Contemplative Photography 13

7 01 2013

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.  I’ve had a break recently and it is interesting to observe the process of “getting my eye back”, as I call it.  It really is about seeing things in a certain way.

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’m living in a new city now so there is plenty around me that is new, which makes the process of noticing what’s in front of me somewhat easier.  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.

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




4 responses

7 01 2013

Great photo, and I love the points you mention. I enjoy photography more when I feel free to just wander and notice the unseen beauty around me.

8 01 2013
Lucid Gypsy

Beautiful, its so good to really see.

12 01 2013
Heart To Harp

Great photo, and I appreciate your explanation of Miksang.

14 02 2013

Well done!! And what a lesson to educate our faster way…I think I’ll take your teaching or learning that you teach 🙂 Than you for sharing!! …

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