To me, this is the essential habit of mind one needs for making a photograph. In time, this ‘intentional’ process integrates with the ‘intuitive’ process that calls our attention to a subject. Before we put the viewfinder to our eye, it helps to understand what it is we’d like to express about the subject.
With that clear intent in mind, we can make wiser decisions regarding composition and the use of the technical tools of photography such as camera position, point of view, lens choice, distance from subject, exposure choices involving shutter speed and aperture. These choices are how we begin to ‘design’ a photograph.
One of my favorite exercises involves finding the design in the everyday. Design is indeed all around us, and when I put a lens on my camera and hold the viewfinder to my eye, I truly begin to see it. The frame of the camera allows us to isolate a portion of the visual clutter around us and begin to see the design in it .
Here are some more examples that I think illustrate the idea of ‘found design.’ (Abstracts, Pt. 3)