As I've progressed along my path as a contemplative photographer I have come to regard my camera as not merely a mechanical device but as a dear friend that has brought me much joy over the years as all good friends do. My camera doesn't merely record photons on it's memory card...it translates light into an icon of experience for me. Through my thoughts and reflections on the artifact it provides - the photographic image - it nourishes my soul as only a true friend can. A medieval mystic once postulated this question, "Where does the light go when the candle is blown out?" The camera holds the memory of that light and what an amazing gift that is...the gift of memory! I have no difficulty thinking of my camera as my soul's friend...my anam cara.
If I can think of the landscape as teacher and co-creator then it is not much of a stretch to view my camera as a participating facilitator and partner in my efforts...my translator. I may direct its gaze but it holds the light for me...not only holding it but transforming and abstracting it. What was once three dimensional is not a two dimensional page that I have come to be able to read as easily as any page in a book.
I firmly believe that what distinguishes a contemplative photographer from any other sort of photographer is this ability to look beyond the mere mechanics of the process...beyond the technical considerations of the medium. When we can enter into a more personal and intimate dialogue with the world through our soul's friend, the camera, then we will understand the co-creative process and our images will become, for us, two way mirrors.