Slow Down to Speed Up…

I don't always look this intense... I hope

I don’t always look this intense… I hope

Sometimes, I toy with the idea of maybe, someday, selling some of my photos.

You know, a man can dream.

But then I think of the staggering amount of photos taken daily across this world, and I wonder how I would ever stand out with my pics.

Thanks to the omnipresence of smartphones, photography has become largely commoditised.

Except, in some cases… not so much.

Enter Peter van Hal, whom I had the honour of meeting today.

Peter doesn’t use digital equipment.

Instead, he uses a process from two centuries ago: ambrotype, if I understood correctly.

A fascinating process to witness.

Coating a plate of aluminium with chemicals, manually uncapping and recapping the lens for exposure, developing the plate…

And then, to see a negative image magically transform into a positive, while you wait.

Beautiful, especially considering how it’s so completely counter to the fast-fast-fast attitude in society these days.

Fast food, fast cars, fast internet, fast computers… is there really anything left that’s properly slow?

Where things are given time to develop?

Yes, there is.

One of those things is called coaching.

You can’t coach or be coached in a hurry.

There’s no magic button or quick fix, if you want to create lasting change in your life.

Instead, you need to slow down in order to speed up.

Slow down and really really look at things.

Properly SEE them, instead of just ‘frame, exposure, focus – snap!’

The more I deal with artists, and photographers, and the more I coach people, the more I discover the enormous value of slowing down.

Slowing down to where you can see things frame by frame, as it were.

Because it’s only at that kind of speed that you have the time to really understand what you’re looking at.

And it’s that understanding of the way your mind works, and the way your past self dealt with situations so as to bring you to where you are today, that enables you to discard the old, the dysfunctional, and also get rid of those pesky defence mechanisms that once served you, but only hinder you these days.

Some times, you just really need to slow down.

I did, and the experience was grand.

If you want to speed up, you just might have to slow down first.

And I’d love to help you with that – and help you really see, so that you can create change to last a lifetime.

Cheers,

Martin


Also published on Medium.

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