Monday, September 15, 2014

Cultivating the Art of Seeing Simply...

   Being surrounded with visual possibilities, it is sometimes easy to become overwhelmed.  I feel that way sometimes at the pond where there is so much to distract me, so much to pull me in.

   When I become visually over loaded, I close my eyes and whisper, "See Simply...Simply See." I repeat this little mantra several times and it calms the visual receptors in my brain so that when I again open my eyes I can refocus them to perceive simplicity rather than chaos.

   This day I tried to cultivate the simple image.  An image that is soothing and sparse but still rich with texture and meaning.  This is one of my pond "Simplicities" - Wind on Water.  Although there was a subtle sense of movement, it also had a contrasting sense of calm with the great expanse of textured blue water.

   Haiku is the poetic equivalent of the image perceived simply.  This is the one I wrote as I sat on the edge of the pond after I made the photograph...

Wind on water flows
Across a silent blue pond
Rustling leaves respond

   Seeing simply isn't necessarily a minimalistic approach, although it can be.  For me, it is, simply put, the art of appreciating a small number of visual elements within the pictures frame.  Textured blue water and oval green lily pads is speaks of wind and movement...nothing else is needed...anymore dilutes the impression.

   Photographer and teacher, Kim Manley Ort, offers an online tutelage in the art of seeing simply called  Keeping it Simple.  A new session begins October 6th.  You might wish to explore this type of contemplative photography for yourself.  Kim offers this quotation for the art of seeing simply...

The simple things are also the most extraordinary
things, and only the wise see them.
- Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist

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