Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Attitude and Perception...

It was her smile that touched me most.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.
-Henry Ford

   Attitude is everything.  It is no less important in photography but perhaps in a slightly different way than what old Henry was referring to in this quotation.  

   When I was on a sabbatical at Harvard way back in 1997,  I was there to research creative thinking skills.  One of the things I discovered was the cliche of the power of positive thinking was, indeed, correct.  Now, all these years later, I find that wisdom is very valuable for the contemplative photographer as well.

   If you see the landscape as a thing to "capture" in your photographs; if you struggle for the right equipment, the right time of day, the right skill set, then it is a struggle that is as easily lost as it is won.  But if you see the landscape as wise teacher and a loving co-creator in your camera work your attitude is totally different.  It is a "win/win" situation.  In fact, you can never loose no matter how much or how little you have of the "right stuff". 

   Every time you venture out, camera in hand or not, there is something there to reveal itself to you. Every single time.   If your perception is attuned to this, you will see it. You will see it because you know it is there to be seen.  Attitude is everything.  It is so liberating really.  Your relationship to the landscape is no longer a struggle, some creative competition, but a co-conspiracy...a communion of kindred souls.  You and the landscape are in it together and you will always be given what you need.  Always.
   It's been quite some time since I told you a story!  Here is one of my favorites.  It really is about the journey we are all on as contemplative photographers...seeing the beauty in the commonplace, the sacred in the ordinary.  Enjoy!


kimmanleyort said...

"Every time you venture out, camera in hand or not, there is something there to reveal itself to you. Every single time."

I think this is one of the most important things to learn as a contemplative photographer. Beautiful.

Patricia Turner said...

I agree, Kim. Without this idea of the revelatory nature of the world contemplative photography loses the essence of its soul.