I like photography. Street Photography is a great a way to practise your chops as a photographer. It’ll put you through your paces in terms of how you see and think, then how quickly you can react to a passing situation and get the shot.
Street photography practises our ability to recognize a good thing when we see it, and to grasp the moment. We capture it, then make something of it. We test our life skills at that moment.
The click of the button can be like the fall of a decision that means, ‘that’s that, it’s done’. We put our emotion into what we did. We feel we must live with it. We can admit that the success of the shot is all down to our hard work. But the failure of a shot comes with a gulp that we aren’t as good as we thought we were.
A successful shot in non-technical terms is hard to define, but it’s easy to recognize. If people look at a photo and get the feeling that it does something for them, makes them feel better, gets them intrigued by the purely visual aspect of life, then the shot is worth looking at.
I also practise still life photography. It offers another way to look at life, The photographer becomes designer, manipulator, controller, and you can decide exactly how you want the photo to turn out – the hard part is when you realize that with all your manipulations and controlling you can end up creating a jumbled mess of the composition, or that it’s just really too difficult to light it in the way you imagine it in your mind. This reminds me of how daily life can become when we try and control and force things into place. It can often lead to a mess where we feel we have to give up and start all over again.
The complex still life that should turn out to become a beautiful composition that elicits calm, focus, aesthetic enjoyment and the appreciation of everyday objects, can sometimes turn out full of irritating shadows that are too deep, too hard at the edges, and too much like everyday life in that you can’t control everything, and you have to go with the flow and do something simpler.
An overworked idea tires the mind. And a tired mind often doesn’t recognize that it’s flogging a dead horse.
It’s time to try something else.
The idea that life and still-lifes can be manipulated to the exact point that we want, is a fools’ errand. Not to say that it’s foolish to get control and demand something good out of life, but to learn to work with the tools that we have before us is a wiser choice than to believe that we are born with inherent abilities to master life’s challenges by always using a hammer to do the job.
Life requires skills. Skill-sets can be worked on, and developed into powerful tools that we use in everyday life. It can sometimes become difficult to recognize which skills are useful and which are a waste of time.
We live in a time when skills that take years to master are brushed aside in the hope that a software app is out there somewhere, and it will do the job for us.
Cameras have developed into amazing digital boxes of tricks that give the false impression that if you own a digital camera with a good sensor and a good lens, you can call yourself a professional photographer and start making big bucks selling photographic services. When we put this to the test, we find it isn’t true – not at all.
The same goes for life skills. There are real life skills to learn, an app won’t do it for you, and it’s only by working on, and improving the skills you need to improve your circumstances that you experience the successful outcomes in combinations of skill sets, realistic perception of what you are looking at, and the courage to take action.
One single skill won’t cut it in this world. If you want to start a business, whatever it may be, you need to identify which skills you need. What’s your business, what are you dealing with in terms of product or service? How will you bring it to the client, how to develop marketing and selling skills to ensure that when you are with a potential client you can present yourself in a convincing way? There are no apps to replace these social-business actions, and I wouldn’t rely on an app to automate my marketing choices.
Sometimes, everything comes down to hard graft, elbow grease and rolling your sleeves up to get things done and finished.
The camera and what you do with it, makes for a good comparison to how we look at life. How we approach the problems we are faced with, and whether at the end of a session we have made progress with good work. Sometimes, it’s whether we have simply misunderstood something and fluffed the whole thing.
Rolling up our sleeves, and getting down to hard work allows us the opportunity to be in the fray and enjoy the battle of life. Just like the street photographer who must seize the moment and take a risk by capturing the shot at the right moment. We must all be aware that our opportunities, even the ones that we have created carefully ourselves, are just a fleeting moment that we must seize and use immediately. To think quickly, take action and reap the benefits of making a decision without the hindrance of doubt, is living in the moment.
Success and Fear on Berlin Notes
Wikipedia on Fear
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