Direct Imaging is a method of discovering and observing Extra Solar Planets, but can be done only for nearby stars, planets orbiting far from their stars (e.g., many AU), and hot (bright) planets and/or cool stars, e.g., Brown Dwarves (BD). Planets have been observed and discovered using this technique, e.g., around HR 8799.
Direct imaging is considered a great advantage in spotting some types of Biosignatures, such as any in the "shine" of the planets.
Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO)
Extra Solar Planet