Contemplative Photography 16

17 02 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.

Here is something that caught my eye.  It captured me, evoked a feeling.  That’s when I know I’m onto something.  I connect with it somehow.  Although it might seem mundane, this pic is full of pattern, shape, form, lines, light, shadow, colour and order.

The urge to order

The urge to order

There’s also disorder, and I find that it’s the disorder that evokes something in me – questions and wonder,  annoyance, an urge to order and reshuffle, eventually I’m settled and like it.  At first I love the neat stacking but something about the red crates being placed in arbitrary positions is jarring.  I think they should be neater somehow.  But then again – why?  does it matter? does it change their purpose? make them more useful?  Is it any of my business?  Why am I so judgemental?  Can I just let it go?  They’re just crates.  Interesting isn’t it?  Miksang leads you out of yourself and then back through yourself.  You examine a scene, and it examines you too – if you let it.

In Miksang, 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 – enjoy the journey.

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




7 responses

17 02 2013
Evolution of X

I enjoyed your photo and essay and visited the website. I’m not sure I get it but I am eager now to try. Years ago I used to write poetry. The description of Mksang reminds me of the way I would try to sense things if I was going to try to write about them in a poem – a person, a barn, a familiar scene, a bit of shoreline – whatever it might be. I would begin to experience it differently the minute I thought about writing about it, though sometimes it was very difficult to see something very familiar with fresh eyes. Maybe that’s just a different kind of filter though (one that’s different for me than the perspective I get if I intend to write prose or take a photograph). Stripping all the filters away may be very difficult, but I think I’m going to try. I enjoyed your post.

18 02 2013
Heart To Harp

This arrangement of color and form could be a painting in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. I like your writing about your own thought and feeling processes as you see and capture a piece of your world.

18 02 2013

Yes, I agree. It IS modern art. It’s not quite a Jeffrey Smart piece, but along the same lines.

18 02 2013
Cee Neuner

I absolutely love it. But I would want to fix it somehow…..but then it is perfect as it is!!

18 02 2013

Hahaha, I know! Me too. It’s great though when you reach the point where you can look at it freely, without the distraction. Glad you like it Cee. x x

18 02 2013

brilliant, thanks for sharing your journey in this process, it is so enlightening louise 🙂

18 02 2013

Thanks Christine – it is intriguing. I particularly like this one. 🙂

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