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.”
To me, the “additional” f-stop is a metaphor for how to cultivate our own awareness to create. This additional f-stop or creative awareness exists in anyone or anything and at any time. It's pure, remarkable magic and why I dedicate this site to it.
But how do we find our own additional f-stop? It's already here. The additional f-stop exists within each of us waiting for the right moment to emerge. It requires only two things:
1) Self-awareness which changes the way we interact in the world. Most of us live asleep at the wheel. Being awake helps us know ourselves and live our truth. It makes us nicer, happier people. It opens us up.
2) A willingness to stay awake, to want to be aware opens us up. It creates opportunity and amazing potential.
In 2008 I left the world of creative freelance and joined the full-time work force again because I didn't want my creative process to suffer due to money or fear of where I would get my next gig. I wanted to protect the love I have for art and let it run free, with my only obstacle being time.
It was a good choice. I've done more with myself as an artist since. I hope in some small way, this inspires you towards a path of awareness, your own additional f-stop.
“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.”
- Stephen Covey