Contemplative Photography 10

21 05 2012

My approach to contemplative photography (or Miksang) has been quite intuitive. I’ve read everything I can find and am developing my ‘eye’ but it’s hard to describe miksang without it sounding like a riddle.

Miksang, or contemplative photography is more of an ‘approach’ or a ‘way’ rather than a set of rules. To me (and remember I’m only learning), it is about going out with an open heart, open eye and open mind. I clear out judgement and expectation and just see freshly and clearly. Think about your trip to work each morning. Whether it is a drive, train trip or walk to your office, there are things you pass every day without even noticing. Miksang helps you notice all around you and see them, without judgement.

I usually take a walk at lunchtime, mostly just to get me out of the office for a while. I don’t go out deciding to do a photo shoot, if it comes, it comes. I just walk, feel centred, wander and look. I enjoy walking meditation rather than being still.

Most times, something will catch my eye, capture me, fascinate, surprise, delight or jar me. It demands a reaction, it stirs an emotion. I stop and often say “Whoa! Look at THAT”. I hold all judgement about whether it is a ‘good’ subject or a ‘bad’ subject, whether the light or angle or distance is ‘right’. For some reason, it has captured me, if not, I move along. I’m look deeply to see what it was that caught me.
Was it the shape? colour? texture? shadow? light? texture? symmetry? asymmetry? space? angle? incongruity? context?

I don’t try to find a ‘better angle, I don’t zoom, I don’t crop, edit, straighten or do any post editing. I shoot what I see. What you see is what I saw and what captured me. Hopefully the shot shows you things that capture my eye, my heart, my mind.
So, that’s where I am on my journey into Miksang. I hope you give it a go as well.

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If you’d like to find out more about Miksang and the art of Contemplative Photography, check out these links:

Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography
Miksang Society for Contemplative Photography

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13 responses

21 05 2012
dadirri7

your explanation is so helpful, gives me the courage to keep on looking, being there, seeing, thanks louise 🙂

21 05 2012
Louise

I’m glad it made sense! It’s just my take though and it’s all a learning process. Keep looking, keep feeling and connecting and you’ll find your take on miksang too.

22 05 2012
Madhu

Oh you definitely made sense. But much harder than i thought Louise! Shall keep trying.

22 05 2012
Louise

Oh no! Don’t be discouraged – I love your photos and you capture ‘atmosphere’ in a way I never can. They’re vibrant and display the reality of a busy street, market or square, and the tranquility in a panorama, mountainside or tomb. Exquisite pics and something I don’t have a good ‘feel’ for.

22 05 2012
Madhu

You are kind 🙂

22 05 2012
anngrafics

A friend told me to check out your site and I am enjoying it very much. I have never heard of Miksang, but I think I have been doing it for years anyway!

22 05 2012
Louise

Welcome! Yes, your pics are great. It’s good to find a name or genre for this quirky observation isn’t it?

22 05 2012
Gilly Gee

Great Louise, sadly I haven’t been keeping up my Miksang pages 😦

22 05 2012
Louise

Never mind Gilly, I’m sure you’ll revisit it again soon. Summer blooms? There’s a good start!

22 05 2012
eof737

Fascinating subject… Love the photos. 😉

22 05 2012
Louise

Thanks Eliz, glad you like them 🙂

1 03 2013
Charlotte Brookes

Hi. My name is Charlotte Brookes and I am a qualified Miksang teacher in Australia. I’ll be teaching another level 1 in Melbourne in April, 2013. You can contact me at northernrivers@shambhala.info if you would like me to teach in your area or if you would like to attend the level in Melbourne. Kind regards, Charlotte.

3 03 2013
Louise

Wow! That’s awesome Charlotte. I won’t make it to Melbourne as I’m in the NT. Hope it goes well – kind regards.

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