Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More 'take one a day' and thoughts on Zen

Half way through May, this year’s just flying by. These shots bring us nearly up to date.

You’ll notice I’ve bent my rule a bit for the 15/16/17-05, I knew the weekend was going to be busy so while waiting for the ACAS meeting on Friday I also did a couple for the following two days.

So far I think I’ve not done any traditional grand vista landscapes, I find little details are far more interesting. The old saying ‘the sum of the parts is greater than the whole’ is very true. I’ve been re-reading ‘The practice of contemplative photography’ by Andy Carr and Michael Wood, two Buddhist photographers. Not recommended if you want to win competitions, the usual pontiff’s comment is ‘why photograph that?’ if you tell the truth and say ‘well it was there’ you get even stranger looks.  Applying the principles of Zen to photography is not new, in the late 60’s/early 70’s ‘Zen in the art of the Archer’ was almost essential reading for a budding snapper. Photography is not solely a mechanical technical process. You only need to know the basics, far more importantly you need to know how to look and see; where to stand and most importantly when to press the button. These things are personal and come from the mind, eye and heart.

 If you follow the techniques of another person your images will not show your persona, at best they will be pastiches. This is where part of the teachings of Zen can be applied. Zen is not a moral teaching, and as it is without dogma, it does not require one to believe in anything. A true spiritual path does not tell people what to believe in, rather it shows them how to think; or, in the case of Zen- what not to think. 

Tony Middleton

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