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Last week I posted a blog which was probably geared more towards other photographers.  I’m afraid here’s another!

A short while ago I came across a blog written by a colleague of a friend of mine, his name is Tom Townsend. There are a few people who, when they have something to say, you sit up and take note…..Tom is one of those guys. He is Chief Creative Officer for a major advertising company called Rodgers Townsend based in the US and has worked with the likes of McDonalds, AT&T, Mars, General Motors………the list goes on!

Anyway, I came across one of the articles Tom wrote for their website and was immediately drawn to the things he had to say.  I asked Tom if he’d be okay with me posting his words here on my blog……he graciously agreed. If you want to see the original blog entry you can head over to this address http://deepdive.rodgerstownsend.com/culture.aspx?cid=809. Otherwise, here’s his article.

About a year ago, I was listening to a major wildlife photographer who was talking about the most fundamental advantage he has over amateur photographers. What he said struck me as having a perfect parallel to what we do as creative professionals every day. Or, at least what we are supposed to be doing – capturing the creative stimuli that swirl around us at all times, so we can apply it to other stimuli we encounter, ultimately making something fresh and unexpected based on human behavior, for our clients and ourselves.

Here is what he said:

“When I am on these photography safaris in other parts of the world, invariably someone sees a shot I took and remarks, ‘Wow… were you on the same trip I was on?’ Or, ‘I could’ve had that shot. I wonder where I was when that happened?’ ”

He went on to say that the response he feels like giving is, “No, you would never have gotten that shot. Because your camera is always in your purse or pocket, and it’s never turned on. By the time you pull it out and start it up, the moment is gone.”

Having his camera in his hands, turned on and firing at one thing or another every few minutes, puts him in a position to receive from the world around him input that others don’t get. He and the amateurs can walk through the same space at the same time, and while, with his camera, he is exchanging with stimuli all around him, the others are expecting something to happen before they even turn their cameras on. (Can’t waste that battery!)

Yet something is already happening, and they are blind to it.

Sometimes people say of creative genius, “These people are truly inspired. They live on a plane we normal people don’t.” Not always.

Sometimes it’s the very same plane. They just have their cameras out and on.

Is yours? So you can see what others don’t? Overhear more than what is being said?

And capture more inspiration than the amateurs do?

I can’t help but agree with what both Tom and his wildlife photography friend have to say. When I look at my own photography, especially my photojournalistic work, the main thing that sets me apart from anyone else who may have a camera with them at the same time, is that I’m constantly shooting. As time goes on, you also learn to read situations and can, to a certain extent, pre-empt what is going to transpire before you so that you’re ready with your camera to capture that moment.

This kind of all fits in with what I was saying in my last blog entry when I was spouting off about the need for us to have more vision. The question is, can we learn to have ‘vision’? I think to a certain extent we can but in the meantime it’ll help if we simply have our camera out and on.