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Contemplative Photography


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#1 SandiC.

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:42 PM

Ok, I've never heard of this before until I saw a pop up ad for a book. So I go to that big book-selling site and check it out and the one of the reviews sent me back to search the web. Seems like its sort of an art form that is meditative, but photographic too. I spent a little time surfing and found some very interesting sites and some fabulous art. So I went back to the bookseller site and ordered the book. There is a workshop not too far from here this summer I may just sign up for. One thing to check out if you're interested is "Miksang". I may be doing some experiments with the camera this summer. Some of the photos I saw are incredible, surely not typical of what I usually do.
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#2 Sara Arell

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 05:36 AM

Sandi, you are a true trail blazer! This sounds very interesting.
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#3 bjc

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:45 AM

sounds interesting./.will check on it later..send any links you have for the book or photos etc.... so love to learn sandi and you are always stretching the brain ...
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#4 SodScrap

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:59 AM

I have never heard of this, leave it to Sandi to find it! Thanks for sharing. I am anxious to see what you learn!

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#5 angleigh

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:05 AM

ooh..I just spent some time looking through some sites. Very interesting indeed!

#6 SandiC.

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:18 AM

"Miksang, at its most basic level, is concerned with uncovering the truth of pure perception. We see something vivid and penetrating, and in that moment we can express our perception without making anything up—nothing added, nothing missing. Totally honest about what we see—straight shooting. As we allow ourselves to become more available to the things around us without the biases, filters and formulas often associated with photography, our experience and expression of day-to-day moments becomes more rich and endlessly varied—beyond what we think. One moment, one shot. Graceful Appearance.

Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as ‘Good Eye’, and is based on the Shambhala and Dharma Art teachings of the late meditation master, artist, and scholar Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.

‘Good’ here doesn’t mean good as we usually use the word, as in good or bad. Good here means that our mind is uncluttered by preoccupation, relaxed and open. Its innate nature is clear, brilliant, and extremely precise. When steady mind, clear vision and soft heart come together in one single moment, ‘Good Eye’ manifests. It is vision that is inherently pure, unobstructed, unblocked, free of depression, free of aggression, free of interpretation. Free altogether. When we synchronize eye and mind, we abandon all concepts and predispositions and become completely present in the moment. The world becomes a magical display of vivid perception. We can develop the ability to experience and express these experiences precisely through the practice of contemplative photography"

This is but one of the contemplative photography explanations I've seen so far, from "What is Miksang?". In a way, its sort of like what we are doing with Project SG, taking the ordinary and elevating it to memorable. I interpret it as a way to see those things all around us that we don't usually "see", the things we take for granted, that are all around us cluttering up our lives. By "seeing" things differently, we come to new appreciation. Since i just discovered this yesterday, I'm no expert, but just an interested observer.
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#7 elibar

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:22 AM

Sandi, thank you. This idea comes at a time where so many new practices - meditation, centering prayer, lectio divina, photography, and a new way to explore my creativity - have been swimming around in my head looking for a way to come together. I found this video - maybe you've already seen it - that I found fascinating: Contemplative Photography as an Act of Faith.

What a new and wonderful way to use my photos, Photoshop and brushes and templates and masks. Just needed now: DISCIPLINE.

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#8 CRS

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:23 AM

This sounds very interesting to me! I'll have to look into it. I'm excited to use my camera again, thanks to vacation. I was in a photography slump.

#9 SandiC.

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:05 AM

Sandi, thank you. This idea comes at a time where so many new practices - meditation, centering prayer, lectio divina, photography, and a new way to explore my creativity - have been swimming around in my head looking for a way to come together. I found this video - maybe you've already seen it - that I found fascinating: Contemplative Photography as an Act of Faith.

What a new and wonderful way to use my photos, Photoshop and brushes and templates and masks. Just needed now: DISCIPLINE.


Elisha, how many times have our paths converged in our journey? Makes me laugh and feel joy. I discovered Diane Walker's contemplative photography blog yesterday as I was surfing, but hadn't found that video. She eloquently expresses what is in my heart. I don't write like she does, but the other practices are commonplace for me. Now to just shift my views of photography to match the insights. I've incorporated the lectio and centering prayer in my life for over ten years now and I've recently been exploring other forms of meditation. To incorporate it with photography and creativity is like a gift, slowly unwrapped, full of surprise and joy. Since this notion of contemplative photography ( and by extension scrapping) is only 24 hours old, I'm sort of blown away with it. I'll try to see where the spirit leads me with this.
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#10 elibar

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

Elisha, how many times have our paths converged in our journey? Makes me laugh and feel joy. I discovered Diane Walker's contemplative photography blog yesterday as I was surfing, but hadn't found that video. She eloquently expresses what is in my heart. I don't write like she does, but the other practices are commonplace for me. Now to just shift my views of photography to match the insights. I've incorporated the lectio and centering prayer in my life for over ten years now and I've recently been exploring other forms of meditation. To incorporate it with photography and creativity is like a gift, slowly unwrapped, full of surprise and joy. Since this notion of contemplative photography ( and by extension scrapping) is only 24 hours old, I'm sort of blown away with it. I'll try to see where the spirit leads me with this.

:) I know. I look forward to the unwrapping.

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#11 lorac

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:12 PM

Absolutely fascinating. I just did a google on this and found quite a few interesting sites to visit also.

I think we all see 'something' that is 'vivid and penetrating' and manage to get a photo of that something. I've done it and I'm sure everyone else has, only I didn't know what it was called at the time. I think we all did it in the photography class here at SG. It's amazing what we can capture when we just look around us. You never know what you might find.

Thank you SandiC for bringing this to our attention. I will be looking into this further. And thank you Elisha for further information on 'Contemplative Photography as an Act Of Faith'.

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#12 LisaAnne

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:29 AM

I love these concepts. As scrapbookers it is an interesting thing to wrap our heads around because we so love to embelish and decorate... the simplicity of this art can be a bit of a contradiction to what we do. Personally... I love both! I love images that help you meditate and encourage peace and stillness of mind. Rather then tell a story the picture is simply about color, texture, and the thoughts those invoke.

What we do with our scrapbooking is layouts that hopefully reflect the memory, the moment, the photo, the person. When I take pictures that is what I'm thinking about. But I'd really like to try bringing in some of this meditation approach to my photography.

Thanks for sharing!

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#13 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:34 PM

I know this is an older thread, but I was wondering if any of you are still/ or have begun doing this? I am "big" into this. :D :winking_baby:

#14 Smiles

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:55 AM

I know Sandi took at least one class in it.
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#15 kimmybutton

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:34 AM

I really like the concept of this type of photography. Being present and being mindful of what is around me ... listening to Him ... allowing Him to guide me to what He wants me to see ... in people, in my environment, in nature ... seeing with His eyes and interpreting with His heart. Transferring that to a photographic image is like recording that testimony. Love, love, love this, Sandi. Thank you for sharing.
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#16 SandiC.

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:35 PM

Yes, I'm still doing this and like Gayle said I have taken at least 1 class and another self-paced one independently. The more I do, the more I love. And it all started with wanting to capture the moments and what was behind the moments. It has morphed. One thing we often talk about in photography is "taking" a photo. In contemplative photography we "receive" an image. In some ways our photo a day projects can be a lead-in to this. Something I've grown to love that ties into this also is poetry. Never was one much for it before, but now I'm writing some to go along with some of my images.
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#17 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:21 PM

Yes, I'm still doing this and like Gayle said I have taken at least 1 class and another self-paced one independently. The more I do, the more I love. And it all started with wanting to capture the moments and what was behind the moments. It has morphed. One thing we often talk about in photography is "taking" a photo. In contemplative photography we "receive" an image. In some ways our photo a day projects can be a lead-in to this. Something I've grown to love that ties into this also is poetry. Never was one much for it before, but now I'm writing some to go along with some of my images.

Have you heard of the book Inner Excavation[Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry & Mixed Media] by Liz Lamoreux? If not, you might enjoy it. I buy my books discounted via amazon. ( Hope that was ok to mention.) :) This author is pretty good at showing how the picture paints a thousand words and adding your select few really create a unique work. :) I am not as much a poet as an artist, but if you are already into poetry you would really like this resource.

#18 tinkerbell11

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:53 PM

Sounds really interesting Sandi!
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#19 Molly3

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:19 AM

It seems interesting,thanks for sharing!
I like collecting idea home decors.

#20 SandiC.

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:02 PM


Yes, I'm still doing this and like Gayle said I have taken at least 1 class and another self-paced one independently. The more I do, the more I love. And it all started with wanting to capture the moments and what was behind the moments. It has morphed. One thing we often talk about in photography is "taking" a photo. In contemplative photography we "receive" an image. In some ways our photo a day projects can be a lead-in to this. Something I've grown to love that ties into this also is poetry. Never was one much for it before, but now I'm writing some to go along with some of my images.

Have you heard of the book Inner Excavation[Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry & Mixed Media] by Liz Lamoreux? If not, you might enjoy it. I buy my books discounted via amazon. ( Hope that was ok to mention.) :) This author is pretty good at showing how the picture paints a thousand words and adding your select few really create a unique work. :) I am not as much a poet as an artist, but if you are already into poetry you would really like this resource.

Amanda, that is one of my favorite books, and I have it!!!!!! There are a lot of books on this. Now you've gotten me into my other passion....books. Some of my books related to contemplative photography are "The Little Book of Contemplative Photography" by Howard Zehr. It really is little book and has exercises such as finding mystery in the familiar, meditating with light, exploring your metaphors and disciplined seeing. Another great on is "God is at Eye Level - Photography as a Healing Art" by Jan Phillips. Of course there's "The Practice of Contemplative Photography- Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes" by Andy Karr (check out his website) and Michael Wood. Others I have and love are "Within the Frame - The Journey of Photographic Vision" by David duChemin, "Photography and the Art if Seeing" by Freeman Patterson, "Visual Poetry" by Chris Orwig (I met him and have an autographed copy....he's one of my faves), and my newest one, mostly a collection of photos, "The Photographer's Eye" by John Szarkowski. Yes, I'm into the Amazon shopping thing too. LOL.
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#21 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:38 PM

Ooooh, I am intrigued by the title "God is at Eye Level..."

#22 SandiC.

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 07:25 AM

Ooooh, I am intrigued by the title "God is at Eye Level..."

Ok Amanda, I'll entice you a bit more....from the introduction;
"...And I thought about my passion for photography, how it comforts me, brings me to life. Photography, I thought, heals three times.
The first time is when I am in search of the image, present only to that which is, focused on the moment at hand. by virtue of the absorption in the now, I am released from the often painful grip of past and future. The second healing beings to the person being photographed, the honored recipient of pure attention, healed by an artist's loving gaze. The third healing occurs when we view a photograph as an outside observer and are moved by its power or beauty. The chance to see the world through another's lens, to be transported to another time, another place, another reality, can heal and transform out own"
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#23 CindyLuWho

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:14 PM

I'm glad this thread resurfaced. I am super-intrigued by all the discussion that is listed here. Will have to go check out some links and do some searching - but it's gonna have to wait for a few weeks b/c we have some big stuff happening behind the scenes at SG.

(Oh yeah, that comment was meant to perk up your ears and make you anxious with anticipation! All will be revealed in a few weeks!)

Meanwhile, I am interested in this thread b/c I have sensed that my inner-artist is starting to come forth! Always a word-crafter (and happily so), I have surprisingly begun to be drawn to a more artistic interpretation of the things I see the longer I have worked for SG. I've been taking pics like crazy the last few months of things/images/settings that inspire me, speak to me, energize me. The other day I took pics of a gnarly tree stump that just visually fascinated the dickens out of me! I don't know where it's all leading, but I am enjoying the ride. Makes me think of Isaiah 43:19:

(The Lord says) "Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Whatever this new thing is, it's joyful fun!

Cindy
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#24 SandiC.

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:37 PM

I'm glad this thread resurfaced. I am super-intrigued by all the discussion that is listed here. Will have to go check out some links and do some searching - but it's gonna have to wait for a few weeks b/c we have some big stuff happening behind the scenes at SG.

(Oh yeah, that comment was meant to perk up your ears and make you anxious with anticipation! All will be revealed in a few weeks!)

Meanwhile, I am interested in this thread b/c I have sensed that my inner-artist is starting to come forth! Always a word-crafter (and happily so), I have surprisingly begun to be drawn to a more artistic interpretation of the things I see the longer I have worked for SG. I've been taking pics like crazy the last few months of things/images/settings that inspire me, speak to me, energize me. The other day I took pics of a gnarly tree stump that just visually fascinated the dickens out of me! I don't know where it's all leading, but I am enjoying the ride. Makes me think of Isaiah 43:19:

(The Lord says) "Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Whatever this new thing is, it's joyful fun!

Cindy

Cindy, that's the whole point of it...watch and wait and see what comes. Letting it come to you rather than finding something to make it what you want it to be. Some of those books and some of the websites I've found have exercises that help develop this different way of seeing. Wish I could practice this everyday, but alas, time is limited. but you don't have to travel, you can do it right where you're sitting this very minute. Hm....think its time for me to pick up my camera and see what I see.
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#25 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:55 PM

Hmmmm, just might have to coax you two into Art Journaling!!! lol!

#26 SandiC.

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:08 PM

Hmmmm, just might have to coax you two into Art Journaling!!! lol!

I'm really loving art journaling.....but doing it digi-style. Then I print out and do a very little mixed media treatment in my journal....my cats get into everything and don't have the room to really get into full on mixed media stuff.
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#27 diannecp

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:45 PM

(I swear I left a comment on this thread last night . . . must not have posted it!) This is all very intriguing to me. I have a hard time allowing myself to make art for sheer enjoyment - way too purpose focused, which is satisfying as long as there is a ready purpose at hand, but I need to work at doing it for me more. I love the idea of letting images speak to me, of "receiving" the image. I'm going to check for some of these books at my library (or might have to put them on my Amazon wish list!)
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#28 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:02 PM


Hmmmm, just might have to coax you two into Art Journaling!!! lol!

I'm really loving art journaling.....but doing it digi-style. Then I print out and do a very little mixed media treatment in my journal....my cats get into everything and don't have the room to really get into full on mixed media stuff.

I know what you mean. My space is quite small. I will be giving a few suggestions toward stress free Art Journaling in the future. In the meantime, let your cats paint on your page- it will give the viewer cause to "paws" and look! haha

#29 Cheri T

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:11 PM

I'm glad this thread resurfaced. I am super-intrigued by all the discussion that is listed here. Will have to go check out some links and do some searching - but it's gonna have to wait for a few weeks b/c we have some big stuff happening behind the scenes at SG.

(Oh yeah, that comment was meant to perk up your ears and make you anxious with anticipation! All will be revealed in a few weeks!)

Meanwhile, I am interested in this thread b/c I have sensed that my inner-artist is starting to come forth! Always a word-crafter (and happily so), I have surprisingly begun to be drawn to a more artistic interpretation of the things I see the longer I have worked for SG. I've been taking pics like crazy the last few months of things/images/settings that inspire me, speak to me, energize me. The other day I took pics of a gnarly tree stump that just visually fascinated the dickens out of me! I don't know where it's all leading, but I am enjoying the ride. Makes me think of Isaiah 43:19:

(The Lord says) "Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Whatever this new thing is, it's joyful fun!

Cindy

What a tease! :)
I too love the images I've seen at the sites Sandi has mentioned. Now just for enough hours in my day...:)
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#30 Amanda OutsideTheBox

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:16 PM

Cindy- you quoted one of my favorite verses!!




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