In the last blog post, I wrote about where the expression “less is more” came from and the ways that applies to photography and living a digital life. This week I want to explore reasons that less isn’t always more, but “More is More”.
For me, probably the single most important thing here is to take more time to pursue a creative outlet. As a method of taking time, literally, and capturing it in a medium. Giving me an opportunity to either create an actual representation of that moment, or manipulating it to explore some internal vision. It’s grounding, meditative, and a connection to mankind and those are three things I and perhaps you, need more of.
There are several ways to pursue this creative outlet. I consider myself a lifetime learner. This type of learning is a form of discipline and will always require more. There are several formal ways of learning. Most recently for me it’s online tutorials, classes, webinars. I had such a hard time finding things like this, when I first started in the digital era. When I was shooting film, pre-internet era, I just found a school and took a class. I was lucky enough to live in New York City where you could pretty much find anything you wanted or needed. When I switched to digital, I lived in rural NE PA amid the farm lands, the nearest city was Scranton. There I couldn’t find a single class of any kind. Then to complicate matters I was so tied to the old ways of learning, a classroom, a teacher, and fellow students, that I felt stifled for a long time. But once I broke away from that kind of mentality I started to grow. Now I’m currently enrolled in three online classes, belong to several online communities, and love every minute.
Back to “MORE”. There are things that we can incorporate into our lives that will help drive us into growing as creatives. More reading, more studying, more experimenting, more practicing. All of these, add to the learning and growing in our pursuit of photography and creativity.
Another aspect that can be applied here is practicing. Do you only take your camera out when you have a family gathering, or perhaps for your monthly photo club project, or when you go hiking? I used to be like that, and wondered why I was creatively blocked. The important thing here is to practice, practice, practice. If you want to grow as a photographer, or for that matter any creative pursuit, painter, writer, musician, magician, aerial gymnast, anything, you must show up and practice. Regularly! Consistently! Faithfully! Creating a habit will be the best single thing you can do to grow. For a photographer, this might mean taking more purposeful pictures. Trying different techniques, to know the effect that it will give you. Pursuing, improving, and cultivating your creative craft.
The hardest thing that we can incorporate into our lives in more discipline. The best light for photography are the golden hours, at sunrise and sunset. But who wants to get up early in the morning? Discipline in these active pursuits that are hardest, getting up early, sitting at the computer to cull, rate and process your pictures, dealing with the unpleasant weather, or whatever it is that deters you from your craft. A little self-discipline will go a long way.
Exposing ourselves to art is another area we can probably all use more of. Julia Cameron in her book “The Artists Way” advocates a solo artist date. In which one does, some kind of playing with art, or some method of taking in imagery. While I don’t do this in the method that she teaches, I do try to visit and view art with folks with similar interests and pursuits. I find that the conversations, and differing views can inspire, challenge, and motivate me. I feel that whether I’m visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, of the local galleries on First Friday here in Scranton, there is something for us to glean.
If you have some other ideas on how “More Is More” feel free to contact me or leave a message. I’m always open to hearing and learning “more”.