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Booze and creativity

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Roger Hicks, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If I'm planning a commercial shoot in advance, a small amount of alcohol often helps. For the actual shoot, no. For post, it's almost essential to have a glass of wine or beer, but not too much.
    For personal photography, a drink can help, but too many and forget it.
    For my business consultancy, the data gathering has to be done with a clear head, but a drink or two can help me make sense of it and see solutions.
    So for me, it's a fairly narrow gap where creativity is enhanced.
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  2. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Different times...

    When I started at D&B in Manchester in the early eighties the dress code for male workers was suit and tie. The induction 'gift' that all new starters were given was a company briefcase. Despite this, when myself and another chap started work in their office - which at that point was on Oxford Road next to the Palace Theatre, the amazingly strict manager who we had to address as Mr ------ rather than by his first name, made an announcement in the office to say that to welcome us as new starters the entire office would be finishing work at 1pm and would spend the afternoon in Tommy Ducks having a drink. As far as I can recall everybody attended.

    Over my twenty years with D&B, lunchtime drinks were a regular thing. They could happen any day of the week, although Fridays were the main one. We all had certain targets to meet, and as long as they were completed by lunchtime on Friday, then the rest of the afternoon was drinking time.

    During the mid to late eighties it wasn't unusual for me to finish work at around 1pm on a Friday, repair to the pub with the folks from work until seven or eight in the evening and then make my way to a certain rock club I used to frequent in Oldham to meet up with friends. It became a regular thing for me to walk into a room full of bikers, rock chicks and various other hairy types whilst wearing a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase. It got to the point where whatever music was playing when I walked in would stop, and Jimmy Fingers the DJ would play Young Amercians by David Bowie (he reckoned that I was David Bowie's double, although nobody else agreed).

    As for alcohol aiding creativity, well that's not something I've ever experienced. It certainly makes me think I'm more creative, however I'm not sure whether that stands up to independent scrutiny. One thing I can say for certain is that I've made it a policy of never touching alcohol before playing a gig. I'm not the best guitarist in the world and never will be, but I couldn't look at myself in a mirror if I buggered up a gig because I'd had a few pints beforehand.

    Cheers, Jeff
  3. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    or, perhaps, enough gin makes you believe that you are the greatest dancer in the world?
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  4. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I have little doubt that a moderate degree of intoxication helps me play creative music or write creative poetry.

    I doubt if it improves my camera skills and it almost certainly degrades my photo-processing efforts.

    I had a similar experience to Geren when I stopped smoking in 1995. I just could not sit still to write. A 1200-word magazine article that would previously have taken about 90 minutes to compose and write, took three or four times as long. Typically, I would find myself writing perhaps 200 words and then getting up to wander round the house while thinking about the next 200 words.
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    In all honesty, I've never known anybody who thought that. I've known 2 people in this country who thought they could drive as well when drunk as sober, and one of them was actually right, but only because he was a truly terrible driver even when sober - my grandfather. How he never had a serious accident I will never know. The other lost his licence twice. I've known 4 Germans and 7 Frenchmen who thought the same, and they were all truly terrifying - one trip at speed through the back streets of Paris was the scariest thing ever.
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  6. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Not with photography or post processing - but yes when studying for my degree. Liberal measures of vodka martinis and salted peanuts got me through.
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    On the personal side I can say I could only play snooker and darts to any level of acceptability when I reached optimum alcohol. Then I was unbeatable for about an hour.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Could hardly hit the board before 3 pints, and again after 8. In between, I was merely rubbish.
  9. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I notice none of the doubters to my enhanced groovability have challenged me to a dance-off:p
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  10. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Get the Greek music going! :)
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  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I believe you. I don't dance at all until 5 pints; I have no illusions at all about my ability at that point, but the dancing inhibitions are washed away.
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  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nick,

    Indeed. Once, on an accountancy course at the University of Kent at Canterbury in about 1974, I found myself teaching Israeli folk dances to a bunch of Norwegians who were grateful that T McL (the accountancy company) had paid to keep the bar open late. I don't know any Israeli folk dances...

    Then again, from what I've seen of Israeli folk dancing, nor does anyone else. I didn't even have the excuse of being Jewish or ever having gone to Israel.


  13. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    I think it can help... But it is a fine line between stupid and fun.
  14. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    It is a well-known phenomenon in the IT industry. :D


    As for the stimulus from nicotine - "It is quite a three pipe problem, Watson." would indicate that it was well known in late Victorian times.

    For myself, I gave up cigarettes years ago, except when I take on a new software project. In anticipation of my own 'three pipe' problems I buy a packet of cigarettes. When I have a difficult piece of coding to consider, I will pivot my office chair so I can see the garden in all its very expensive glory*, and light up. Invariably I will have a solution before I finish the second fag, so it gets put out. My typical consumption is about one pack per month of coding.

    I once asked a doctor about this, and he told me that nicotine breaks down the blood-brain barrier to a degree, which permits more oxygen to enter the brain, thereby providing stimulation. I do not know if this is correct, but it certainly seems logical.

    * My wife insists on watering it for at least 30 minutes per day. :( On metered water. :(:( And twice as much at the weekend. :(:(:(
  15. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    I say "nope" ..... never shot whilst under the influence ....whoops, I tell a lie .... I did once and the next morning, after getting my film processed, both photo and my I were hungover :eek: .... Last time, I'm imbibed whilst shooting anything :)

  16. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Although, to be fair, setting aside photography and other art forms, the creativity of many contributions to this forum are possible enhanced by a moderate intake of ethyl alcohol.

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  17. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    How dare you suggest such a thing!

    I do most of my posting from my desk at work, where maintaining a certain degree of sobriety is the company rule. Well...more of a guideline than an actual rule...

    Cheers, Jeff
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  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Surely not? I mean, moderate?

    See also the Biographer's Note at the end of Dick and Maybe.


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  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    In our own opinion our own intake is moderate. Moderate is such a delightfully flexible and subjective term.
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