From This Well, So Deep

Saturday mornings
Are a treat
No Facebook, no Instagram
Or desire to Tweet

Coffee on a table
Pen and paper in hand
Mind can be creative
Believe me, that’s grand

Delving into the mind
Can certainly reveal
Many, many thoughts
That do appeal

Write and write
From this well, so deep
Cherished thoughts
From this you keep

Release to all
Your thoughts and desires
Your Soul, Mind and Heart
Simultaneously on fire!

Written by David Johnson
26 September 2015

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

“Leave Them On The Desk” or “The Night My Invisible Umbilical Cord Was Cut”

It was late 2008 and I had been enjoying my Toastmasters experience for approx. 6-7 months and was looking forward to delivering Speech #5 from The Competent Communicator manual.

Upon delivering my speech I sat down and a Toastmaster of some 25+ years of experience said to me ‘next time you do a speech, I want to see you leave your speech notes here on the table.’ I remember looking at him a bit aghast, saying “you mean I have to try to do my speech without having notes to refer to?” He said “Yes.” Gulp!

This was something I had not contemplated doing at all, ever.

What if I forgot where I was up to? What if I had a ‘mental-blank’ up there?

He reminded me that Toastmasters was a ‘mutually-supportive environment’ i.e. every member sitting in the audience ‘wants you to succeed’ so that in the event of any hiccups they would understand. This is one of the great things about Toastmasters. It’s where we learn and practice so that we can take our skills ‘to the real World’, outside.

Preparation is but one of the successful keys to the success of the speech. Preparation in terms of not only writing a speech but preparing your mindset as well.

I had it in my mind that I could not do a speech without notes. This was true up to that point in time.

With the support of the members of my club, I delivered speech #6 without notes as challenged. Since that day I have only used notes on a small number of occasions, being my incoming and outgoing Club President Addresses at a Changeover Dinners and others being when using bullet points during PowerPoint demonstrations.

Accepting and delivering that challenge to use ‘no notes’ that night changed my mindset on what was possible for me in that regard and built my confidence a little more, which is one of the things being a member of Toastmasters International can do for you.

In my next article on Public Speaking, I’ll be talking about “A Speech Contest. Are You Crazy?”

Written by David Johnson
26 September 2015

Contemplative Will

Contemplative moves
Contemplating self
The players deny
Any offers of help

Locked in a battle
Of wits with a friend
Two players duel
And contemplate the end

Strategies imparted
Strategies rebuked
This day’s win
Will be no fluke

Eye contact minimal
Nothing is given away
Piece for piece traded
Nothing stands in their way

All eyes on the duo
Patience unbending
As each of them seeks
The perfect of endings

On this overcast day
In the middle of the park
These two will keep duelling
Till well after dark

When the match has concluded
Shake hands, yes they will
Until they next meet
To get their ‘Chess thrill!’

Written by David Johnson
20 September 2015

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

The Idea

As a new bud blooms
An idea comes forth
Into your mind
What is it worth?

Worth it’s weight
In Gold, we think
Scooped from the well
From which we drink

Nurturing that idea
Along the way
Dodging naysayers
Sidestepping the fray

Honing our thoughts
Testing it through
Our idea grows
It’s time is due

Released to the world
It’s time has come
Celebrated by all
So full of wisdom!

Written by David Johnson
17 September 2015

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

‘Morning Pages’

Morning Pages
Are a treat
A chance for you
To press ‘delete’

Stream of consciousness
Is the goal
Writing from within
The deepest of Souls

Clearing the mind
Is what it achieves
Wearing your Heart
On it’s sleeve

At the conclusion
Pen and paper retired
Your brain is now
So unwired

Free to create
Without the clutter
Creative thoughts now
You can utter

Written by David Johnson
12 September 2015

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

With thanks to Julia Cameron for your inspiration!
Find out more at:

Inspirations – Photography: Duane Michals b.1932

Duane Michal’s Art has, throughout his photographic life been met with controversy as he has a non-conformist view of photography.

“The Joy Of Photography Volume 2” indicates that his chief inspiration was Surrealism. The Surrealistic Painters, he said, ‘always contradict people’s assumptions, whilst photographers never do.’

Duane Michals often attempted to ‘play with people’s minds’ in his Art rather than ‘record’ a scene, whether it be shooting standalone images or shooting a series of images on a theme.

He said the magic was ‘seeing people in different ways.’

He preferred Environmental Portraiture and worked in Black & White with existing light and compared his photography with the writing of fiction. He often placed a familiar subject (or object) in unfamiliar territory or in an unfamiliar way or context.

One of my favourite photographic quotes is attributed to him….

“Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘wouldn’t it be interesting if….’ and then do it.” – Duane Michals.

I first came across the above quote in 1982 (when my own serious photographic journey began).

Duane Michals inspires me in ‘how I think about photography.’ As I am shooting that quote springs to mind every time and I encourage every photographer to do the same.

I’ve included the following link so that you can view some of his images.


Into The Distance

Into the distance
Our mind forecasts

Better things
Than in times past

Working hard
Change the tune

Thinking smart
Toward that fortune

Restless Spirit
Needs reassuring

Quite alluring

Focus required
Plans in place

Steady as she goes
Still in the race!

Written by David Johnson

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

Steel Dinosaur

Majestically it rises
The steel dinosaur

It creeps into the sky
Just look at how it soars!

Filled with tiny beings
Going about their day

Working so hard and long
To derive their extra pay

Shining in the Sun
An architectural marvel

A testament to the powers
Of the human carnival

A beacon to all mankind
Ambition of the highest order

The planner, the builder
Mankind the steel embroider

Majestically it rises
The steel dinosaur

It creeps into the sky
Just look at how it soars!

Written by David Johnson

© CommunicatingCreatively/David Johnson 2015

‘Photography Of The Age’ – Newspaper Photography In Australia

The title of this article comes from a photographic book I purchased some years ago. It’s about Newspaper photography within Australia, highlighting the 22 photographers who shot for ‘The Age’ Newspaper in Victoria. The book was published in 1993.

It is compiled by Kathleen Whelan, Photographer, who has a Masters Degree in Education and whose images are in collections in Australia, the USA and Peru.

Before it moves onto the photographers it discusses the role of the newspaper, legal and ethical constraints, processing, IMG_2808presentation, the press photographer’s role and characteristics of good newspaper photographs to name but a few of the areas covered.

Moving onto the photographers, the author delves into the minds of the photographers, gaining insights as to ther individual views as to ‘what they look for’ and ‘how their minds work’ when searching for and conveying an idea. Example images from each of the photographers are included.

Towards the rear of the book there are several case studies that cover the image, statement, camera use, design and print quality of selected photographs.

Finally, there are 26 ‘projects’ for the aspiring Photography, Art, Studio Art or Media Studies students to do.

All in all a fascinating book that I am grateful that I have on my bookshelf. I find it an inspiring read, packed with images that inspire, intrigue and amuse.

Written by David Johnson
7 September 2015

There Are No ’36 Megapixel Brushes….’

A long, long time ago (when Photography was first invented) Painters were worried that this new Art would kill them off. Why would anyone need to paint when you could just take a photo?

Of course this proved to be a fallacy. The Art of Painting grew.

Fast-forward to the 21st Century, where Digital technology has seen the most wondrous advances in photo production (the Megapixel race continues), where image manipulation software turns photos into Watercolour, Oil, Sketches and thousands of other effects are possible in a myriad of combinations.

Is there a threat to the Art of Painting now?


Just like in Photography, Painting requires technical skill however (all things being equal) our individual imagination, ideas and expressive ability are what set us all apart.

In Photography it has never been easier to obtain a ‘technically competent image’ with all the technological advances that have been made. Technology however has not yet been able to replace our imagination. Photographers continue to express their ideas in new and interesting ways, based on their individuality, their environment and the influences present in their lives.

In Painting, whilst there are different grade brushes, paint and canvas options, there are no ’36 Megapixel brushes’ to give the Artist a technically-competent painting. The Painter must continue to endeavour to master the techniques and then introduce their imagination and ideas and be able to express them.

As a Photographer of 33 years and (at this point) a casual Painter of 3 years, the challenge is ahead to endeavour to master the technical aspects of painting so that I may then use my imagination to express my ideas to their fullest.

It is a challenge I am really looking forward to!

Written by David Johnson
6 September 2015