Monday, January 6, 2014

The Five Ways of Contemplative Photography: Part Two

2.  With the Eyes of the Artist

   Artists see the world as a compositional challenge.  They use the visual elements and design principles to organize and define the landscape.

   Structure is extremely is perception.  They will utilize viewfinders to clarify their vision and define the edges of the picture's frame.

   Photographers that use this approach will discover the incredible order and symmetry in Nature as well as the beauty in the seemingly random and chaotic.  They will also revel in the abstract possibilities of what they experience. ( I call these kinds of photographs, Simplicities.) Their photographs can sometimes evoke painterly qualities or be starkly simple. (You can read an interview I had with a photographer who I think represents this way of regarding the world - Steve Dunn.)

   I felt I was using this particular way of regarding the world around me when I took my Contemplative Photography workshop with Kim Manley Ort  last Spring.  I made a concerted effort to elevate my sense of design when I considered each photographic possibility.  Perception, a heighten awareness of the most common place elements in the landscape, became my focus during that weekend.

   When you approach the world with the artist's eye you develop a great appreciation for the inherent beauty of the most ordinary and mundane things like the spot light I photographed above.  It was the design of the sunlight that I found so compelling.  You will develop the ability to discriminate and select and that ability will lead you to amazing visual discoveries.

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