Previsualising an image is an important part of preparation when picking up your camera. It is probably the one thing we do least because it is the most difficult aspect of readying yourself for that winning shot – you know, the one you thought you were poised to take.
A look out the window or at whatever inspired you to dust off your camera in the first place should trigger a series of decisions. They include looking at the situation you find yourself in, and then assessing what you feel like achieving visually, and why. It is the first and most important part of the process. It affects every other decision you make, from selecting your gear, to where, when and how you are going to find or produce your image.
A look beyond the practical aspects of getting the shot requires getting in touch with your inner self, your id and ego, and whatever else you may find clanging around inside you. Ultimately, this focuses your endeavours, sets up a challenge, and hones your mind, your eye and your view, and here you can be as strict or as lenient on yourself as you like.
Previsualisation as a process is about covering as many of the bases before you get out into the wild beyond. It ensures you equip yourself both mentally and physically with the ‘right stuff’, and you don’t land up discovering you have left out an all-important lens, filter or flash. We are assuming here you have moved beyond using a point-and-shoot, or your cell phone camera, although the process still applies; get to grips with what it is you want to do photographically. The more often you run through the checklist the better at it you will become, and the fewer outings will end in disappointment.