One thing I love to do is go for hikes. It started out several years ago with the need to walk the dogs. In other words, it was another chore that needed to get done. So I would grab my device and headphones, put on a favourite podcast or some music and take the dogs for their walk. It was something I had to do and having the podcast gave me a chance to catch up on topics that interested me.In other words, the podcast were a distract from the chore. It took a while but eventually I was not really listening to the podcasts, essentially they became background noise to my own thoughts. So one day I decided to leave them at home – the headphones, not my thoughts.
What a difference this made. All at once I started to observe. Instead of my mind being busy blocking out the constant sound coming from my headphones, my mind was made available to take in what was around me. Not just the visual, but the sounds as well. What a difference. The chore of walking the dogs became something I really looked forward to.
In an earlier post I talked about a concept called Neurochromes. Essentially it is a visualization process to help you understand what will make a great image. What I discover when I gave up the headphones was that I started seeing all kinds of potentially great images. I was taking Neurochromes. It put me into a very creative space. From time to time I took a camera with me to capture some images. I’m not sure how much the dogs liked this because it meant stopping every time I decided to take a shot, but hey. Interestingly, when I did stop I began to hear things. No, not in my head, I began to hear things around me. The sound of the city below the hills where we were hiking, other hikers, the dogs running through the forest, wildlife. And these sounds lead to new photographs and new ideas. It’s quite amazing.
This morning I was out for a hike and happened to have a camera with me. Between two houses this view of the sunrise presented itself. If I was wearing headphones, I would have probably missed it – and that would have been unfortunate.
So really, all I am encouraging you to do is take the time to observe the space around you – with or with out a camera. What you discover will change the way you photograph.