When we view a photo, our mind (or is it our brain, or both) provides enough information that we know what we are looking at and can make it make sense. But this also happens when we look at an object we want to take a picture of, again we view it in our mind (or is it our brain, or both) arranging it so that the to-be-take photo says what we want the viewer to understand. But the dark little all-to-obvious secret is that our mind (or is it our brain, or both) is the common coupling that makes or breaks the success of the image. Let’s ask a question, how much do you know about how your mind (or is it our brain, or both) works? Or how much does mankind know? Without this knowledge, it is as if you are given a new beyond the state of the art developmental camera and told to make a perfect photograph. Well let me be arrogant and offer you clues of how the couplings work. That is the goal of my cognitive photography.

Clearly for you to want to go this far into detail you are beyond the point-and-shot snapshot stage of photography.

When we first start seeing and understanding the world around us, our explorations are shaped by our physiological and psychological responses. From a very early age, we are developing concepts of composition that guide our eyes and help us interpret images.  Concepts that are inherent to each of us shape our outlook.  As we experience more and more, not only of artistic endeavors, but also from navigation our every day lives in the world, we form a set of compositional guidelines.

This understanding forced me to ask a very important question: “What is the relationship between my psychological compositional guidelines to those of formal art training?” As I provide you with the information to answer this question you learn how to form your own compositional rules.


There is an active blog where I will explore how current cognitive neuroscience research can help you understand the experience of your mind’s eye. Here you will also find a gallery of my work, including a special project with Warren Brown in which we explore how Haiku poetry can enhance your experience of an image. (See my book The Mind’s Eye Guide to Composition)

This site is in constant flux now as I tweak it to get rid of bugs and fill slots. Please send me a comment if you see something that needs fixing or repaired.