Firing The Creative Mind - Part 1: The Camera Points Both Ways
I love waterfalls, the power and the sound of the cascading water, the patterns it creates and the spray that cat is your skin and the smell. Being out in nature like this is what I love about my job. But here's the challenge. How do you use this to capture all of that information, all of those sensory inputs, and get it to work on a flat piece of paper? Well, I never said photography was easy. The first step in creating photographs, as opposed to taking simple snapshots, is knowing that it's not just what you see that moves you to create a photograph is everything you're sensing in the moment the sounds and the smells, your mood and your emotions. And that means you have to be present. You have to be in the moment to capture the moment. Remember that old saying photography is F eight and be there? Well, it's a fib. Photography isn't about physically being somewhere. It's about being present emotionally to wherever you are or put another way. It's about being mindful now. There's been ...
a lot of stuff written about mindfulness recently. It's become one of those buzzwords and a lot of what's written misses the point. Mindfulness isn't about being aware of your surroundings. It's about being aware of your emotional response to and your thoughts about your surroundings. For example, I'm aware of the existence of this waterfall. I can see it, but if I go no further than that physical awareness when I take a photograph, what I'll end up with is a rather soulless record shot of a waterfall, which is what we're aiming to move beyond in our photography. When I'm mindful, I am not only aware of the waterfalls existence. I'm also aware of how it's affecting me emotionally and physiologically. For example, how am I reacting to the sound? Well, with a camera in my hand, I find it soothing and relaxing. It adds to my emotional response to the scene, on the other hand, standing in front of John with his video camera, trying to record my voice. As we make this lesson, I'm getting annoyed by how it's interfering with our ability to capture a clean soundtrack. The sound is the same, but my emotional reaction to it is different, depending on the circumstances I view it from, and they're right there is the reason you can put two photographers in the exact same place and get two completely different photographs. The way we see the world is entirely dependent on the utterly unique way our mind interprets the data it receives. That's the importance of mindfulness in photography. By being aware of how you are emotionally responding to a subject, you're able to create photographs that tell a story that goes far deeper than the physical appearance of the subject. Now, later in the course, we'll look at examples of how this approach to photography works, and I'll show you how to use the camera to make photographs that capture not just what you see, but how you feel about what you see. Before then. However, there are a couple of other aspects of mindfulness I want to make you aware of.