what seen is not always there

Clouds break and the late sun rushes in, leaving its mysterious glow cascading across the valley. In this moment the turning of earth is visible and tangible – not just a known fact.

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Looking east finds the familiar last light from the west at the edge of the forest…

It is beautiful but not what I am feeling. Something is missing. I head to the digital darkroom musing about what the camera couldn’t catch. I went to work to find what it was I had experienced – teasing it out from between the pixels….

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Sprout Question: What do you do when your creativity on the outside doesn’t match what you are experiencing inside?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

29 thoughts on “what seen is not always there

  1. Terrill – What you did here is just slick as a whistle! I wouldn’t know how to “tease a pixel” if my life depended on it!

    Sprout Question: What do you do when your creativity on the outside doesn’t match what you are experiencing inside?

    I say it out loud. I release it from inside of myself so that I can hear it with my ears. Sometimes I speak what’s on my heart/mind into a recorder. When I play it back, I then know how to write it.

    • Well Laurie to tease a pixel you have to sneak up on it when its eyes are half closed while dosing – as it thinks the job is done. Then you reach gently under its left armpit and wiggle your fingers lightly… yep there it goes… just a bit to the right. Perfect!

      Great sprout response Laurie and one I need to use more often… being that I am a well practiced internal editor before releasing anything into the world:)

  2. Terrill,

    How many times I have witness the gloaming of the day while at Easton Mt, and have captured its light in photograph, as tricky as it maybe.
    There is a richness to this time of day and light, there is a moment of emotion/feeling that can come with it.

    Sprout Question: What do you do when your creativity on the outside doesn’t match what you are experiencing inside?

    I just let it be until the moment passes, I honor the feeling, and or experience and than come back to it.
    By reviewing old photographs on a slide show with music allows me to “see” them again, with new eyes, feel them with new emotions.

    • Jeff that is delightfully perfect “just let it be until the moment passes” honouring the feeling and coming back to it.

      Jens Hemstedt commented on “late sun rushes in” at redbubble so I followed him back to his portfolio and found “Mount Nemrud” photographed in the first light of the day (even though I thought at first it was the last light). I find these liminal times powerful – as if there are cracks that leak a truth we are unable to discern at other times of the day.

  3. Stunning pictures here especially the bottom one with the color pixels! But that mysterious glow in the first one is negotiated here with crystal clarity, and accentuates a depth of feeling.

    Yeah, when they don’t match up I am incline to let this prospective inspiration to fester, as creativity is often spontaneous and isn’t always brought to maturation by being force-fed.

    • Thank you Sam and what an interesting sprout response. I can imagine an eruption of creativity from such an approach. This sometimes happens if I haven’t painted for a long time. It is like there is a backlog of paintings that “must” be painted.

  4. “The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score and the print the performance.” ~ Ansel Adams

    Hmm… when my creativity on the outside doesn’t match what I am experiencing inside, I go back inside and daydream for a while.

    • Thank you Barbara for the quote and sprout response… since we both took the long way home last night it is great to see you drop by again this morning:)

      Dear readers Barbara and I both made the same responses on different blogs last night at the about the same time, not having connection with each other nor for any obvious reason should we have been saying the same thing.

      Barbara posted her “lovable unlovable presence” ending with “But I do anyway. I came about it the long way home. ”

      I posted a comment on Jeff’s blog “Affirmation in Action” ending with “Hummm…. I think I will take the long way home today:) Thank you Jeff!”

      Tom Waits song “Long Way Home” often rolls through my head

      Is this true for you as well Barbara?

    • Thank you Kathy… yes it was very fleeting. I wasn’t sure I could get the lens cap off fast enough… but then the moment held in slow motion while I worked at getting the shot I wanted.

  5. I’m attempting to find a home for a manuscript that I’m very proud of. It took me about six years to write. It took me this long because I needed to develop my skills to a level where my creativity on the outside could match my experience on the inside.
    When I write I step into the world. I see it, breathe it, live it. Setting pen to paper sometimes isn’t that easy.
    What I do when I meet this challenge is try to learn from the masters. I read their words. See how they captured their world.
    And I continue to write.
    I’m reminded of the knitting lessons my grandma gave me.
    Frustrated, I would say, “Oh, it’s so easy for you. I’ll never be able to learn.”
    She would say, calmly, with a smile on her face, “Oh, Leanne, I’ve been knitting for over seventy years. You will learn. All you have to do is continue.”
    Her words were full of love. I still hear her voice. She lifts me up when I stumble.

    • Leanne I am glad you told this story as part of your sprout response. I think it is at the crux of my experience and today’s sprout question… that difference between what we create and the inner experience which inspired our efforts… so we will keep going and practicing and reaching – maybe not getting a perfect match but with each effort we will be closer.

    • Oh Leanne I can feel some self-respecting technical photographers cringing at the idea of “tickle your pixels” but that is what if feels like when I start playing with an image in paint.net… yes I haven’t even done my tickling with photoshop. I might even get blacklisted as a fraudulent photographer… because “she tickles her pixels.” Thank you though for coming back to make a second comment about the photos. I am most appreciative Leanne:)

      I did get a great offer this morning from a fellow Mayne Island photographer to teach me how to “clone” and “feather” if I would teach him the finer points of using twitter. I quickly shouted “its a deal!” So some day in the future I will get photoshop light and begin the learning curve of developing more creative skills to apply to the art of creating images using my photos as the starting point.

  6. that first picture was incredible! Before you even found the missing pixels. What do we do when our outside creativity isn’t matching our inside creativity?

    Hmmm…gosh, you really make us think sometimes, Terrill. Sometimes I go absolutely blank and have to sit here until an answer presents itself.

    I think…when the inside creativity isn’t there…I either “fake it” (and let that be OK) or cease writing/photographing. The key seems to be letting whichever option be OK. Instead of judging it…

    • Kathy what would be the fun of asking a sprout question that wouldn’t allow the writer to grow along with the reader and those responding? Every time I ask a question there is this great opening up of new learning and different ways of viewing ideas and thoughts that have been rambling around inside my head – sometimes for years. Your sprout response reminds me that the inside creativity may be duller than the outside creativity. I had been thinking of the question the other way round. Your response to the duller inside creativity of “the key seems to be letting whichever option be ok” whether it is “fake it” or cease for awhile resonates. Though it if goes on for too long then I think intervention is necessary – such as Julia Cameron’s Artist Way.

      What a fruitful sprout question this one has been – who knew?

  7. Terrill – Your “sneak up on” comment made me laugh!

    Leanne – I enjoyed the story you shared about your grandmother. Wonderful! Best wishes to you as you find a home for your manuscript!

  8. I feel that on a deeper level there is no division between outside and inside. It’s in the eye of the beholder to see the integrity of a “failed” work. Failed attempts are so defenseless and have a sense of honesty and authenticity I very often love.

    Thank you for asking this profound question, Terrill.

    The photographs are perfect in conveying the message of the light, the fine dust and the trees. They carry the signature of the eye behind the camera and in the digital darkroom. Each in its very own way.

  9. Sprout Question: What do you do when your creativity on the outside doesn’t match what you are experiencing inside?
    Are not all attempts at creativity in some way trying to find a way to outwardly express what we experience on the inside.
    to answer the question i would just say try try again

  10. When my “outside” and “inside” creativity don’t match, I journal the difference. And then move on to the next moment of creativity.

    • Thanks for the sprout response Kat… I sometimes do this too…. first I have to muse and mull and turn the thing over like a bear trying to get into a jar of honey. Somehow, intuition tells me there is good stuff in there if I could just get at it:)

  11. Shift to a mode of expression that allows me to move. I watch where perhaps my ‘fixed view’ disallows what other manners I can view and create and shift to other modes of creative expression. When the insides are ‘calm again’, rather than chomping at the bit, I know I’ve expressed it and go back to see the moment.


    • Elisa your sprout response has a solid ring of recognition for me – not what I do but something that is worth trying out – particularly since my creativity seems to come in many forms. Thank you for dropping in:)

  12. Sprout Question: What do you do when your creativity on the outside doesn’t match what you are experiencing inside?

    First, forgive myself 😉 Then, do the balancing exercise suggested in Jeff’s blog: [ http://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/%5D
    Growth Question: What brain rules your life? Censor Brian, or Artist Brain? Or have you learned to dance together?

  13. Pingback: Tuesday Morning Diary (June 1) « Wonders in the Dark

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