What is contemplative photography?
I have heard of it and liked the sound of it but didn’t know the concept. So I googled. There actually is a book The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes written by Michael Wood and Andy Karr. Wood is a commercial photographer who is into Buddhist meditation and adopted his experience into photography. The book explores “what it means to align eye, mind, and heart and see with fresh eyes.” I don’t have the book and I haven’t read it but I found an informative book review by Kim Manley Ort. Seems that master photographers like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand and Edward Weston were practitioners of this art. In essence, contemplative photography is “fresh seeing” – capturing an ordinary moment and connecting it with our core creativity. Combining this creativity with “seeing clearly” results in a contemplative image. Here is an excerpt from the book: “Seeing things as they are is also accepting them as they are, which leads to appreciating them as they are. This is the way to equanimity and a sane and meaningful life. We may not always be able to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want, but by letting go of some of our ideas about these things, we can experience them fresh and lead a life with heart.” Now I have got to read this book!