Dear Reader, 
There’s a beautiful story about photographer Harry Callahan‘s deep and abiding love for his wife, Eleanor who died in February of 2012.  Harry made portraits and photographs almost daily of Eleanor – his beloved subject – over the course of 50 years.  After Eleanor’s death, a friend of Harry’s was quoted:
"She was an additional f-stop on his lens. Through her, he saw form and structure more clearly, both in nature and in the world. She was present in his photographs even when she wasn’t in them."
My favorite photographic genre is street photography, but to me, the “additional” f-stop that Harry's friend spoke of relates to every genre of art and beyond art to every creative effort
The additional f-stop is a metaphor for using the awareness of form to interact with your creative spirit. This interaction can arise from anyone or any thing and for anybody at any time. It's pure, remarkable magic. But how do we find it?
Stephen Covey says, 
“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
Knowing that creativity is not reserved for artists alone, I can confidently say that the additional f-stop exists within each of us waiting for the right moment to emerge. This potent force wants only two conditions to show up:
1) For us to Adjust the Lens of Life: Grooming self-awareness affects and influences the way we interact in the world and we are able to bloom and prosper. We become nicer, happier people. We do better for ourselves and others. 
2) And for us to Feed it: Feeding and following creative breadcrumbs (you must be willing to be open to their sudden appearance) brings a bubbling to the surface and offers more possibilities for its amazing potential.
This is what I believe and what I hope to convey here. I hope in some small way, my photography coupled with the occasional few choice words might inspire you toward a path of awareness, your own creative spirit, and happy living.

Juliette Mansour | Casa Dresden
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