Archive for the ‘Creatvity’ Category

586 vs. 56

Friday, October 30th, 2009

My son’s senior project is photography.

Once a week or so, we take a trip to find subject matter for him to shoot. This week’s trip was to the central branch of the Seattle Public Library. This building has lots of visual interest, to say the least, and I’ve been in it at shot it many times for my work with the SPL. 

But I was blessed to see it through new eyes this week. My son’s fresh eyes saw angles and perspectives that I’ve overlooked. He noticed everything from the blue emergency light in the parking garage, to the bolts holding the steel girders together, to a patron’s umbrella sitting on a table. So, I followed him and looked through my camera at what he was seeing. 

When we got home, he uploaded 586 photos to his computer. I uploaded 56. As I looked through his pictures, I realized that I was editing myself before I needed to – I wasn’t taking the “wonder if this might be cool?” shots. I was taking the “I know this should be pretty cool shots” and playing it safe. He was trying variations on a theme and experimenting. He was willing to take a bad shot and throw it away later. And in doing so, he took some pictures that blew me away. Here’s my four favorites from his shoot:





This experience reminded me that one of the best ways to be creatively refreshed is to be spend time around people who are fresh and energized about what they’re doing. It’s contagious!

P.S. Here’s my four favorite photos I took that day. FYI – I found most of these shots/angles by following after my son :-)





Ben Franklin’s Daily Schedule

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

In my wandering around the interwebs, I discovered this post by Nick Bolton and have borrowed this public domain image from Franklin's autobiography for our conversation today.


I think this is a great way to approach every day. Time to organize. Time to work. Time to eat. Time to reflect and relax. Time to sleep. There's plenty of time for it all, and it's structured around two questions: "What good shall I do this day?", which starts the day, and "What good have I done today?" which ends the day.

With those questions framing every day, it's hard to imagine not being creative and energized each day. I know that most days I don't explicitly take time to ask these questions, and maybe that's why many days I lack focus and energy.

So, if it worked for Ben, I'm going to give it a try, and start and end each day with a reflection on the good I can do and the good I accomplished.