Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Diane Walkers Journey as a Contemplative Photographer...

   Diane Walker has created a stunning video that documents her journey as a contemplative photographer. It is well worth watching.


A Contemplative Icon by Diane Walker

    Be sure you start the video at the beginning! Sometimes it starts 3 minutes in and you don't want to miss any of this. It is a long video by YouTube standards, 23  minutes, but well worth the watching.  Although Diane is of the Christian faith, her message in this video applies to all people of faith and even to those who are still searching.  That is what contemplative photography is all about. It is not a specific destination but an individual journey and each photographer will take a different path and will arrive in time, at their own endings. It is the soulful searching that matters. I've been asked if contemplative photography has a "religious" element to it and I must make it very clear that it is what people want to make of it.  Each person will bring to the practice his or her own frame of reference. I will say that in the practice of it comes subtle yet profound insights which will be unique to each individual...theologically based or not.

   Diane Walker describes her practice of contemplative photography as an "act of faith".  I would describe mine as more of a "leap of faith".  I never truly know where each photograph will take me but I dive off the cliff every time trusting that with an open heart and a contemplative eye, I will land someplace new and personally revealing.  Photography has become for me a function of my contemplative practice.  It is my anam cara - my soul friend.- and like all good friends we don't always agree and sometimes we need to take a break from each other but I honestly can't imagine my life without it.

     As Taoism teaches us, the longest journey begins right under our feet.  We begin with where we are at the moment.  Where we will travel, and for how long, isn't known but the manner of our traveling is within our control.  I think of contemplative photography as just one way to make that journey.  No one can give us a road map or make the journey for us. It matters only that we begin......

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