FLOW vs. The Flow Line

3 Margerie Glacier (a glB) 110812 6iN c082512ap< 1.5 200dpi6.4%22q9-3674I seem to be particularly sensitive to coincidences these days. After posting my 08/24/14 Behind the Lens piece, REIMAGINING THE FLOW LINE, several people responded with a reference to Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmuhalyi’s national bestseller, FLOW (1990) when he introduced The Psychology of Optimal Experience…  for illuminating the way to happiness.

Since I first utilized the term Flow Line more than thirty years ago to identify the central compositional energy within my landscape photographs, I’d like to think I had the original thought.  My Flow Line is the dominant directional axis within a landscape from which my own gesture emanates, and therefore highlights the optimal energy in my composition. And when I nail it – I too feel as though I have found that optimal experience, since I do experience ‘enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life’, enabling me to express my way to happiness.

Once finding that optimal flow, and getting to work with it, this creates a felt sense of flow within the image I am creating, as well as within me.

Going a step further in describing my Flow Line, it can visually be represented by color, contrast, relative direction to the composition, or for that matter, against the direction, or it’s velocity relative to the relative speed of the composition, and of course to all of the above.

In my photography, nothing stays completely static, it’s about the relative motion. Over time, I’ve realized that’s how my own brain functions, it never, ever seems to be completely at rest. But it has provided me the gift of a unique view of the world, which I can’t help but try to convey in a meaningful way to others.

Coincidence? I think not.


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