After a long dog walk at Rawson Park this morning, where I ran into fellow photographer, Neil Kieckhofer and his dog, Huckleberry, I came home and noticed that my ferns were in a delightful, fiddlehead state. No breakfast for me! I set up my Nikon 200mm Macro lens with tripod, and added the 3T diopter and diffuser, and got to work. It’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve been able to get this jazzed about macro! Today was a delight that lifted my soul. I was in the FLOW for about an hour, when the sun beating down on me finally called me indoors to change into cooler clothes.
FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, is a book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It’s been sometime since I’ve read it so I must get over to Boswell Books on Downer and get another copy. What I remember about the book is simply what happened to me today. My senses were overwhelmed with the beauty and light I was capturing with the ferns. I was so intently focused on what I was doing that no other sensory experience was coming in. Not even my hunger could stop me! My whole being was focused on what was before me. (The metaphor is not lost on me that as a photographer, I was focused in on something!)
When’s the last time something like this has happened to you? When did you loose track of time because what you were doing was do engaging to your senses? What were you doing that captured your undivided attention and made you feel blissful? Maybe it was while you were playing with your kids or engaging in a favorite hobby. Tell me about it! I’d love to hear about what keeps your rapt attention.
I know you might think that getting into the flow happens a lot for those of us who photograph. But just like a ball player that’s in a hitting slump or a stock trader that buys a few losers, every profession has it’s up and downs. So today, when light, free time, inner willingness and engagement sucked me into FINDING the right images to make, the flow happened. It all clicked, so to speak!
Like the fiddleheads, I felt an unloosening happen within. No longer tight, and waiting for the warmth of spring, I was unfurling in the warm, morning sun, that was finally here. Like the fiddlehead bursting forth into new life, the process of photographing had me present.
Once the sweat started to take my focus away, I heard Emma playing ‘cow’ next to me. She also was glad spring was finally here as chewing on grass is one of her favorite things to do. Glad my garden has the right grass!