Recently I was reading Stephen Shore's "The Nature of Photographs" and came across a passage that expressed something I believe is key in the creative process in a very simple and straightforward way. Near the end of the book, a section on Mental Modeling is presented. It suggests that when a photographer makes an image that they hold mental models, the result of proddings of insight, conditioning and comprehension of the world. At one extreme this is a very rigid modeling where only subjects that fit that model are recognized--like only sunsets actually pass through the person's filter--and then are made/structured within that model. At the other extreme, the model is more fluid and accommodating and adjusts to new perceptions. My own sense is that most of us probably don't work at either extreme at all times but find we migrate around--some closer to one end than the other. Some pushing to move towards the more fluid and some content with working in a somewhat more rigid and comfortable manner. Each suiting their needs and desires. The book suggests that we all have these mental models and generally apply them unconsciously but that if we bring them forward to consciousness, we can bring this issue into our control. I know for myself that I can be out and "recognize" a photograph and this thought akin to the Mental Modeling comes into my mind. That this is something I have seen before and it has passed the "photo worthy test". In any case, I thought it was an interesting concept to discuss and wonder how people view this idea and how they see it applying to their own work. I think it might also be interesting to discuss how this affects how we look at others' work as well.