The Zen of Photography

Some of you reading this may have tried meditation. I realised that whilst I sometimes do so sitting still, my curiosity and impatience make walking or photographing more realistic options for me on the whole. Perhaps there are many others who feel the same- relaxing as they stroll with a camera, other worlds opening up around them as they do so. Whether they know it or not, they may actually be engaging in meditative states and as their appreciation of the wonder and beauty around them- that is, as their minds awaken to the beauty of the universe we live in- so their phiotographs reflect this. Meditation- the water in the otherwise barren desert of conscious life- may well have found a new and widespread home in this age.

When we meditate, it is a good discipline to focus on just one thing. The mind focuses on it and then, by extention,whatever is around it in a non-specific way. The thing becomes as it were, the center of the universe. This induces a peacefulfeeling, as from that perspective, everything is in order, everyhing is in it’s place. If one believes that there is a basic ordering principal or energy, or even intelligence behind all things then it is q time to see it clearly. What was hidden to us in the often bewilderingly complex macrosphere in which we live, where seemingly infinite variables combine to create a neccessarily uncertain world is far easier to manage in the smaller space of a meditation on where we are now and what immediately surrounds us. In fact, a sense if the transcendant often appears, where the spiritual underlying reality becomes apparent. Simplicity is good for our minds, it seems.

The same happens in photography. A central point of focus is neccessary for the mind to relax enough to dwell in the image. There can be no confusion as to where to rest our eyes as then fatigue quickly sets in. Yet endless details around this focus point are accepted readily. The eyes can wonder over to them, secure in having a resting place. An aesthetic euphoria comes with looking at especially pleasing images. A sense of the beauty of the universe or a taste of the meaning behind our existance is conveyed.

There is indeed a zen of photography, living in the moment which is seemingly efffortlessly captured. There is a spirit behind the image, a meaning is there to be found- and perhaps this is easier to convey with images or poetry than attempts at description of a land beyond the known.

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