Just Be…

Most photographers worry too much about what people may think about their work, sometimes they try so hard to please everyone that they stop having fun and deviate from the pleasures of photography. This of course happened to me too, asking everyone what they think about my work, uploading to 500px, flickr, more likes please!, more likes!.

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Walking around Houston Museum District. ” © Carlos Ocando.

The biggest step you can make as a creative person is being yourself, enjoy what you do, everything you do and explore should be centered in your vision, your message, your passion. I prefer to make horrible, boring technically wrong photos but have fun doing it, and with a purpose in my hearth and mind. Even go beyond that and let your awareness become an arrow traveling trough an space of bliss and joy directly to your goals.

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Keep your eyes open, there is always something to be seen. © Carlos Ocando.

There will always be someone who will criticize your creations, don’t take it personal, their opinions talk more about them than about you. Be free, fly, act as there was no one looking what you are doing, then realize that you are dancing like a stupid hunting butterflies with your lens and other crazy stuff and having a great time, do it, if being you means doing “inappropriate things” DO IT (as long you don’t hurt anyone or yourself).

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Sometimes in the city you can find some interesting ways to explore nature. © Carlos Ocando. 

As always be free, happy, funny, “stupid” and unique.

Carlos “The stupid nature lover/hubby/dancer/crazy/metalhead”

Faith

What is faith?, that’s a question a lot of people keep asking to themselves and to religion leaders, they will all tell you that faith is believing every word in their book of preference (Bible, Quran, etc…), this is a concept that is difficult for me to accept, how can I believe something that happened 2000+ years ago? (please don’t take this personal, I respect every religion and belief system). There is also the part that I must believe in something blindly, so for a long time I had no faith, I only believed in what I could touch, smell, hear and of course see. 

_DSC6124-EditLooking beyond the tangible. © Carlos Ocando.

I’m writing about all this because I have had some problems with my faith in the course of my life, right now I can tell you that I have faith, I have shown myself that affirmations, believing before seeing works!, even in the moments where I feel more disconnected from the universe and the peace of the now. A good example is something that happened to me yesterday, I felt a little down and went to the park to take some photos and relax, after a few minutes I came a cross with a wooden bridge going over a bayou, and at the end of the bridge there was a something that looked like a jar.

_DSC6141-Edit-2“Keep seeking, God is there for you NO MATTER WHAT”.© Carlos Ocando.

So when I start to walk the bridge I can see words written in the sides and on the floor, there was one that captured my attention: “Keep seeking, God is there for you NO MATTER WHAT”. In that moment I understood what real faith is, it means that God (or the universe, Buddha, Jesus or any name you want to give it) is with us, is there to cover your back, to be with you in the most difficult times, and the not so difficult, he (she?) is always with us, inside of us, around us, is the energy that moves everything and gives us what we ask (even bad stuff). I felt lighter and very moved even a few tears came out, but they weren’t tears of sadness those were tears of joy, everything looked magnificent and holly, and every message I read really moved me in a good way, I kept walking till I reached the end of the bridge, at the end I saw this…

_DSC6145-Edit“God listens!, prayer is Powerful”. © Carlos Ocando.

It was a jar full of chalk so every stranger passing by could write their own words, it was a very special day for me, and after all this time I understand what faith is, every moment that I needed it I have received a surprising answer from our dear friend, the only difference is that yesterday I was open to this beautiful message. I hope some day I can get to meet the beautiful people who made all this, and they are reading this I thank you from the deepest part of myself. Thank you!

Carlos

  

Creativity

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Self-portrait of a nature lover.

Creativity is the energy that moves the designer, the motivation of the inventor and the muse of the artist, we all are involved in creative endeavors in one way or the other, even most scientist use their creative mind to come out with solutions for our problems and solve the mysteries of the universe. Albert Einstein was the one who said “Imagination is more important than knowledge” I think he was right, imagination is creativity’s fuel.

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Imagination can take you beyond reality into the realm of dreams.

Let yourself go beyond fear of making a mistake or rejection, the more you allow yourself to be in the moment, and connect with your heart the more creative you will be. Creativity happens when there is a holy connection between your mind and your soul, that’s why we feel so good when we are creating, and from that connection we get to meet one of the most important energies in the universe.

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“Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things”. Denis Diderot

Passion is the greatest and most beautiful outcome from being creative, this energy will propel you into create more and more, that’s why creative people is so passionate about what they do. So be creative, enjoy the process of creating, imagining and exploring, and as always have fun!.

Carlos

Hope is…

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Have you ever catch yourself in a problem that seems so big that you feel you won’t be able to get out of it?, in some moments in our life we feel that the floor under our feet is crumbling and that in any time we will fall to never get out again. I have been feeling this way in the last couple of days, but the words from my wife and my family inspired me to rose beyond those feelings of fear and frustration.

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I think hope is just another name for faith, not necessarily a religious faith, but a certainty that everything is going to work out, that you are going to be OK, it is also true that is very difficult to let go of control and just trust. That’s why is so important to have the support of other fellow humans (wife, family, friends, even strangers), they will see all the problem in a different perspective, and will suggest different ways to approach the situation.

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We should also remember to go beyond our ego and accept that sometimes we need help, and sometimes we also must give hope and kind words to other brothers in need and desperation. Here you have an amigo, any person in need for help just write me a message or let me know in the comments section and I will give my best to help you out of your hole (I don’t have money but I do have my will to help you in any other way I can).

Follow your heart, your passion, your bliss!, every second of your existence, you don’t need anything to connect with this powerful feelings inside of you, just give yourself the permission to feel good, loved and lucky of living in this beautiful place called planet earth. Hope is not lost…

Thank you.

Carlos

Experimentation

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When you begin your journey as a photographer you feel that a new world of visual posibilities have opened before you, from the viewfinder of your camera you feel that you are rediscovering the world around you, everything looks fresh, different and exciting, that’s a great feeling right?, but…, after a few years of photographing the magical world around (specially if you tend to photograph one kind of subject) something happens, you get bored. This happened to me two years ago, I lost the magic somewhere and I felt stuck, all the trees looked the same to me, everything around was flat and boring.

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Nikon D600 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 AF-S. © Carlos Ocando.

Then one day something happened, I decided that I had to overcome this block and that I will not stop working till I am out of it. So the first day I came with some interesting photos but more of the same, then I keep going and going, after a week I decided to experiment and to use the “wrong” lens for the situation, the “wrong” lighting, the “wrong” time of the day, started to work more on black and white, and BOOM!, I started to create more different and interesting work!, I started to see the world in a magical way again, I just need to come out of my comfort zone and experiment.

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Nikon D600 + Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 K. © Carlos Ocando.

So my friend the best advice that I can give you is that if you feel stuck right now is to take your camera, go out, experiment, and don’t be afraid of coming back with boring photos, because the more you experiment the more you train your eye to see the world in a fresh new way. As always feel, experiment and have fun!

 

Rolleing

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I received this camera a few years ago as a gift from my mother, it has been in our family since the 1960s, this camera has seen more action that all the cameras I have ever own. As soon as I got my hands on it my friend gave me a roll of 120 expired film and started my experience with this trusty friend. Let me tell you that after coming from digital where everything is fast and almost instantaneous I had to pace myself, slowdown and really think what I was doing, every exposure was important, I had to be really careful to remember to wind it for the next exposure, and check the exposition on the light meter before every shot.

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Rolleiflex 2.8F. @ Carlos Ocando.

After overcoming all the differences I started to really enjoy working with this camera, there is a feeling when you see through the viewfinder, is like a warm feeling from the past, a nostalgia that never ends, it only grows in you and stays with you for a while, what’s interesting about this is that you can also feel that in the photos, I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s just lovely.

Carlos022a Rolleiflex 2.8F. © Carlos Ocando.

Cameras are not important, but history is, and I think film photography is a part of human history, a part that I think it should not disappear, film cameras and prints created from film have different aesthetics than digital cameras and files, it could be good or bad for you, but I love it!. If you have the opportunity to work with one of these cameras or other cameras from the film age (Bronicas are really good cameras with very low price in the used market) don’t think it twice, get a box of 120 or whatever film the camera uses and go out!, as always feel, explore, and have fun. From Rolleiflex Land I salute you!

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Nikon D600 + Nikkor 60mm f/2.8. © Carlos Ocando.

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