The Freedom of Discipline

Notice that today’s title is about the freedom of discipline, not from it.

Photographically Speaking.

Okay, just how do freedom and discipline go together? I know you might expect me to write one week about discipline (one of my favorite subjects) and then turn around the next week, and write about freedom ( my favorite subject), but both in one article?  There is nothing more freeing than knowledge, and the discipline to seek it, and use it.

The discipline to get out your tripod every time you make pictures, with the freedom to put it away when it’s the right thing to do, is the perfect mental marriage of a top photographer. With some photographers that I have known in my life, the discipline to take their cameras with them, was difficult to impart. You can’t have the freedom to create photographic art, without the discipline to pack your cameras.

Learning all of the necessary functions of your camera, and any useful “bells and whistles”, takes a little discipline for most of us. After all, we usually just want to go out and use it. Just the same, knowing what your camera can do (with your help), and what value that can be to you, can free you up to be more creative. Having the discipline to systematically learn your camera functions, actually will create the freedom to look at the world around you with an open mind. Setting your camera functions will become automatic and cease to be work.

Having the discipline to learn the tools of photography is a great help to those of us who need a little help from time to time. The rule (tool) of thirds, power points, leading lines and other tools, will set you free. You automatically have a starting point, to make good images. That allows you the freedom to wander and explore all of the possibilities. The longer you look, the more you will see.

When the 35mm camera was invented, a new photographic art form was born. It is called street photography and I do consider it an art form when it is at its best. The freedom to hand hold a camera and walk around creating candid images, was a wonderful tool in the hands of some great disciplined photographers who had previously been tied down to a 4×5 (sometimes 8×10) view camera. It wasn’t long before the lazy inherited the streets.  No need to focus, no need to think about your subject, no need to understand your camera, or for that matter photography. Effort is such a stifling thing. I need to be free. Most of them made garbage. Now if most of them were great photographers and they photographed garbage, well now were talking, because (in my opinion) garbage in the city, is a very worthwhile (and freeing) subject.

Life is much the same way. The more disciplined you are with those annoying but necessary little things that we always have to get done, the more you set yourself free from worry. The more you can allow those creative juices to flow.

Every photographer loves to hear about “being free”.  I don’t blame them, I do too. Discipline is after all such a stodgy subject.   It sounds hard to many.  Freedom however, only works with knowledge.  The heart and soul are connected to the brain, and it is when all three are living in synchronicity, that the freedom to create is fostered.


 A few of my pictures.




1Lily 042


zzzzzInsects WH 034

I can assure you that this awsome  Marina Scarr wildlife shot as well as the spectacular Marc Muench landscape, took both freedom and discipline to produce.



I should always mention that any images on my blog might at first appear less than sharp, or even pixelated.  They will slowly correct themselves.

God Bless,                                                                                                                                             Wayne

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