Look for the Rhythm. (The Creativity Explorer. Episode 148)

Look for the Rhythm. (The Creativity Explorer. Episode 148)

A photographer does not look for a “good picture.”


On New Years’ Eve, I was lucky enough to be seated next to Martin Diehl, a professional photographer from Germany.


I asked him to give me an insight into the skill of taking great pictures.


He said: “You have to feel the rhythm of what you are taking a picture of.”


At first, I did not understand, but then I suddenly got it.


It’s not about finding a nice shot, or the right light, or the perfect composition. Those things are important, but that’s not where the magic is.


It’s about finding the rhythm. Every situation has a rhythm.


At a wedding, it might be the mother of the bride shedding a tear – because the rhythm of that wedding is the relief the mother feels for her daughter finding the right man.


When photographing a dog, the rhythm might be to take a blurry photo, if the dog is full of energy and refuses to stop moving.


When taking a portrait, it’s about finding the rhythm of that person. And that might not be of that person smiling at all. (Way too many amateur photographers are making people smile for photos)


Martin told me that when he did portrait photography he would spend a large amount of the time he had just talking to, listening to, and observing the person. To understand her essence.


Then when it was time to take photos he knew what photo to take because he had become aligned with the rhythm of that person.


Many people talk about “flow” when it comes to creativity, but I think it is equally important – perhaps even more important – to find the rhythm of what you are trying to create.


That is true for great photography, but I think that is also true for many other kinds of creative expression. I know it’s true for speaking or writing.


Search for the rhythm.


That will be the creative advice for today.


Would love to hear your views, you can comment on this email or on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rhythm-creativity-fredrik-haren


(Picture is self portrait by Martin Diehl.)

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