Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

23 06 2012

We are all creators and co-creators in this life.  What are we creating?  This week’s theme from WordPress explores images that mean “create”.  In the last few years I have started to let out my inner artist who has been locked inside for a long time.  On a trip to Albany, I was relaxed and content enough to create a quick pencil sketch of a cottage on the Strawberry Hill Farm.

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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

Contemplative Photography 01

12 03 2012

I’ve been captured by the art of Miksang but let me preface this post by letting you know I’m not a miksang master or and I have no training at all.
My eye has been drawn to miksang photography for a long while but I must thank Mike Shell, who blogs at The Empty Path who introduced me to the art when he saw some simple shots on my Red Bubble photography site. Despite no training (as yet) I am drawn to miksang and love its pure simplicity and contemplative nature.

What is miksang?
Miksang is an art form centred on Contemplative Photography. Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as “Good Eye” and is based on the Shambala and Dharma art teaching of the late meditation master, artist and scholoar Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.

Contemplative Photography
According to the Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography, miksang “is (at its most basic level) photography 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.

Simplicity is not ‘simple’
What attracts me is the simplicity and purity of an object or form but it is surprisingly complex and difficult to achieve. When taking photos I can often be hindered by my internal monitor, judgement kicks in, as does photography ‘training’ and ‘rules’.
Miksang frees me to be totally captivated with a vision and express it, just as it is, no judgement, no formula or rules, no arrangement or post-processing. It is raw beauty. I start to see things in their purest sense with a mind that is relaxed, open and free.

If you’d like to find out more about Miksang, check out these links:

My weekly Monday Miksang Offering:
An offering to you for reflection, contemplation, centering, freedom and purity. Breathe in. Relax. You are free.

Blue Niche

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

26 02 2012

This week’s photo challenge from WordPress is Indulge. Participants are asked to depict the weekly theme via a photo. To get involved visit The Daily Post here.

Yesterday we took some time out to sit by the river. The scorching heat has relented so it was comfortable to be outside. We found some deep shade and watched the world go by while enjoying an iced coffee, some chocolate and listening to a cricket match on the radio. We saw cyclists, birds, people barbecuing, water bikes and boats.

East Perth Cove: Swan River, Perth

The real indulgence for me was to take my sketch book and be able to sit in the fresh air and sketch, noticing shapes, tones, patterns and feeling them wiggle off the end of my pen. It felt even more indulgent because we’d left all the chores at home, unfinished.

Burswood Resort Complex from East Perth.

006 Princely Treasures

6 01 2012

Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Click photo to link to WA Art Gallery.

A visit to the Gallery reminds me of the quality and patience of the artisan.

Items of relic and ritual made with the care no machine can match.

Finely crafted pieces:

woven, sculpted, stretched and hewn.

Silk and Satin.

Linen and Lace.

Gold and Silver.

Beads and brocade.

Beauty takes time.

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