Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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The Timing of Magic

I've recently had two occasions that demonstrated the magic of photography. This both gave me a smile and made me think about the irony of the magical shot. The occasional photographer can get the magical shot, but the ongoing photographer is more likely to do so. Why? Is it talent or equipment or training? These help a lot, but the answer is elsewhere. It is about learning to be in the right place and being there on a repeated basis. I suspect life is life this for lots of pursuits, so this is worth thinking about in connection to anything you may do.

I have two examples. The first is my series of photos the now demolished Bethel A.M.E. church in Laurens SC. I took photos of it back in 2009. This set was one of a dozen and a half "abandoned and historical" locations. The church was demolished in 2011 because of structural reasons. Now my photos are being featured in a historical overview of the location. Why? I love historical and largely forgotten locations and pursue them with my camera. The church has become magical to somebody other than myself and this is delightful. Second example, I have taken literally tens of thousands of contra photos, maybe over one hundred thousand at this point. A dear contradancing friend of mine is now is a special relationship. She recently found a photo of mine that shared one of the first times that she and her guy were together on the dance floor.

What are the lessons here? Perseverance is one. Creating magic is about the frequency of an act, honing the skill and learning the craft. Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers, has the 10,000 theory. He says that one must spend 10,000 hours at something before claiming success in any field. The other lesson is that sharing is a key ingredient to magic. Don't keep your light under a pot. Share your stuff and allow others to find their magic amongst the big pile. We are connected and magic is a community event. Cool stuff!
Tags: gladwell, magic, mastery, photography

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