Firing The Creative Mind - Part 3: Detaching From Outcomes
you're probably wondering why we need a map. Well, the third aspect of mindfulness is detaching from the notion there's only one way to get where you want to go now imagine I want to drive from my home down here in Weymouth, up to my friend's house. Up here in Manchester. The quickest route is across to the motorway and then straight up. But let's say the motorways shut somewhere around Birmingham because of an accident. Well, I could take this detour, but that's going to add several hours to my journey because every other car held up on the motorway is taking it, too. In the end, I gave up and decided to go on a quieter day. I give up because in this example, I was attached to the idea of driving to Manchester. If I had detached from the driving, my mind would have opened up to the possibility of going by train or flying. A mindful traveler has a destination in mind, but they aren't attached to how they get there, and it's the same for mindful photographers. I always need a purpose to...
pick up my camera, but I am not attached to exactly how that purpose plays out. I might set out with a preconceived idea, but I keep my mind open to change. And because I'm open and fettered by habits and unattached to paradigms, the potential for creative outcome increases. Think about it in the film The Imitation Game, which tells the story of Bletchley Park's pioneering codebreakers during World War II, Alan Turing is seen battling with government ministers over spending money on his new idea. The government believed only humans were capable of breaking Germany's cipher codes during a brilliant mind himself. Thought the human mind incapable? What if only a machine can defeat another machine? He wasn't attached to the same way of doing things the government was eventually, his ingenuity one through and the computer was invented. Billion dollar businesses have gone to the wall because they were stuck in old ways. Unwilling to change. Woolworth's and Blockbuster video are obvious High street examples Polaroid and Kodak to more closer to our professional home. Their intransigence blocked creativity, the creativity they needed to change with the times. Look up creativity. It's defined as inventiveness, innovation, ingenuity, originality. And isn't that our goal to create original photographs? That's what the great photographers do. Nick Nichols, for example. When the industry believed wildlife had to be tack sharp, he broke the mold. He started using slow shutter speeds to inject a sense of movement into his wildlife images. Nick, detached from the belief that wildlife had to be depicted, touch up and he innovated. Now motion Blur is common in the genre and has even been used on the cover of Nat Geo. To sum up, mindfulness isn't an airy fairy philosophical here today, gone tomorrow. Fashion accessory. Bringing mindfulness to your photography will open the doors to creativity and self expression. And those two things more than any piece of equipment, will lift your photography to increasingly higher levels. Don't get stuck in the mantra, but that's why I've always done it as an exercise. Every time you go out with your camera, try something new. For example, if you're always shooting color, try shooting in black and white. Most cameras have a monochrome setting that will play the image back in black and white in camera to help you visualize it or shoot your favorite subject with the lens or focal length you never use. For example, If you we shoot landscape with a wide angle lens, try using a telephoto. If you shoot portraits with a telephoto, try using a wide angle lens and talking of people, and this one's for me as much as it is for you. Go meet a stranger and take their portrait. Or, if that's too daunting, go through the subject you wouldn't normally be interested in. Creativity is what you make out of what you don't know, So put your map away and take the road less traveled.