The contemplative photography retreat at Bethany Springs was a wonderful opportunity for me to hone my perceptual skills. The retreat organizer, Kim Manley Ort encouraged us to be open to what draws our attention, without prejudice or judgement. This was an excellent experience for me and I think of it as a kind of boot camp for my visual listening skills.
According to the book, The Practice of Contemplative Photography, a
flash of perception is a gap in the thinking process - a moment when we
are suddenly stopped by something startling or shocking or absorbing.
Time comes to a standstill and we are totally present. There are no
concepts, judgements, or labels - just pure, direct seeing. - Kim Manley Ort
No matter what form of contemplative photography you ascribe to (this weekend was rooted in the Miksang approach) clear, unedited perception is a necessary first step. I only wish we had had more time but that is always a problem with these retreats...never enough time!
|Click to view slide show...
I want to share some of my images made during the weekend under Kim's instruction. I've provided a link so you can to view a slide show. She had asked us to concentrate on Light and Color, Texture and Pattern and finally, on the Space Between. I've not labeled the photographs or edited them in anyway, they are the raw image as I saw it. I leave you to imagine which image is a response to which prompt!
I also want to call your attention to a link in the side bar to a PDF of my Field Guide for the Contemplative Photographer. You can print it out and keep it to mull over and consider. I also think you should spend some time with Kim's wonderful blog, 365 Days of Inspiration...it is a rich resource for the contemplative photographer. I was so pleased to have finally met Kim as I have been a follower and admirer of her blog for some time. She made the whole weekend flow seamlessly and she was able to get each of us to experience the world in a new and refreshing way regardless of our background or past experience...a true teacher! You can read about our weekend at Bethany Springs and explore Kim's wonderful on-line workshops and retreat opportunities. Enjoy!