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1.5 - Visual Notes


Visual notes are photographs that you want to do more of-or to do less of.

They're your worst photographs-and your best ones.

Visual notes are your mistakes, experiments, and masterpieces.

Taking visual notes is an obvious idea, to me, but I've never encountered it elsewhere.

Photography is visual.

So why not take visual notes?

It's unlikely that you'll review this book before a trip.

But, you'll readily click through twenty or so visual notes.

Create a Folder

So, create a folder called Visual Notes on your computer's desktop.

Put your mistakes, experiments, and masterpieces into the folder.

Review them periodically to get what you learned into your head and shutter finger.

Don't fill the folder up.

Once a concept or technique has soaked in, delete the photograph.

You should have about ten to twenty photographs in the folder.


When doing experiments, caption the photographs.

Let's say you're comparing different focal lengths (to be described), such as 18mm, 50, and 200mm.

Write 18mm, 50, and 200mm on cards.

Place the appropriate card in the scene, or have the subject hold the card.

You can hold the card so it appears in the lower corner of your viewfinder.

However, your camera may focus on the card, instead of on the scene.

You'll learn how to set your camera's focus system.