Wednesday, February 28

Happy 420! Photographers Discuss Their Relationship with THC

Today is global 420 day. It’s a day to celebrate marijuana use and discuss the benefits of one of the best plants ever gifted to us. I use marijuana frequently, and it certainly boosts my creativity and how I see the world. I’m not the only one to think this way, and in this article, I’ll share my thoughts on the topic as well as the thoughts of a highly respected photographer in the street photography community.

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420 Day and Photography

Before we delve into the core of the article, allow me first to explain what this article isn’t about. I’m not here to promote marijuana use, nor will I claim using the plant will make you a better photographer. However, if you’re curious about the benefits or want to relate with like-minded photographers, this article is for you.

In my opinion, there’s a difference between getting high and being stoned. The latter means not taking control over your marijuana usage and taking as much as you can before you pass out. Getting high is a more controlled effort, where one is mindful of their THC dosage and the impact it has on their mind and ability to function.

Credit: Dan Ginn

In my younger years, I was certainly a stoner. That’s the story of youth, right? Pushing the boundaries and learning how far you can go? Of course, this tends to lead to drastic consequences, which we can only learn from with age.

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Now in my thirties, I understand what my body and mind can handle. I don’t wish to get so high I can’t move. In fact, I want to feel closer to “not being high” when I use marijuana. Edibles are my thingand I have found that a 3mg gummy is enough to bring down any creativity barriers in my mind.

Credit: Dan Ginn

420 Day: Making and Editing Photos

When it comes to making photos, I’m far more observant when I’m high, which mostly comes down to feeling more relaxed. A small dose of THC strips away the anxiety that comes with the pressure of wanting to make a good photograph. I’m able to be more connected to the process of making the photographs. My 3mg gummy also softens me up. I’m guilty of not being able to tap into my sensitive side, and a little THC allows me to move past that. I experience more empathy for the world, the people, and the nature around us.

Personally, I don’t edit photographs when I’m high. Minimal edits are my thing, and I often go overboard with the post-processing when THC is in my system. Good black coffee and photo editing in the morning work for me, and that tends to be when I’m at my best.

Credit: Dan Ginn

Speaking to Sayan Biswas for 420 Days

That’s enough about me and my experience. Now I want to share some thoughts from a fantastic street photographer and someone I’ve bonded with over the craft and the cannabis for several years. Sayan Biswas is an extremely talented street photographer who creates images full of liveliness and color. He also enjoys getting high.

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I asked Biswas about the creative impact consuming marijuana has on his photography. Here’s what he had to say:

“As someone who is very shy, consuming marijuana helps me be interested in people and pick up my everyday activities. Under the influence of weed, even the everyday mundane things seem artistic. In short – it completely revamps my perception. The biggest impact on my photography after consuming marijuana would be my decreasing reliance on post-processing tools and increased control over thoughts, which I believe is very significant in this digital age. The lion’s share of work should be done before you press the shutter and not after.”

Credit: Sayan Biswas

Looking for a balanced view of the situation, I asked Biswas what some of the drawbacks are to getting high and creating photographs.

“You have to carry yourself and your gear (which is expensive) to crowded places sometimes – paranoid stoners can relate. Check your archives and storage devices, and you will definitely find a perfect frame that you don’t remember [because you were too high when you took it]. Marijuana helps enhance your creativity, but results tend to vary from person to person.

Credit: Sayan Biswas

In closing, I asked what advice Biswas would give to those curious about using marijuana for creativity but have never used it before.

“Use it only if you believe it will help you enjoy your thing. Do not confuse creativity with ecstasy. Don’t use it to be a part of the cool gang discussion or just for the heck of it. It’s a plant, and it’s mother nature. Let the thoughts come to you naturally. Never force yourself into it. Two people consuming the same stuff may not necessarily come up with the same creative thought – try to find and walk your own path. You show people what you think. You show people what they want to see. The thin line in between is called art.”

Credit: Sayan Biswas

Final Thought

Our perspectives on THC use will vary. Some people are staunchly against it, while others see the benefits of using something that is a natural part of the earth. The similarity in Biswas’ and my perspective is that we both know the true benefits only come from using marijuana wisely. Like anything, if you overdo it, things can go wrong. So be smart and conservative and see what impact it has on your creative process and image-making. Happy 420!

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How does marijuana impact your creativity? What are your thoughts on the plant? For or against? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

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