Some days I see tableaux. Some days I see boxes with piles. It depends upon where I look and what my eyes (and brain) decide to see. It’s been proven in studies that we see what we want to see, depending upon what our current state of mind is, what we’re looking at and for how long.
There is something called the Feature Integration Theory developed by Anne Treisman. Color, intensity, direction of light, orientation, curvature, line ends and movement are the primary features we search for in a “preattentive stage,” when we are taking in the primitive information, before we actually recognize what it is we’re looking at.
Then we get busy connecting this primitive information in our brains and recognize the geometric shape of the object in the “focused attention stage.”
Finally, in the “object recognition stage, we connect this information to the higher functioning parts of our brains and identify exactly what it is we’re looking at. I’ve simplified this theory (far be it from me to really explain this further), but it does basically work like this, according to her theory.
When I’m shooting in the market, I stay locked in the preattentive stage (or so I think), looking for information that translates into something I want to process further. The challenge is taking that raw information and processing it in a different perspective. In other words, instead of processing what I see from my eye level, I process the scene from a low, wide angle perspective or a birds eye view without actually having to get down on my knees or up on a ladder. I suspect if you shoot with a camera long enough, the brain begins to connect to the viewfinder or LCD. Even if you’re not looking through it.
I wonder if there’s a theory on that?