It’s funny, but as an engineer working in a technical world I always considered myself to be logical, a linear thinker, a left-brained individual – not artistic or creative. Growing up, doing art in school was something that I did because I had to and my efforts were certainly never proportional to the end result. Then I discovered photography. It was amazing to be able to take the ideas that I had in my mind, and turn them into something tangible and visible; into something artistic and real.
“Art helps us see with new eyes what we knew was there but never really recognized. I photograph not to record or document—but rather, to capture and hold, just for a moment, the essence of what exists beyond the scene.” – Robert Hall
Photography is about vision – observing the world, and then creating a representation of it with a camera. When most people use their cameras, they speak of “taking” a photograph – capturing a moment in time as a passive observer. What differentiates taking a photo from making one is the intention of the person behind the camera. Making a photograph involves using the available light, background, and subject to create something that didn’t exist before the photographer saw it. Regardless of capture device, number of megapixels, camera brand, film or digital….
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook
I wonder how many of us take the time to explore the creative part of our personalities? When was the last time that you just sat and observed something that you walk by every day without seeing, or picked up a pencil and doodled on a blank page for fun, or found a new recipe and cooked it for your family on an ordinary weeknight, or plunked out a new tune on the piano when no one else was listening? Taking the time to explore our creative selves is as important in life as exercise and eating healthfully. Creativity is what drives innovation in our society and helps us as individuals to negotiate changes in our lives, to learn new skills, and to problem solve effectively.
So my challenge to all of you is to explore your creative selves more often. Take the time every day to try something new, to observe something that you normally pass by, or pick up a camera and make a photograph. Just before I go, here are a few photographs that I have made recently on a trip to Hawaii – enjoy!