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  Lesson One - SIGHT- Being more observant

First, let's begin with sight, this one is simple. Something we all seem to take for granted, yet shouldn't. I want you to actually LOOK, to SEE, to OBSERVE. It will take no extra time out of your day. It's easy, all you have to do is to be aware.

Everyone now has a 'smartphone', so I want you use it for more than just texting and phone calls. You are going to take pictures. LOTS and LOTS of pictures. Pictures of anything and everything. Don't delete anything. You can use an app like Evernote. Evernote allows you to take photos, do voice recordings, and write notes, and it categorizes and syncs to your computer. You may also want to create a folder on your computer called Creative Inspiration to save your work in.

You will look for textures, the unusual, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Get in close, notice the way the light hits the tree bark, pay attention to shapes around you. Cracks in the road or sidewalk, the blades of grass in your yard, the lights on the car in front of you in traffic.

You want to pay attention to light and dark, to shadows. Variations, saturations, hues and tones (does anyone REALLY know what those mean?!?) Don't worry about those right now. Just notice light.

Look at faces, look at the simple and ordinary and find the unusual. You have only to REALLY look. See the way cloth hangs on a body, or how the strands of hair fall across a face. The ACTUAL colour of someone's eyes, they aren't JUST brown or blue or green. See how the shadows affect the way you see a nose or laugh lines in a smile. ALL faces are beautiful

(please remember to ask permission before taking detailed photos of people whom you do not know personally).

When looking at a landscape or the world around you, what do you see? Do you even pay attention? The cityscape, the mountain range, the ocean, all magnificent in their own right; but do you truly LOOK and SEE. Notice all the trees AND the forest, notice all the buildings AND the people, notice the expansive sea AND the grains of sand.

Your pictures may start out 'boring', 'everyday', or 'uninteresting'. Don't give up, as you begin to notice the minutiae, the tiny details, that you would normally overlook, your photos will grow as you grow.

I say DON'T delete your pictures because I want you to see where you started and your progress as you go along. Remember there is NO perfection, only progress!