#1333. 2024, Year of Flow, Agility and Inspiration. Plus Fun :)

By pascaljappy | News

Jan 01

The beauty of New Year resolutions is that no one ever goes through with them. That’s why I’m doing something a bit different, merely repackaging a few of the values and methods that have guided my photography for quite a while. Knowing those play to my strengths kinda guarantees I will stick to them for a consistent editorial line for DS in the year ahead πŸ™‚

 

Happy New Year, everyone πŸ™‚ May 2024 (that’s an injunction, not a date) bring you many creative opportunities, much photographic satisfaction and the fun gear to do it with πŸ˜‰

I like the idea that almost any situation can give rise to interesting photographs. The image above (of my grandfather in his retirement home) illustrates this point. To me, those slice-of-life photos are more interesting that the more planned shots that others favour.

In fact, I’ve been meaning to revisit Philippe’s great post defining the 4 quadrants of photographers to include new axes such as improvised – planned, flow – technical, and others. But it occurred to me that I can’t think of a type of photographer who would not benefit from flow. Hence my placing it at the top of my photographic hierarchy of needs and using it as the main backbone for the editorial line to come. Flow is non-negotiable.

 

The other three are closely interlinked with flow :

  • Agility is how you create the conditions for flow in an environment in constant flux.
  • Inspiration is a necessary condition for flow.
  • Fun is a driver for the whole endeavour of photography.

I’ll explain those points of view briefly below and will devote more posts to those ideas over the coming year.

 

Agility was created to shield dev teams from interference from the outside world and from self doubt during specific periods of time in order to let the focus on one task, to the exclusion of all others. In between those periods of time, interactions with client representatives, and introspective meetings help the team decide on a new direction for the next period of isolation.

You can think of it as a sailboat tacking in slowly changing currents and winds. For some periods of time, one direction is chosen and all the team is devoted to maintaining it, thinking about nothing else. When change is needed, the tack phase ends and the boat takes a new direction.

Flow comes from the continued focus of attention on one task, to the exclusion of all others, without outside or inner hindrances. I think it’s pretty easy to see that agility is a flow-building team-management device that we can draw a lot from to create flow in our lives and in our photography.

 

I’ve touched on inspiration before. The angle I want to focus on in 2024 is that inspiration is like a muscle. You can train it.

Too often, some visionary artists are perceived as possessing some innate superpower that you are either born with or without. The reality is that, for years, at every occasion, knowingly or not, those artists trained their intuition.

What I’m after in my own photography and hope to help those interested with, is the ability to produce interesting images in almost any situation. So, training inspiration will be an important part of my posts for the next 12 months.

 

Finally, fun needs no introduction.

But I’ve artificially opposed serious photography to fun photography in the past, and must right this wrong. In fact, my X1D has been my serious camera, while my phone was my fun camera. But why not make fun photos with the Hassy? Or use a single camera (such as the promising Ricoh GR III) for both?

Much of my GAS in 2023 has been related to finding a camera that can be both fun and capable of high-quality results. The Leica SL3 will get a lot of attention from me in a few months, but it’ll have to be really good to justify the premium over something as simple and high-quality as the Ricoh. Time will tell. At any rate, I’d like to make fun one of the main drivers of my photography during this year.

 

On to the not so fun. In February, Google will ban private email addresses such as mine from mass mailing such as DS’s new post emails. The solution is easy enough: create a new email address on the dearsusan.net domain. But, frankly, I’m in no hurry to do that. It adds costs and complexity to an already costly and complex process.

Google systematically (100% of the time) considers that my DS emails to myself are spam and need explicit confirmation that they are not. Apparently, working that out is harder than landing a rover on an asteroid, so it’s up to individual senders to handle the gruntwork. I don’t wanna.

So my plan is to no longer send out emails after every post is published.

 

You readers know that DS regularly publishes articles. You can regularly visit the homepage to check. You can use an RSS reader (and know several of you do) to receive new posts directly. Heck, you can share the new posts yourselves with friends via email or on social, that’s what most people do.

If money and time are to be expended, it might as well be on a forum, or discord server, or something else that creates more value for the community than mere emails. And I’m open to alternative suggestions.

Let’s think about fun options. And if none prove convenient, I shall sink my teeth into a deadly projectile and kneel before our silicon valley overlords. I care not.

Far more important is that you all have a Wonderful 2024 ! HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

 

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  • philberphoto says:

    As for me, my wants and needs are a bit different form yours. Fun? Check! Agility? Check! Inspiration? Check! But you left out love. Without love there can be no successful photography. Loving our subjects, loving uour gear, loving the process, loving our photo buddies, loving DearSusan. So, for me, unless I have Fun, Agility, Inspiration and Love, it can’t possibly work out! Have a great 2024!!

    • Pascal Ravach says:

      I second that, Philippe… love – in the largest sense, as you imply – is the ultimate connecting bond πŸ™‚
      Thanks again Pascal for this great community of *nice* people! There is so much cynicism these days that that simple adjective sounds “cheesy” to some… hope beauty will inspire more…

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        Pascal it isn’t feeling even faintly “cheesy” right now – I’ve just been trying to be a nice guy on a Facebook page I belong to, and savaged by a pack of trolls – they were insane – got so far off topic that I ended up calling in the moderator, and right now I’m still waiting to see what eventuates.

        Dear Susan is a coven of “Love”, compared with that!

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Ouch – the first shot jars – my left knee is in a bad way, my neck & my lower back wander in & out, I never know from one day to the next how far I can walk (used to managed 10Km a day with ease!) and so someone who’d recovered from a leg injury recently took pity on me, and gave me a walking frame plus a wheel chair, since he no longer needed them and felt I might. BTW – how old is grandpa? — surely you’re too old for that, yourself!

    Much prefer your second shot – even though sepia is also “yesterday”, just like I am apparently. I do like the photo though. And it’s definitely not the same as the 10,000 shots of the Eiffel Tower, fired off by tourists with cellphones, every day of the year. Is it in a forest nearby?

    I love the way you’ve sandwiched the rather delightfully shaped lady, clambering over what looks to be ship, in a shed or a store or something, in between two paragraphs talking about agility, inspiration and fun. Was that intentional? – or did some greater power guide your hand? What on earth is she doing anyway? Who keeps boats in shops like that? Or is it a workshop? – if it is, why is she in a workshop, climbing up into the ceiling? Did Agatha Christie script that shot?

    And your final suggestion – “fun needs no introduction”. No – fancy putting that, in front of ME, of ALL people! With MY track record! Oops – better stay off that topic altogether! Oh – I see – got it all wrong – “fun photography”! And this is novel? – it’s all I’ve ever done! If it wasn’t fun, I’d have gone off to do something else, years ago.

    How about you get the Ricoh, while I get a drone? And don’t say things like “I shall sink my teeth into a deadly projectile and kneel before our silicon valley overlords. I care not” – dunno whether it sounds suicidal or paints you as a MAGA monster or something.

    BTW – is that a seville orange in your garden? For some strange reason, people in Australia seem to prefer the navel orange, because they can peel it more easily and it generally has no seeds. I find it rather flavourless, and prefer sevilles. Same with your hens – cage eggs from supermarkets can actually be bad for your health! Maybe this is part of the story of your Grandfather’s longevity!

  • John Wilson says:

    So, when has DS been anything but inspiration, agility and fun? A simple look and read of any post, especially the group galleries, confirms inspiration, agility and fun in abundance. Toss in a healthy dollop of Phil’s LOVE, of which I see an abundance of here, and we have it all. You’ve created an hospitable, collegial, entertaining and inspiring environment for a range of talent that would be the envy of any blog. Can we make it better? BIEN SUR!! Lead the way and we will follow.

    Now if only we could find a way to beat the time zone problem so we could occasionally rub digital elbows and converse in real time … that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake.

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