear what she has to say. I just thought I’d pass it on to you because you may not have seen it otherwise.

[Photo by Deb Mallett]


1 Eric January 12, 2010 at 17:52


Great post, so very true! As people we’re so focused on “the big picture” sometimes we forget how important the small things are, and I absolutely agree that looking through a lens helps us see that. Some of my favorite shots are macro shots, close ups of objects I’d otherwise not give a second glance.

I’ll have to look into that course!

I added you to my blog roll at yourphotooncanvas.blogspot.com

Thanks for the good work :)

2 Ingrid January 12, 2010 at 20:27

I agree Deb! And Sheila really has a wonderful way of not only seeing what others can’t, she also has a great knack in helping others see too. Looking forward to meeting you on the course – I’ll be there :)

3 Deb Mallett January 12, 2010 at 21:58

@Eric – Absolutely agree. I love the macro shots too (saving up for a macro lens!). Thanks so much for adding me to your blogroll.

@Ingrid – I can sense that in Sheila. A very caring person. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll “see” you at the course.

4 Sheila Finkelstein January 13, 2010 at 11:32

Thank you so much for your kind words. I LOVE what you wrote. It’s so right on with what I believe, have experienced and I’m up to in the world.

I smiled when I read what you wrote about the cardboard “lens”. In the first session of the Point and Shoot course we do, in fact, use a piece of cardboard or index card with an opening and view a piece of our world through that.

Adding to the synchronicity for me is the fact that years ago I wrote “An Ode to a Piece of Cardboard” – http://www.naturesplayground.com/ode.html.

Thank you also, Ingrid, for your comments. I look forward to being on the 4-week journey with the two of you and others in the course, including, perhaps, you, too. Eric.

5 Deb Mallett January 13, 2010 at 23:47

@Sheila – Wow, it’s amazing all the roles that cardboard plays! And all the things you can do with it when you really think about it. I’ve so been taking it for granted!

“Up to you to collage your life a rich and vibrant one” – that is so true, Sheila. I for one need to work on that a lot more.

6 Claire McCarty January 18, 2010 at 08:10

I have just arranged to take the evening class with you since no one else enrolled in the day class that was offered. I met Sheila about 2 years ago and have enjoyed her spirited way of looking at the world and life. I’ll be talking to you soon!

7 Deb Mallett January 18, 2010 at 11:48

Hey, that’s great Claire! Looking forward to meeting you there.

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