Cowichan Bay early Spring, B.C. Canada
©Michael G.O'Brien
I n this newsletter we'll share more approaches to staying healthy and creative in this unique time. My heart goes out to those experiencing hardships...and there are many - it's around the 5th week since our public health crisis officially began and things closed. Staying occupied and creative does help. So, as always, in this newsletter there will also be information about developing our photographic practice.

During the last week, each day brought special challenges and opportunities. For example while on morning walks I've been able to absorb some of the feelings from the landscape around me. The land seems to be relieved not to have so many humans bustling around on it - the air smells cleaner, it's quieter - people are walking with more purpose - the city workers in the streets and park nearby seem to focus on the tasks at hand more deliberately. I feel more grateful for everything they do to keep things going. For me they bring some semblance of normality into life.
To walk is very human - our ancestors up until very recent times did a lot of it. Some people still do. Exercise, fresh air and visual stimulation are a big boost to creativity. It's known that repetitive actions like walking allow ideas, intuitions and thoughts to float to the surface. It requires little training, is free, and can work for people at all fitness levels. Try short ten minute walks - with and without a camera.
Sort, Edit, Clean
Right now I have extra time to organize, sort and clean things I usually put off - like all the prints, mats and framing materials i keep in my huge 11 drawer flat file cabinet ...long overdue! I've gone through 5 drawers so far - it feels good.
Tip 1: once you choose something to work on, set a timer and work on it for 20 minutes - this gets things moving. Tip 2 - don't read books on de-cluttering - it's more procrastination - instead get moving on a simple project!!
In my photographic world, I use Adobe Lightroom for editing, and organizing my photos. Quick Collections and Collections are two features that I use to sort and categorize large numbers of images.
Learn To Look Into Rather Than At a Photograph
There are skills involved in making, as well as looking into and understanding, good photographs. As this series progresses I will be offering online meet-ups to show ways of doing this. In the meantime, Criticizing Photographs by Terry Barrett and Understanding a Photograph a re two books that help us look into photographs. - while The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton helps us appreciate the broad range of photography that's considered 'art' these days.
The LensCulture site gives a good overview of trends in real photography today - they also offer some of the best run photo contests I've seen. If you now have time - perhaps use some of it to deepen your knowledge of a subject.
by Brooke Shaden

In the 2 min. long video clip below, artist/photographer Brooke Shaden speaks about creativity. She is eloquent, evocative, and informing. Listen to Brooke and be inspired! Thanks for looking at the newsletter and be well.
View Previous Newsletters

Click here to see article on Framing in composition.
Click here to look at the Linear Perspective article

Click here for the Dominant Foreground Contributing Background.

Click here to look at the Rule of Thirds article.

Click here for the Controlled Depth of Field article

Click here to see an email from the archive called Good Ideas

Contact Michael 
office 416 778 6521
mobile 647 286 1705