Contemplative Photography

About 10 years ago I took a course in Contemplative Photography. It was all about learning how to see and connect with the visual richness of our daily life. I spent my first evening wandering around a parking lot in Signal Hill taking pictures of tire prints, grass, shadows and the sky. I was amazed at how much beauty was in that parking lot! The next day I started  wandering around back lanes with my camera, taking pictures of rusty metal,  fences, oil spills and dandelions. It was just as much a spiritual practice as it was an artistic one. I learned to look for beauty in any place or situation. 


When I was in Winnipeg last week, I’d start my day early with a long walk. I found myself taking pictures of the cracks in the road and remembering these words from Rumi “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”



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Summer Art Invitation: 

Contemplative Photography  

What You’ll Need: 

  • Camera

  • Pen and paper

  • 30 minutes (or more:)

 

The Process: 

  • Pick your location. It’s more interesting if you pick a place that appears to lack beauty or nature. Maybe you’re waiting for the bus or C-train. Maybe you’re sitting in a parking lot waiting for your child or walking to the store or putting out the recycling. Any place will do. 

  • Look around. What do you see?

  • You’re only going to take two pictures. Don’t rush. Move around. Explore a bit. Be mindful.

  • Is there a flower pushing through concrete, a river drowning out the hum of the city? A blue jay sitting on a garbage can? A gorgeous sunrise? 

  • Take your pictures.

  • Ask yourself: What can I learn from this? Is there a message here?

  • Write something about your pictures.

  • Consider printing out the pictures and combining them with your reflections. 


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