Exploring Creativity

Exploring Creativity

With all of the things going on, plenty with work and always seeming to lose my weekends. Plus with building a house , responsibilities with my sole-trading business, helping friends out and just other things in general. Stress has been pretty high of late. The house build still has a few unknowns but is mostly progressing autonomously, so it still requires attention. See the build progress over here on this website. I have been ensuring that I keep exercising regularly while also trying to make my eating cleaner and cheaper. To aid in the cause of reducing stress is giving myself a multitude of creative outlets. Which I just started doing one I haven’t touched in years. Buckle in, this is a long one.

Music

A few months ago I purchased a keyboard so I can start to learn piano. Just don’t expect me to be the next Beethoven. The intention is to learn the basics of playing, chords and a number of songs, initially. Ultimately the goal is to understand chord progression and utilise the keyboard to control virtual instruments. As I have an interest in making some form of electronic music. Over the last years I have been buying random pieces of digital audio devices from audio recorders and a couple midi keyboards, now with three with this new one. Just something I have always been interested in, but I don’t have the knowledge of musical production. I did used to play the violin around 2000-2005, but that only taught me to follow the sheet music. The piano however, I feel will teach chords and progressions. We’ll see where I am at in 2025, as progress has been slow due to lack of practice.

Drawing

Purchasing random music gear isn’t the only thing, another artistic medium has been getting some attention. Drawing has been a very mild interest that has gotten my attention maybe two times in the last five years. But I am proud of one of the artworks, pictured below. It is just the amount of time required for a single piece that has been the main limiter. My vision verses the skill level are completely apart, but this is all about exploring creativity. Finding things you like or are good at and keeping at it, but only if you enjoy it. I have bought a variety of pencils, crayons and even water colours (the latter of which haven’t been used once). Stopped by imagination being so clear and precise, and the constant need of perfection.

— Nikita and Flow, Calligraph pen on paper, 8th March 2019

Photography

That is where photography and I have had a love hate relationship. It actually isn’t that dramatic, more just that I only enjoy getting the photo through the lens. Meaning I want to take the photo exactly how I want it on the camera. I purchased my first serious camera back in December 2011, the Olympus E-5 DSLR, with a number of serious lenses. Using it heavily through to 2014 and then just the bursts of photos until 2019. Previous workflows have been a major stop-gap, moreover the number of photos taken at the time. But this brings us to today. With some plans to go hiking and a single conversation about taking some photos at tennis. Getting it out of storage and someone else having a new camera spurred some thoughts. Yes, this is all it took for me to spend more money. And now I have added to my already expansive collection of cameras, lenses, camcorders and in general just more technology. But what I settled on has put me into a situation I didn’t expect. A workflow that works for me.

— Praying Mantis the Silhouette, Olympus OM-D E-M5 iii with 50mm Prime f/3.5 1/320 ISO200, 29th August 2021

Revisiting previous creativity

There is nothing better than a workflow that inspires you. It makes it fun, exciting and moreover, easy. Turn location tracking on my phone, take only good photos unless some need more work. Then set camera into paring mode, stop the phone tracking and add the geotags. I can then review the photos selecting only the ones I want on my phone. Once synced to the internet I then make minor touch-ups on my phone. Done, it feels much smoother and means I start with less and end with only the best photos. Comparing to take hundreds of photos and spend a few hours on the computer sorting through. Finding ones that need to be edited and then uploading them.

This isn’t my first Micro Four Thirds camera. In the same month as I bought my other camera, I bought the Olympus Pen E-PL1. But it has only ever taken just over 3200 photos and that is it. It had the same sensor and processor but lacked the speed. And it didn’t solve a problem I didn’t know I was having. Due to the processing and lack of instant access, but also as I put myself into a corner with owning such a large camera. But that is where the Olympus OM-D E-M5 mkIII changes that. All the speed, advanced features and high quality images thanks to the newer sensor and processor. But so many new features including better stability built in and mod-cons like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Being able to take photos with a lighter camera that give me better results and control. It has been such a great help.

New Inspiration

With this inspiration, I now want to have the camera with me all the time. And if I only take a single lens with me, I will learn to move to get the shot. So with all this, I feel comfortable to share them with the world. So I have actually started to use my Instagram account, despite Facebook owning it. As sampled throughout this page. So yeah, I have a number of ways to explore my creativity. Which gives me less reasons to be stuck at home watching TV or being by myself. Purpose and reason to exist other than work, not that I was struggling with it. Also means I have something interesting to share with those around me.

Enabling me to have the camera with me every day is the promotional redemption of a free lens. Oh and with me buying another compact lens will give me even more flexibility. Similar to when I had my Google Pixel 2 XL and Google Pixel 4. The cameras with the processing gave me results that closely matched what we see with our eyes. But also allowed me to take photos with a small light device that were clear and quick to take. So I would take photos all the time and could share them straight away. With these two new lenses (when they arrive), and the aforementioned features, should give me that same feeling of freedom. I have the flexibility to have one with me all the time and to plan a trip with specific lenses. And I even am considering printing some of my best ones, which seems a bit of a novelty these days.

So what is it that you do to release your creative self or to just get out of the house?

— Flowers near my new house.

2 Replies to “Exploring Creativity”

  1. Awesome James; so good to hear you’ve found your groove again! So many exciting projects on the go – can’t wait for you to get into your new home, it will be fab 😊🙃😊

    1. Thanks heaps Jules! I can’t wait for it to be completed and then have one less thing to worry about, but great things come to those who wait.

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