Contemplative Photography

In the fall of 2020, I had the opportunity to explore a new photography approach that blends my existing contemplative spiritual practices with my photography practice. Since that time, I have continued this new practice and try to take time once every two or three weeks to explore places with mindful awareness and perception.

Contemplative Photography, also known as Miksang (meaning Good Eye), is both a lifestyle practice and a photographic approach that helps develop one’s sense of perception. It hones one’s awareness of what they see and what draws the eye while trying to avoid judgments of ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly.’

This practice focuses on the moment of initial perception, known as the flash of perception. In other words, it is about capturing what drew the eye rather than placing value judgments on what drew the eye. These flashes of perception might be about color, texture, pattern, lighting, shadow, contrast, reflection, etc., or some combination thereof.

The tangible output of this practice is the photograph; although, taking photographs is not required to hone one’s perception. That being said, the photograph allows the photographer to share their flashes of perception with others by filling the frame of the camera with enough information that it conveys the flash of perception without too many extraneous details or distractions. The process of filling the frame allows the photographer to convey their flash of perception as simply and as authentically as possible. Because of the nature of this practice, I want my contemplative photographs to speak for themselves. Therefore, I have purposefully left these works untitled and undated so as to not distract from the visual communication taking place.