Noticing how it all knits together

My first 500 Instagrams were amazingly bad. I used borders, unnecessary filtering, and my alignment was off. But I consider those my practice shots.

My perspective has also improved over the years. My eyes got better at noticing smaller, more interesting things. Instead of taking pictures you can Google, now I look for patterns, subtle light, mostly the non-obvious.

I no longer chase social validation. If Instagram and VSCO disappeared tomorrow, I’d still take pictures. If Twitter or Medium went bust, I’d still blog.

Mobile photography is just another creative outlet for me, an extension of my writing. Photography is like taking notes. Like blogging, I publish at least one image a day on Instagram.

At first, our tools shape us. They inspire us to create. But we begin to shape our tools over time. We start using them how we want. Their purpose becomes our own.

Creativity doesn’t happen by accident. Like a muscle, it strengthens with repeated effort.

The photograph, the blog post, that beat you make – it all seems serendipitous, but you worked at your craft and let the unconscious mind tie together the loose ends.

As Steve Jobs said, technology is just a bicycle for the mind. The bicycle may be the enabler, but the brain still pushes the pedals.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.