About seven years ago I started giving an assignment to my Drawing for Graphics and Illustration classes, at Meramec Community College, called “A Journal of Seeing”. This is where I got my name for this blog. This assignment was given at the beginning of the semester and was to be presented during the final class meeting of the semester.The following is part of the assignment given to my students.

“A Journal of Seeing “by (Your Name)

See: “To Perceive with the eyes; gain knowledge or awareness of by means of one’s vision.”

Assignment Description:

Create weekly pages of images in your “Journal of Seeing”. Be creative in your design of each page. Look at everything as if you were seeing for the first time.Use your own drawings,photographs you take ,symbols you design,found textures or patterns and written notes. Collage technique can be used .You can work traditional and digitally.

I gave suggestions for themes such as circles,textures,shadows and reflections,people,architecture,signage and typography to name a few.

I purchased a book in the late 1990’s called, The Journals of Dan Eldon “The Journey is the Destination” and was impressed by this book and Eldon’s journal .Dan Elton was a photo Journalist that,along with three colleagues, were beaten and stoned to death by an angry crowd in Mogadishu ,Somalia on July 12,1993. He was 23 years old at his death.

This week’s assignment for my class is to look at a tree and write about what they see. This description should use at least 75 words.

Below are idea sketches from my personal journal.

ideas from seeing journal by John Dyess page 1


idea sketches from John Dyess Journal page 2

I keep these small sketches,usually drawn on post-it note paper in a three ring binder. These are just a few of many idea notes.Here is a link to amines3, a photo blog I belong to, that shows many photos I have taken to “gain knowledge or awareness of by means of one’s vision” . Click on portfolio to see photos posted for the last four years.



  1. Glenn Myers says:

    I do so appreciate your photo blog. It amazes me how similar our visual photo grabs are. Love the story told by the distinct shadows!

    • johndyess says:

      Glenn, Here’s a link to aminus3 bog,where you could sign up and post your photos. It’s free and easy. http://www.aminus3.com/
      I was commenting on post by photographers in other countries until I started my journal of seeing blog. Thanks again for all your comments. Let me know if you sign up to aminus3 so I can see your photos.

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