In Session 2 of the current Through and from the Lens Point and Shoot Photo Course, I introduced the concept of Creative DNA and referenced my discussion to issues of Picture to Ponder five years ago.
When participant Deb Mallett commented on then-featured photo and imagery she had difficulty finding, I decided the article and photo were worth revisiting.
Thus Today’s Photo – (See below for a description of the imagery which I saw at that time.)
An unidentified tropical flower from a local nursery
In 2005, I wrote: As I prepare the curriculum for the upcoming teleclasses, I’ve been reading THE CREATIVE HABIT: LEARN IT AND USE IT FOR LIFE by Twyla Tharp, dancer/choreographer. In it she speaks of “Creative DNA” which we may think of as our “creative hard-wiring or personality.”
She goes on to say, “When I apply a critic’s temperament to myself, to see if I’m being true to my DNA, I often think in terms of focal length, like that of a camera lens.
All of us find comfort in seeing the world either from a great distance, at arm’s length, or in close-up. We don’t consciously make that choice. Our DNA does, and we generally don’t waver from it. Rare is the painter who is equally adept at miniatures and epic series, or the writer who is at home in both historical sagas and finely observed short stories.”
After reading this I had a “flash.” People have been asking me how I see and take photos the way I do. In attempting to find answers, I’m noticing that the pictures subscribers seem to be most responsive to are those where I’ve zoomed in and on some where I’ve gotten even closer by cropping.
My creative DNA IS that close-up focus. So I became “true to my DNA”, pulled up the picture and cropped it. I’m thinking you get the strongest response to my work when I am being “truest” to myself.
The long view of the above photo which I cropped
Puzzling Imagery –
In 2005, I stated wrote: “I see a woman [top photo] with her head at a 3/4 angle toward the right cradled and protected by the petals, one of which caps her head. There is also a bulging-eyed, pink frog on the left protecting her, where her knees would be. I could continue with the some of the other petals and didn’t. I suspect that some of you will now probably start seeing images also.”
In response to this Deb Mallett wrote:
“It took me a long time to see the woman’s face and the bulging-eyed, pink frog in that flower, but I stared and stared and all of a sudden they both were there. And it’s not an abstract woman’s face, it’s actually quite realistic. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t understand how I didn’t see it before.”
Now, five years later, I immediately see the frog and have yet to see the “realistic woman’s face.” I’ve marked the “frog” in the photo on FlickR (scroll over the PICTURE there and a box will pop up) and may or may not have identified the woman by the time you click on the picture link.
Self-Reflecting Queries –
I invite you to become aware of your creative DNA. As a pattern, are you looking at the world, people, situations, “from a great distance, at arm’s length, or in close-up?”
If you find yourself in challenging situations, are you in the true mode for you? If not, would shifting it make a difference to you and to the people with whom you are interacting?
Does it help to be aware that a person with whom you are attempting communication may have a different creative DNA when viewing projects?
Also, in relation to looking for the “face” and the “frog”, if you “played” the game and could not find one or both of the images, how did you handle your possible frustrations? My first inclination is to attempt to figure it out myself and then walk away if I can’t find the answer. Ultimately, I might ask for help and I am getting better at it. What about you?
Lastly, if you’ve read all of the above, are pondering it and, then, find that what I’ve related has some impact for you, I’d appreciate your sharing that in the comments below. It doesn’t have to be the “what” or the “why.” Simply knowing a difference has been made would be helpful and sufficient for me. Thank you.