I often wonder when I teach the composition course for Henry’s Cameras here in Toronto whether or not I’m actually teaching the students to actually “see”. I’ve long advocated the use of a cut out card to help develop the ability to “see” a photo.
I didn’t invest the card although I did preceded Ansel Adams where he talked about it in this classic book The Camera. When I was teaching new photographers at the newspaper how to see I’d get them to cut two right angles out of cardboard and then hold them up to create horizontal and vertical holes to use to frame potential pictures. Now here’s a video from Marc Silber’s site that describes how to use a cut-out card: http://www.silberstudios.com/blog/?m=200901
Marc’s blog has got lots of tips for taking better photographs.