Monday, February 26, 2007

This week - Patterns

Saffron skies and steel, Tokyo Dome Park, Tokyo, Japan, February 2007, Nikon D40 with 18-200mm VR lens, Focal length 200mm, Exposure 1/2500 sec @ f6.3, ISO 200, no flash, circular polarizing filter © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Let's try that series idea again, shall we? This week, we'll explore patterns.

We all fall into patterns of behavior, right? Old habits die hard, they say. And yet, you are not trapped by them. They need not control you. You need only to be aware of them, and to have the intention to change them. Those two perceptions, and you are well on your way to changing your behavior.

What are these patterns, anyway? They are imprints, I suspect. Neural connections that have been created and reinforced through repeated behavior. Thanks to positive or negative reinforcement. Either by others, or by yourself. And we know that these connections can be changed.

But it does take effort on your part. First comes awareness. You must wake up -- become conscious of your actions -- and then quiet your mind so that you can witness the patterned behavior. Not sure you can do that? It is most certainly possible -- that is one of the primary outcomes from meditation. But you need not sit on the cushion and chant. Some people do it while running. Others ponder a deep thought. Still others contemplate. Many find it easier when alone, perhaps in tune with nature.

Once you realize that you can witness your behavior as it arises, you realize that you are not that. And with this realization comes the possibility of setting a different intention. Then as the witness, you can act -- rather than react -- to the patterned behavior, and choose a different response. It is really very empowering. Give it a try sometime.

And back to the pattern in the picture. Can you tell what it is? Well, this time there was some post-photo processing. The day was overcast, and the sun was all but lost behind the clouds. And it was grey, grey, grey.

But by selecting some alternate colors, and playing with the saturation, contrast, and exposure, and cropping and reorienting the photo -- voila -- a new pattern was created. And the structure that is causing the pattern? A roller coaster track that is really quite a bit steeper. Just goes to show -- patterns are there to be changed, if you want. Create something new. You have that power.

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react. -- George Bernard Shaw


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Crisp,
I am a complete amateur but I too am trying to post new photos on my blog.

Steven Crisp said...

So shall I call you Avantika? If so, perhaps you should call me Steven.

I went to your website and saw your first photo post. Bravo. And it made me wonder, who is this person? What does he mean to convey? Is this about photos, about messages, or both?

So I viewed your profile, and visited your other blogs. I began with the one that you recently closed, out of concerns of ego-indulgement. I was deeply moved by many of your posts there.

Then I went to your medically-oriented blog and took a quick look there, and was again deeply moved by your Gandhi quote, and the apparent motivation for your studies.

I wish you well on your journeys. I would encourage you to combine your photos with your messages, or at least continue your message.

I don't believe there need be inherent narcissm in blogging -- it depends, I would think, on your motivation. Yours seems altruistic and contemplative. And as you note with your Calvin and Hobbes entry, there is a lot of the opposite going on out there. We (the collective we) need to hear your voice, as well as see your photographs.

Good luck on your adventure. And thank you for your desire to contribute to society. Who knows - perhaps one day we will meet. In any case, and until then, please call me Steven. Oh yes, and I am a complete amateur as well. I think we all are, or should strive to be. Amateurs work from and for the heart.

- Alli - said...

Wicked cool photo Dad! I could definitely see this blown up as a poster! You should consider making a portfolio of some of your pictures, I think that would be very interesting. Oh yeah, this would make a really neat puzzle too!

Steven Crisp said...

Why thanks, Alli, for the visit and the comment.

Yes, a goal I have at some point is to take some of my "artsier" photos and have them framed. That was one reason to get the new camera, so the quality would support bigger enlargements. So we'll see.

Hope to hear from you again. Love, Dad