Dial M for Manual
As I take more photos, I’m finding that I prefer to shoot in manual mode. That means I manually set the lens aperture (F stop), shutter speed and exposure sensitivity (ISO); I don’t let the camera choose these values for me. Sometimes I use autofocus; sometimes I focus manually.
My camera has automatic modes in which it selects some or all of these settings. When I use one of these modes, I always wonder what choices the camera is making. I prefer manual mode and the control this gives me.
For me, creating and sharing content is a form of self-discovery. After hearing about my recent interest in photography, a friend suggested Flickr for hosting my photos. I like its features. Flickr supports a wide range of aspect ratios, and photos can be organized into albums.
Unfortunately, Flickr has been plagued with poor performance for several months and the Flickr engineers haven’t solved this problem. I needed another solution.
The word bespoke means “custom-made” and is often used when describing clothing. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, in the 16th century the word bespeak acquired the meaning “to order or arrange in advance”, and this is where our word bespoke comes from.
My website is bespoke. Sometimes I write the code. Other times I select and integrate existing services. For example, I use Storyblok as a headless content management system.
Similar to shooting photos in manual mode, I enjoy the degree of control I have over my website. And as a web developer, I enjoy the process of designing and crafting my website. My website is an expression of my creativity.
I would have integrated Flickr as a photo-hosting service, but because of its performance issues I instead chose to develop my own gallery of photo albums. I also post some photos on Instagram and link back to my site, which gives me social media exposure.
This got me thinking about my leadership and facilitation style. I’ve learned to give up control when facilitating a meeting to achieve better outcomes. I prepare for meetings, but in the meeting I focus on being present, responsive, and creative.
This seems to be the opposite of manual mode. However, when I facilitate I am using fundamental skills such as empathetic listening and reflection. These allow me to let go of any predetermined outcomes during the meeting.
Similarly I am developing fundamental skills with my camera. These will allow me to be present and creative when finding and composing photos.
I am a skilled software and web developer. My graphic design skills are adequate and I’m satisfied with them; they allow me to create a clean, content-oriented website.
I am in the early stages of my journey with writing, podcasting, photography and videography. I am building capacities and discovering the stories I want to tell.