The thinking eye – Nature

The Thinking Eye : Nature of Rock

You see what you want to see. You fell, what comes into your mind. Thinking, the process of organisation of information, from sensory organs, from memory, wishes, thought and feeling,…


Preikestolen, Norway, Photo 2014


Nature is beautiful. So what kind of media is the best to collect the beauty? This is really up to you. To shoot it with a camera takes less than a second, to draw, some minutes and to paint you might build it up with layers of oil for weeks. One media is fast, the other forces you to look much longer. Water color, for example, is hard to change the line once you make your mark on the paper. You need to think, collect the image in your mind, and use the color in a specific order before you start to paint.

1. South of France


The light is changing sea and rock constantly.


At Banyuls sur mer, I looked every morning at a rock in the sea in front of my window. I shoot a picture, draw it, tried watercolors and pencil drawing. However, every time the color changed, the light, the whole subject changed. There was not one day I could paint or took a photograph which looks the same. I could do this for a live time. What comes out? TIME/SPACE. Just when you fix a place you can feel time. If you fix the time you can feel space. One exists because of the other.


Rock, two versions of the Rock in Banyuls sur mer France, 1995  Dietmar Ohlmann

Photo, pencil, watercolour are nice to cupture the idea. One major question I would ask is: What do I want to do with? Maybe one illustration for the touristic industrie, or a painting for the art-class?


Rock Banyuls, Oilpainting 80cmx100cm

Keeping in mind, we still have the same Rock, but from the beach, left side, windy weather…

Do we want to enjoy the space? tell a story about the party at the evening? Our mind is always filled with ideas, our thinking eye has to decide when to stop it. what to keep, what to leave…


 2. The nordic Land

Well, that is not the end. I tried the same technique with the Rocks in Norway, but they asked me to start again from the beginning. While in Banyuls, I ‘ve been happy to have just one Rock in front of my window, I did not decide where to look at in Norway, with all this beauty. There were days of rain, like I was used to in Wales. When you have a glimpse of sun, the green is so bright it is just overwhelming. The big granite rocks seem to balance their color with their massive even surface of simple grey.


Preikstolen, Norway, Photo 2014 Dietmar Ohlmann

The idea to shoot a photo and draw later is very hard for me. You can use the camera, but you should draw as well, you gaffer much more information in a drawing than in a photo. And it makes it easier later to compose. You can use Photoshop to make a composition, but a pencil feels the movement of your hands, draw the line of our feeling, express what our memory likes to release.



Preikestolen Norway, 2014 Photo Dietmar Ohlmann

A line is not a border, it is a scarf on the face of emptiness. Shape and form transgressing the emptiness of our mind.


Preikestolen 2014, Norway, Dietmar Ohlmann.  one Object, 3 different recorded views from the same position with camera, drawing and watercolour. Do you feel the difference?


What I find so interesting is our “thinking eye” . It is when we look very long at objects, to collect them in a drawing. A drawing can even help to make an incredible shoot with the camera, because it moves from different angles and is not fixed in the focal length of the camera lenses. Our pivoting camera obscura out of eyes and brain has a different recording system then a camera. In Photography, we can use plenty of new and mixed technologies, like pivoting the camera around the axis to create panorama or HD images, etc. With the one and the many technologies, we do not stop composing.

Do not bother if you feel different, I just tell you how I feel. Finally, you have to find your own expression. Maybe, you do not bother about rocks, but the beautiful colored houses in the villages or haven? Get in touch with me through our contact sheet or mail. Dietmar Ohlmann, Artist and Media Producer.