Contemplative Photography Circle

Combine mindfulness and open awareness with the art of photography.

In the contemplative photographic approach, the emphasis is not on the final product, but the process and practice of seeing what is around us. Rather than begin with the camera, we start with quiet and mindfulness, and rely on our senses in tune with the environment. Forgotten are any “rules” or photographic convention, and even the goal of producing photographs, as we concentrate instead on our direct experience of the world.

By opening to the clear perception of things as they are, we can enjoy fresh moments of color, texture, pattern, form, rhythm, light, contrast, stillness, motion, density, and space. As we explore, something stands out, captures our attention and literally stops us. Then, and only then, do we use our cameras to capture that perception, that moment.

The practice of contemplative photography builds on the pioneering images created by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. There is no desired style or specific subject matter. If there is a unifying principle in the images, it is the simplicity that comes with mindfulness, focus, and discernment.

While the focus is not on the technical aspects of photography, participants should be familiar with operating their camera.

We will be using the new Nalanda Miksang book “Looking and Seeing” by John McQuade and Miriam Hall. Print and kindle copies are available through Amazon.

We also combine lessons and exercises from the books The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes by Andy Karr and Michael Wood and True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We will have opportunities for personal practice, sharing images, and group discussion.

MeetUp Group
All our activities are posted to a MeetUp group. To join the monthly meetings and field trips, go to the Meetup website and register for the Circle.

Example of Contemplative Photography
For examples of contemplative photography, and additional reference materials, visit the Seeing Fresh website.

Susan: sustoddard [at] gmail [dot] com

There is no fee to attend these meetings, but donations to SF Shambhala are gratefully accepted.

If you wish to attend, it is helpful if you join our meetup group here.