Over the last 10 months I have had plenty of time to practice and develop my photography skills. I can’t think why! A key aspect of that development was having a purpose.
To be honest any creative outlet can help, but as I am a photographer and writer I’m going to share some of the ways photography and writing help me.
During all of this Covid chaos many of us have lost our familiar purposes. Work and home life has changed immeasurably. Those changes have led to a change in our roles and responsibilities. All of this change is unsettling, I know. I have lived though a few years of tremendous change, and through that experience I have learnt that there are a few ways in which photography can help.
- Learning a new creative skill is uplifting. It is a fact that an old dog can learn new tricks. It’s been proven. Yep, your brain has the capacity to burn new neural pathways throughout the whole of your life. Any day you can learn something new. Now, I’m not saying that it gets easier as you get older, but it it is still possible and that feeling of developing and applying a new skill is life enriching. This year I have taken my skills in Multiple Exposure and ICM to another level and what fun I have had. I even get to share some of my favourite photos here, the photos in this post are all recent ICM experiments.
- Photography can help you to process change. Regular readers of this blog and my eBooks will know that I practice and share Mindful Photography Activities that can provide the means for you to express how you feel about something through a photograph. Not only do these photographs have the potential to illustrate an emotion you are living with, the process of creating them and the reflection upon what they look like a few days later can provide the space for the difficult feelings to soften and for you to move towards acceptance.
- Sharing your photos can help others. One of the reasons I write this blog and share what I have created is that it can encourage others to do the same. The ways that I support my own well-being have become something that I can share with others. It gives me social purpose. I feel that I am contributing to the common good. Some of the social contact that I am missing is substituted by positive feedback from those of you that find this useful.
- Writing about the creation of your photos can help you to develop your skills and understand what you are living though. I do this regularly myself in this blog and eBooks. I find it tremendously helpful. So much so that on my Online Courses I encourage the sharing of photos and comments about the process as a key part of the course. I know that it works. Not only does it support the development of your new skills and help you to process what you have learnt, it provides a social interaction with others who are doing the course. And that is one of the key aspects of learning. We learn from each other. We support each other. How many times have you not understood completely what was being taught, but one of your fellow students was able to help? So sharing your photos and comments about their creation helps you and others. It’s a win win.
So having a purpose can support your well-being and photography can be one of those purposes. Why not set a photographic goal for this year? An intention to learn a new photography skill or develop a current skill to a new level. Having a creative goal is positive at this time. If you have an idea for something you could learn that you’ve been putting off, why not share your goal with me (via email/contact form) and I’ll keep you on track with a reminder or two.
Me? I shall do the same. here is my creative photography goal: –
I will learn how to create fabulous close up/macro photographs. I have never really paid much attention to this, I’ve never owned a macro lens, but the work done by Tracy and Dan Calder at CUPOTY (Close Up Photographer of the Year) has inspired me. Take a look at last year’s winners and I challenge you to not be inspired.