Archive for category Contemplative
Last week I completed a 5-day meditation retreat in the city of Halifax, NS. The title of the retreat was “Being Brave and Transforming Our World”
Meditation makes the world more vivid and after the course I found a lot of perceptions jumping out at me. After the retreat, I shot a photograph of a friend drinking wine in the rain on our deck at the back of the house. Without explaining further, the image encapsulated much what I learned at the retreat.
Charles Flowers on Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook (2003)
” As children playing, splashing feet in the water, thinking about something we see, listening to someone speak, watching someone work, we do not yet recognize that we are being informed. The water rushes on and we see something clearly and are able to bring it to fruition. Every now and then we become informed”. Barbara J. Delory
“To take photographs means to recognize-simultaneously and within a fraction of a second-both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson 1999 The mind’s eye. Writings on Photography and Photographers. Aperture
“Any entertainment that aspires to art should not work with the audience like an advertisement. Trying to please the audience lowers the level of sophistication constantly…When you try always to please the audience, you have to produce more and more automatic gimmicks, more and more plastic…As artists, we have the responsibility of raising the mentality of the audience. People might have to reach out with a certain amount of strain, but it’s worth it.”
From Chogyam Trungpa, “Endless Richness,” in DHARMA ART
“…perception is not meaningful self-confirmation, but the experience of things as they are. White is white, and black is black…You and the experience become almost indivisible when you experience something in that way. It’s that kind of direct communication without anything in between.”
Chogyam Trungpa, “Nobody’s World,” in: TRUE PERCEPTION: The Path of Dharma Art, page 105.
SEEING’S NOT BELIEVING
“Here’s a new take on an old saying: “Seeing’s not believing.” That’s true. When we see something, we don’t have to believe in it, but we do have to see it properly. We have to look at it—then it might be true. In sharpening our perception completely and properly, we don’t have to put philosophical or metaphysical jargon into it. We are just dealing precisely and directly with how our perception or vision works as we look at an object and how our mind changes by looking at it.”
“New Sight” in Chogyam Trungpa, True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art, page 69.
When I photograph, I use no rules and let my perceptions govern the final image. Here is a great description of how that works:
DANCING WITH SQUARENESS
“Photographs are boxlike. We have a square camera with a square perspective. That squareness seems to be our general frame of reference. But we don’t have to be too concerned with that squareness—we could dance with it. Let’s view that corner, this corner, this corner and that corner. Above we could allow lots of space; at the bottom we could allow a lot of solidity; on the sides we could play with how we view our world. If the world is pushing us to the left or the right, we could go along with that. As long as we don’t fight there’s no problem. We could have the right invading our left; that’s okay, that’s a nice picture. If the left is invading our right, that also makes a nice picture.”
Chogyam Trungpa, “New Sight” in True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art.
“The basic principle of photography is viewing things as they are in their own ordinary nature. We should be willing to see a particular vision without expectation or conceptualization. We should have the perspective of being willing to take any kind of good old, bad old shot. We should be extremely careful and inquisitive about what we see in our world: what we see with our eyes, what we actually perceive, both how we see and what we see.”
“New Sight” in True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art, Chögyam Trungpa
“Look closer to home.” – Lars Tunbjörk
This photograph isn’t really a street photograph (in that it doesn’t capture life on the street), but it demonstrates very nicely that one doesn’t have to go far to see something that at first may appear ordinary but on a closer look appears extra-ordinary. Here there is a lot texture, shape and simple yet striking colour. Its all about opening our eye and looking.