More on being idle and creativity.

Marty, a frequent blog visitor sent me an email about my last post.  He shared something I felt would add to the discussion. He said, “Creativity can be a filter… When someone is trying to be creative (obviously not in itself a bad thing), they are to some degree actively imposing some part of their consciousness/identity/spirit/(word choice TBD) into the process, stirring up their internal dialog.

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Your comments on being quiet, mindful, aware, allow the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard, “ Psst, why don’t you see me? I’m right in front of you.” These images (IMHO) don’t need creativity, they just need to be recognized simply for what they are, nothing more, nothing less.  Idle does not have to be passive.”

I have been pondering Marty’s thoughts all day.  I believe he is right on the money and specifically can’t get this quote out of my head.  “Being aware allows the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard!”  I LOVE THAT!!

I would add this, creativity does not need to be manufactured for the sake of being creative. Rather, we should strive to  live a creative life which may not necessarily mean anything more than being idle and listening for those whispers. Other times it might mean, turning on the multiple exposures or moving your camera while making your exposure to create a swipe!  

Thanks Marty!

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This entry was posted in Abstract, Cape Cod, Inspiration and tagged , , .


  1. Phyllis Burchett December 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    I love that quote John, may I share this and what is Marty’s last name so I can give him credit. I’m a member of a Fine Art Equine Photography Group and someone posted the question “You can be taught to be a photographer, can you be taught to be an artist?” So do you have to be born with artistic vision or can you be taught? Or as Marty says do you have to simply “Be aware to allow the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard”?

    • john8276 December 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      You bet. Marty Golin is his name.

  2. robyn December 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm #


  3. Nicki McManus December 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Inspiring words John. I have to share an interesting comment made to me by a fellow photography, in discussing social media. I think this fits right in. He made the remark that he did not indulge in social media.. his reason- he found it inhibits his natural creativity. Instead of developing his own visions, it would pressure him to “produce” for the sake of producing to post. So true. I have found more and more value in these words of yours you have posted. Thank you John, for putting it back into perspective.

  4. Joan Herwig December 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Marty’s addition to your thoughts = “aha” moment.
    Thank you both.

  5. Felice December 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I love this image of yours with the snow and rocks – it is just so beautiful and Zen-like. I don’t see photography and creativity as two separate actions/thoughts. To me they are the same, which may be why some of my images are both admired or criticized. I must admit, it took me longer to “get” the technical aspects, but I have also hesitated to go too far creatively. So, interesting discussion!

    • john8276 December 6, 2013 at 2:42 am #

      That is actually weathered wood and lichen… along the ocean in Provincetown. Thanks for your comments Felice.

  6. Ts December 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Living my entire life to date in the arts as a jazz artist, close up magician, and photographer, I’ve found that creativity is non quantifiable. It is manifest by having the ability to empty one’s mind of any preconceptions and reacting spontaneously (and appropriately) to what is around ones self in an open, non judgmental manner, with….and this is important…..No Expectations as to the result of the process. Sometimes non thinking works, sometimes it doesn’t. If it were easy to manufacture, everyone would do it. However, in terms of talent and creativity, there are many levels and styles in endless mediums. But, bottom line, although much can be taught, the way one is wired cannot be taught.

    • john8276 December 6, 2013 at 2:43 am #

      Always appreciate your wisdom Tony. Thanks for chiming in on this interesting discussion.

    • bob towery December 15, 2013 at 12:32 am #

      Nice thoughts here Tony (very “thoughtful”).

  7. Ts December 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    just my 2 cents bossman on this, always, stimulating topic. Hagrid says, “Ruff!”

  8. John Doddato December 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Creativity ebbs and flows with our thought process. When we allow ourselves to be open to new possibilities we are more apt to experiment and think differently. Other times for some unknown reasons, we are too ridge in our approach and block the ability to let creativity flow.

    ”Being aware allows the whispers of images hiding in plain sight to be heard!”
    I like this quote because it expresses the thought process of being aware and listening

    • john8276 December 22, 2013 at 4:07 am #

      John, thanks for visiting my blog and for your insightful comment. JB

  9. google August 1, 2014 at 9:37 am #

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    I think I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complex and very vast for me.
    I’m having a look ahead to your subsequent put up, I will try to get the dangle of it!

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