Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Does the World Need Contemplative Photography?

   After I wrote the title of this post I paused.  Was this a rather rash statement?  I had to dwell on the idea for awhile before I decided to make the leap.

   To answer my own question, I would argue that while technology has expanded our horizons, made the acquisition of facts a speed of light phenomenon and made the recording of visual images effortless, it has also spawned an unfortunate condition.  We experience the world in micro seconds, post it to our Facebook page and then immediately forget it so we can move on to the next trending topic.

   A friend of mine had posted something on her Facebook page that, upon reflection, made her a bit uncomfortable.  It was a spontaneous, knee jerk reaction and she regretted it.  She asked her daughter what she should do...should she post an apology?  No, the daughter said. Just take it down and don't worry about it.  People had forgotten it seconds after they read it.

   I think this multi-generational exchange is significant.  It's not that the 20-30 somethings don't think, they just don't dwell on it.  Contemplative photography asks  you to take the time to "dwell on it".  It doesn't tell you what to think, just that you take the time to really chew on, swallow and digest things.  It asks you to slow down.  Yesterday's announcement of Slow Art Day is also a reminder that one must take the time to think about works of art, photography included.  They are all indeed worthy of our undivided and focused attention.

   So, yes, I can say with certainty, the world is in desperate need of contemplative photography.  I'm certainly not saying that I have all the answers by any means.  There are many writers who you can turn to.  Here are links to three of my favorites...Diane Walker, Kim Manley Ort, Christine Valters Paintner.  They all take different approaches but what they have in common is the idea of deep, illuminating thought.

   Spread the word, post a link to this blog on your Facebook page or Tweet it!  If it sparks something in someone else they may just want to explore the concept. They might slow down long enough to begin an earnest conversation with the landscape and with themselves.  Here's a final thought for you to slowly mull over today....

If something is important to you,
you will make the time for it.  If
it isn't, you'll make excuses.

1 comment:

kimmanleyort said...

Yes, I do believe contemplative photography could change the world! I just made the connection that you care coming to my retreat. I'm really looking forward to talking to you. What a great blog you have here. See you soon.