Maintaining Creativity

Maintaining your creativity takes work.

To stay in top form (and we all slip on this from time to time) we need to pay diligent attention to how we are working, what tools and techniques we might find to help our work, and how we are seeing the world.

A week or so ago I stopped by the Pinocateca do Estado art museum in São Paulo, Brazil, to see a fabulous building and an interesting art collection.

One show up, as part of “The Year of France in Brazil,” featured photographs of Brazil by Brazilian and French photographers spanning a half century.  “À procura de um olhar: Fotógrafos franceses e brasileiros revelam o Brasil”In Search of a Vision: French and Brazilian Photographers Reveal Brazil.

It was a nice array of work with beautiful square Rolleiflex images from the 50s through modern digital color.

One particular group of fresh images particularly caught my attention. The work was classic street photography from Brazil’s colorful edges, shot in dim light. The saturated color and almost noiseless image quality said this had been done with the latest digital equipment. The technique was modern, but the images didn’t sport any overdone trend.

I looked at the image tags assuming I would find the name of a new Brazilian of French talent. This person was embracing all the advantages of the new but without being driven by technology.

But it was Magnum’s Bruno Barbey. The 68-year-old master has been a member of Magnum since I was a toddler, and through my whole photographic life I’ve admired the magic that creeps into his image from his home in Morocco and throughout the world.

Barbey exploring world with which he is by now very familiar with a fresh eye and new technique. His work at maintaining his creativity has paid off.


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