TAKE OFF THE FILTERS…
I’m not talking about the filters on your camera.
Talking about the ones in your head.
Ever notice when you go on vacation or to a photo seminar or go shooting with a friend that there are times when you start to see art all over the place? Or, when a fellow photographer comes to your neighborhood he or she makes stunning images in the space you spend a lot of time in? You missed it but it was there all the time?
Your brain is incredible… But sometimes in order to protect itself it puts you on automatic pilot. It has to control the amount of stimuli it gets… and sometimes leaves out the things you really want to be paying attention to. Drive somewhere and wonder how you got there? Always turn right when you leave the driveway? Always brush your teeth with your right hand? Eat the same foods quite often but neglect to taste them? This is a result of your mind conserving itself by putting you on auto-pilot. There are things that the body needs to attend to without you thinking about it. Making sure your heart beats. That you breathe in and out and much more. The problem comes when it starts to make more and more things so automatic that you are almost an automation.
Fight back from the easy path. As the eastern religions and people who champion meditation will tell you, “Be in the Moment!” How to fight back to see more and be connected to what you see hear and feel. Take your brain off auto-pilot and move it into manual transmission.
Drive a different way to work or the store. Walk backwards. (although if you can’t take a little ribbing don’t do that one in front of others). Brush your teeth or shave or apply makeup with the opposite hand you are used to using. Listens to the water falling and splashing on the floor during your morning shower. Try a new restaurant or order different food from the one you normally go to…
If you want to take it straight to photography put a different lens on your camera for a week. Try new settings on your camera. shoot only from the waist. Or, do like I did and totally change the format of camera you use. When I moved to the micro 4/3rds format with the Lumix cameras things changed a lot. I originally found the system because I was looking for a camera that was light enough to have with me on vacations but still had enough of a file to produce larger prints. Then I found I was able to have my camera with me all the time and worked hard at being, “In the Moment” more often. Now I’m getting more and, I think, better images to work with.
So here’s your assignment. Disengage the automatic transmission in your brain. Go stick shift. You’ll be surprised what you start seeing and capturing with your camera!
Yours in Photography, Bob