Developing An Editors Eye!

Real Estate Agent with HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 RS-76763

Developing an Editorial Eye

edit  - (!e-dut): to prepare (as literary material) for publication or public presentation b. b to assemble (as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging c. c to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose - carefully edited the speech - edit a data file -Webster Online Dictionary

As active bloggers we are usually acutely aware of our editing skills or lack there of when it comes to writing but developing an editors eye for ones own occupation can be applied successfully to almost every profession with amazing results. As a Real Estate merchandiser it is an invaluable skill that requires constant application. Learning to develop your editorial eye sight takes plenty of practice and perseverance to perfect, the benefits of which are not only noteworthy but profitable especially when your occupation involves details great and small. None the less it is not as difficult to become a master in observation as one might think but does take a considerable amount of concentration, presence of mind, and practice.Diagram of the eye

The majority of our perceived reality is brought to us by the miraculous machinery of the oculus humanus or the Human eye. Unfortunately, in our busy lives we often don't have the ability or patience to calm the mind enough to allow the information collected by the eye to actually seep into our consciousness.  The Human brain Just like DSL or cable, can process only so much information at any one time. The more neurons being dedicated to thinking, problem solving, communicating, the less details in it's environment the brain pays attention to; just as the information being processed by your DSL connection slows dramatically when the number of people gaining access information on the Internet increases. How many times, in a rush, have you downloaded a file from the Internet and then forgotten what you named it, where you stored it, or when you filed it?  

In our modern, hectic, ADHD, whirlwind of an existence our brain is so involved with the crackle of excessive thinking that it often times forgets where it stored what it has "seen" and in it's place an imperfect simulacrum presents itself as reality. The brain forgetting where it stored the information to complete the picture begins to interpret, extrapolate, and substitute what it cannot find or it simply leaves the detail out all together. Eye witnesses are notorious for unintentionally giving false or incomplete testimony. There are a number of reasons why scientists believe this happens but the usual causes are the brain was engaged in doing something else, was distracted or preoccupied with thought, or it happened so quickly that the event did not register entirely in the brain. Regardless, If you are not focusing on what your looking at most often your going to miss something important.


Eye focusing



Eye of Providence on the US one dollar bill


When it comes to professionals who make a living from ones ability to discern details it is tantamount to develop your editing eye as much as possible as your reputation usually depends upon it. Now many of us have tricks and tools to help us compensate. Photographs are a fantastic tool to help one keep up on the details. The saying that a photo never lies is appropriate in that the data that has been collected by the camera is not competing with the brains activity or idiosyncrasies and is not constrained by the passing of time. What the camera sees is what is there. Now it is not enough to just recognize detail, when it comes to developing an editors eye, one must also apply the editing part as well.


Recognizing and manipulating content, relevance, structure, flow, and the artfulness in which these elements are conveyed are what separates one editor from another. However, at some point when we are in the creation process we can loose are ability to edit ourselves and we usually end up with a disaster as a result.

Erudite art dealer and Manhattan socialite Fran Kitteridge, from the play and film 6 Degrees of Separation, makes a poignant observation about creative abilities and how it takes more than just talent to be successful.


Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing as Flan and Ouisa Kitteridge in the tragi-comedy of manners Six Degrees of Separation easy it is for a painter to lose a painting.
He paints and paints, works on a canvas for months,
and then, one day, he loses it.

Loses the structure, loses the sense of it. You lose the painting...

 I remembered asking my kids' second-grade teacher:
"Why are all your students geniuses?"
Look at the first grade - blotches of green
and black. The third grade - camouflage.
But your grade, the second grade...Matisses, every one. 

You've made my child a Matisse...What is your secret?

I don't have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.



Self editing, requires emotional separation from the subject so one can objectively "observe" not judge, rationalize, or let the ego run fancy free in creative overflow. Whether your writing a post, negotiating a contract, or staging a property for sale, developing your editors eye can define you and your services as exceptional. We all have a Matisse hiding inside we just need that 2nd grade teacher lurking over our shoulder preventing us stopping too soon or from overworking our project.

The biggest obstacle to developing your self editing is, of course, your mind. Setting aside a time to edit your project calmly and objectively can be an inconveinent luxury in our busy world. There are, however, some exercises that can calm and relax the eyes and your mind so the editors eye can be operating and working for you at anytime anywhere.

        Eye excercise       Eye Excercise

In the figure to the left does the white panel face towards you or away from you? Allow your eyes to relax and see if you can see both perspectives. Keep your focus soft and try to switch perspectives at will. This takes a little practice. In the figure to the right are you looking at the top side of the stairs or the underside? Practice shifting you perspective.




These exercises allow one to recognize that perceptions and perspectives of an object can change while the object and the position of the observer remains unchanged. Recognizing, your ability to change your perceptions is a crucial step in developing the editors eye.

 All seeing eye

It is important to always avoid any kind of eye strain. Before engaging these exercises consult your eye doctor or ophthalmologist if you should use the folowing tecniques. Stop If you experience any discomfort or strain.

Sitting comfortably with your eyes open, look straight ahead, straighten your spine with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap.When doing the eye exercises don't move your head and keep your eyes open.

Raise your eyes and find a small point in front of you that you can see clearly without moving your head or straining your eyes.While doing this exercise look at this point each time you raise your eyes.

Now, lower your eyes to find a small point on the floor which you can see clearly when glancing down. Look at it each time you lower your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and relax the corners of your eyes

Eye of Horus 

1) Move your eyes upwards as far as you can, and then downwards as far as you can. Repeat four more times. Blink quickly a few times 1 to relax the eye muscles.

2) Now do the same using points to your right and to your left, at eye level. Keep your raised fingers or two pencils on each side as guides and adjust them so that you can see them clearly when moving the eyes to the right and to the left, but without straining. Keeping the fingers at eye level, and moving only the eyes, look to the right at your chosen point, then to the left. Repeat four times. Blink several times, then close your eyes and rest.

3) Choose a point you can see from the right corner of your eyes when you raise them, and another that you can see from the left corner of your eyes when you lower them, half closing the lids. Remember to retain your original posture: spine erect, hands on knees, head straight and motionless. Look at your chosen point in right corner up, then to the one in left corner down. Repeat four times. Blink several times. Close the eyes and rest. Now do the same exercise in reverse. That is, first look to the left corner up, then to the right corner down. Repeat four times. Blink several times. Close the eyes and rest.

4) This exercise should not be done until three or four days after you have begun eye exercises given here. Slowly roll your eyes first clockwise, then counterclockwise as follows: Lower your eyes and look at the Third Eyefloor, then slowly move the eyes to the left, higher and higher until you see the ceiling. Now continue circling to the right, lower and lower down, until you see the floor again. Do this slowly, making a full-vision circle. Blink, close your eyes and rest. Then repeat the same action counterclockwise. Do this five times then blink the eyes for at least five seconds. When rolling the eyes, make as large a circle as possible, so that you feet a little strain as you do the exercise. This stretches the eye muscles to the maximum extent, giving better results.

5) While doing this next changing-vision exercise you alternately shift your vision from close to distant points several times. Take a pencil, or use your finger, and hold it under the tip of your nose. Then start moving it away, without raising it, until you have fixed it at the closest possible distance where you can see it clearly without any blur. Then raise your eyes a little, look straight into the distance and there find a small point which you can also see very clearly. Now look at the closer point-the pencil or your finger tip then shift to the farther point in the distance. Repeat several times, blink, close your eyes and squeeze them tight.

6) Close your eyes as tightly as you possibly can, so the eye muscles contract. Hold this contraction for three seconds, and then let go quickly. This exercise causes a deep relaxation of the eye muscles, and is especially beneficial after the slight strain caused by the eye exercises. Blink the eyes a few times.

7) This exercise is called 'palming' and is used to help preserve the eyesight. It is best to sit at a desk or table with your elbows raised on a pillow so that you will be able to keep the neck straight, and easily keep your palms over the eyes. Briskly rub your palms until they are warm from friction and place the cupped palms over your closed eyes. The fingers of the right hand should be crossed over the fingers of the left hand on the forehead. The elbows should be supported and the neck should be kept straight. Don't bend your head. Start deep breathing while palming your eyes do this for a few minutes to complete your eye exercise session.

 Eyes of Buddah

JDS Consulting- Staging Hawaii nei! Providing Real Estate Merchandising services including: Home Staging, Interior Decor, Turn Key, Landscaping, Remodeling, & Open House Hosting. Visit our Blog: Questions for Kimo: Decor Design & all things Hawaiian-  tel.+1.808.344.1264  Kimo Stowell Copyright ©2009




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Judy Jennings
The Green Company - Ashland, MA
Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA

Kimo - I think this is why I stopped painting. I always overworked it and never understood until I read this. I bookmarked this, I really like the eye exercises. I experience too much eyestrain with the computer. Thanks

Jun 04, 2009 10:15 PM #1
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Goodness Kimo.  Anothur opus.

What I have learned about editing from a good deal of introspection and focus through the eyes of my Socialiology professor, is that we reveal only that of ourselves which we wish others to perceive and not necessarily who we are. 

I too paint.  However, since I'm older than dirt, I've developed techniques for creating images on a canvass that require little to no detail and can be completed in very little time.  The effect is the goal and not the process. 

We human folks have the ability to adjust to the most unusual circumstances.




Jun 04, 2009 10:22 PM #2
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Kimo, I've been away from AR for awhile and glad I stopped in to read your post. I did the eye exercises already and can feel the difference. We all spend time on on a computer and need to exercise our eyes to avoid strainging them.

I agree that photographing your work helps immensely to define what is actually present in a room. I recently staged a vacant home. I took photos when quoting the job with the Realtor present. When we returned to the vacant home to start staging there was a case of empty beer bottles in front of the sofa. We looked at each and wondered who had been in the house as the owners were away. I said wait a minute, I have my camera here, I will check the photos to see if it was here originally. It was. We had totally overlooked the case of beer as we were discussing the possibities for staging the home. Our brains really do edit what is important at the time.

Jun 05, 2009 12:21 AM #3
Goodbye Active Rain
Out of Real Estate

Kimo, thank you for this informative blog.  I will definitely re-read it.

Jun 05, 2009 12:44 AM #4
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Judy, sometimes the thinking device attached to our necks just won't get out of our way to greatness. I hope you consider painting again and thanks for commenting.

Aloha Lenn, mahalo for commenting. We are incredibly adaptable as a species, unfortunately many of us stubbornly fight change as if it's our enemy instead of flowing upon it like a river taking us to new horizons. It has been said that we first see things intellectually, then emotionally, and finally spiritually which is in metaphor in my opinion of how we live our lives.

Aloha Michelle, I am constantly amazed at my 'blind spots'. I've missed the most blatantly obvious details only to find them glaring at me in photographs. Out of frustration I started adjusting how at look at things, and voila this post. Mahalo for the visit.

Aloha Tony, thank you and I hope it serves you.

Jun 05, 2009 10:51 AM #5
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


Great post! You must always keep up with your eye exercises, because your editing is impeccable!  Thanks for sharing the exercises, I know my eyes get strained after long periods on the computer,so they'll come in handy. 

Jun 06, 2009 04:18 PM #6
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Michelle, I have my ups and downs with editing, Im not sure if I qualify as impeccable but I do try to be as impartial about my work as possible. Thanks for visiting. 

Jun 08, 2009 07:56 AM #7
Thomas Moore - Las Vegas, NV

Great post! I began training my eyes this morning and these exercises are great. Reminds me of those illusion books that I used to love as a kid.

Jun 09, 2009 07:54 AM #8
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Thomas, mahalo for commenting!

Jun 10, 2009 02:17 PM #9
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REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i
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