Hey... Slow Down !
Do you know the feeling when you are out on a photo-walk through the park, downtown, the local neighborhood and suddenly you realize that you are just rushing from one imperfect scene to the next in search of *The* image of the week ?
It’s time to slow down!
This is good advice not only for photographers, of any genre, but also for poets, painters, dancers, musicians, and even not only artists, but for creators of all kinds.
Jay Maisel, one of the fabulous contemporary photographic artists, considers the ‘gesture’, being perceptive of people’s behaviour and nuances of speech and movement (much of his practice happens to be photography on the streets of New York). Though, do apply the principle to any genre and any practice.
Observe astutely, pay attention to detail, to timing, anticipate, and especially let go of seeking after preconceived images and results.
Allow the process of creating to unfold; allow for the unexpected to reveal itself; allow for what I like to call ‘guided accidents’ - not everything in the process of creating can be controlled, but with a bit of skill we can guide the tools, the ink, the timing, the direction of the process, and then leave space for that process to manifest itself along its own, personal so to say, specific path.
Sure, creative perfection, be it photographic, in dance, music, verse, can happen in a split second... yet, just as enlightenment happens in a sudden unexpected moment, both are encouraged, even enabled, by a long preparatory process of creative development and practice leading up to that split-second perfection that fulfills our soul’s yearning for that nourishing feeling of creative accomplishment.
So, slow down the wielding of your brush, the pen, your stride along the sidewalks; the space between your notes and rhythms, slow down the frequency of the shutter clicks, and of the thoughts jumping from one story to the next distracting from what is in front of you.
Make space inside and outside of the mind -
The audience will feel it in your imagery, hear it in your music, and read it between your lines.
Here are a couple of brief minutes with Jay Maisel
on being open and slowing down