Add Venture #3

For Explorers, Adventurers and Visual Storytellers

Sat Feb 27th, 2021

Waking the Inner Child

In a world that's been exploring the most remote islands, the deepest abyss, the highest peaks, the driest deserts and the thickest jungles for centuries, what place could possibly be left for personal adventure and discovery?

In a world of locations ranked by social-ranking algorithms and spotlighted through beautifying filters by business people pretending to be spontaneous travelers, what place could there possibly be for a sincere appreciation of ordinary things in the long tail of the tourism pantheon?

Just ask a child.

Have you ever seen a young child open a present, and be far more interested in the package, or wrapping paper, than the toy inside it? Better still, do you remember being that child ;) ? Who do you think is happiest: the tourist who followed an instagrammer to Santorini for that year's vacation and discovers this horrendous scene, or the local adventurer discovering a cave nearly every weekend, where (s)he had no idea there was one? The explore is the child, enjoying a simple pleasure dictated by personal imagination, not public opinion.

A young child has not yet been subjected to years of constant advertising and social pressure to appreciate what the norm and "the cool kids" decide is the fancy gizmo or travel destination of the month. The child is still exploring the world to determine what appeals and what doesn't to him/her. And adults who manage to retain this candor later in life derive huge pleasure and many benefits from the exploration of simple places that no 'grammer would ever consider. 

So much has been written about the inner child that I could type this newsletter, and more, just quoting one-liners from famous thinkers. A few are copied below, but let's focus more on practical applications of cultivating this inner child freedom in the rest of this newsletter.

Live exciting and prosper ;)

Travel, Adventures & Exploring

Children appreciate risk in a very different way. Their desire to experiment-and-tell is often so strong that it often overpowers what little awareness danger is present in their mind. Let's face it, it sometimes requires a good deal of luck to go through childhood without serious scratches. Still, that desire doesn't magically disappear when we grow up. Some of it gets eroded by the routine and occasional hard facts of life but, mostly, adults simply never allow themselves to get bored and let their imagination get in the driver's seat. A bit of down-time, curiosity and iterative risk-taking can put us back on the tracks of a life of every day (or, at least, every week) adventure.

Planning an adventure is often as rewarding as living it ;) As NatGeo put it, “Compared to possessions, experiences make for better story material.” And remembering childhood can prove to be a strong stimulus to get back into a healthy groove.

What My Childhood Adventures Taught Me About Life

by Shaina Waterhouse (The Ascent)

Remembering dangerous games with her brother when both were still young children, the author finds a list of resolutions to bring back a bit of that adventurous fire back to our lives.

Here’s why planning a trip can help your mental health

by Erica Jackson Curran (National Geographic)

Even during lockdown, planning travel benefits our mental health. Looking ahead, anticipation, can boost "happiness substantially—much more so than the anticipation of buying material goods".

"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."
- Friedrich Nietzsche  

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." - C. S. Lewis  

Photo Video & Storytelling

Have you ever driven, or walked, a child home after a day at school? If so, you know how much human beings love telling stories ;) ;) At least in their childhood, before that gets wiped clean out of them by the normalising processes that make us all employable. Story is an essential component of human experience. In fact, on big the reason why traveling is more fulfilling than owning stuff is that we connect with others and talk about travel (whereas we mostly compare possessions).

Learning to tell stories well, or re-learning after years of writing only reports and making slides, is another key to happy exploring. Whether that's journaling, bloging, photography or filmmaking, we love - and need - to share our experiences.  My post about storytelling compares the respective merits of photography and filmmaking when it comes to telling stories. And Ted Forbes talks us through his appreciation of colour, asking one essential question about our approach of colour: "why should neutrality be the only option?"

Let's get creative and childish ;)

A three-part mini-series of articles presenting how storytelling works, how stories impact us and how both film and photography harness that power differently.

Controlling Color in Photography

by Ted Forbes (The Art of Photography)

Ted Forbes takes a look at books about grand master of colour Ernst Haas and talks about colour,from its subjectivity and interpretation to modern technological management.

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Tech Gear & Mind Gear

There are many differences between children and adults. But the most poignant one that comes to my mind right now is related to boredom. A bored child invents new ways to have fun. A bored adult - used to the constant stream of work and shallow distractions such as social media provides - despairs. A child digs deep inside to find new ways to interact with his or her environment. Most adults stay on the outside, waiting for distractions to come along.

Another major difference is our ability to give ourselves permission to try things and be creative for the fun of it, without fearing the judgment of others or even or ourselves. Rather than the usual stereotypical presentation, Ethan Hawk gives us a heartfelt and personal take on the topic that is a must-view for anyone wanting to reclaim their creativity and freedom of thought.

To understand how and why we react to things, how the mind of others will react to our visual stories, we need to understand perception. And this turns out to be a two way hallucination, not the simple, neutral and objective process we were once told!

Let me end with more talk about the Sony Alpha 1. Undoubtedly a fabulous storytelling camera. Imagine any type of photo or shot, and it's likely that the A1 will be able to help you make it far more easily than most of the competition. And yet, it also feels like Sony overtaking the market's needs. Can future proofing be too much of a good thing? And does this pro-oriented body stir the loins of the inner child, I wonder ...

Oh, and, speaking of high tech, the future, story and history: how about this pano made on another planet ? Perseverance, quite the name to conclude on!

An in-depth description of the design process of the Alpha 1, and the role it plays in the brand's usual strategy of making advanced content creation simpler for creatives.  

Through a series of experiment results, researcher Anil Seth helps us understand what we most take for granted in life, yet deserves a lot more attention: perception.

Give yourself permission to be creative

by Ethan Hawke (TED / YouTube)

Motivational speeches often sound corny and artificial. But not when their author speaks from genuine experience. This one, by actor Ethan Hawke, is short, poignant and liberating.

We've seen photographs of the surface of Mars before, but that should never dull our amazement at new ones. Here's Perseverance first peek at what could soon be mankind's second home!

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