What is contemplative photography?

I’m currently working on the material for the contemplative photography workshops I am doing in October (details here: findingpeace2017.eventbrite.co.uk) and I’ve been encapsulating what it actually is.

Contemplative, or mindful photography is about paying attention.   Paying attention to what you really want to take pictures of, and paying attention to the sometimes unlikely beauty in the world around us.   To do this we have to settle our frantic minds.

So many of us buy a fancy camera, slave over learning the ‘rules’ of photography, what all the settings mean, about colour theory and what makes a ‘good’ picture.   Then we go out and try to take a good picture and come home and feel disappointed with the results.   Although we may have taken a lovely landscape shot, something about it isn’t quite what you wanted to take.

In 2015 I bought a new camera and before I could learn how to use it and how to take ‘good’ shots, I very fortuitously found Lee Aspland’s Mindful Photography course, so this was the first introduction to being a photographer I’d had.

After one assignment, about three weeks in, I came home and cried when I saw the pictures I had taken.   Finally I was taking pictures that came from my heart, that said what I wanted to say, rather than the classic landscapes that always disappointed me.

11 aloneonthebench
Lonely Bench, 2015

If you’d like to know more, and see more of my work, I am exhibiting a series of images at Portsmouth Cathedral on 16th – 29th October, including two free half day workshops to introduce and explore the contemplative / mindful photography technique.   The workshops are held at the Cathedral and are supported by Arts Council funding.

See www.peppermintsea.com for more information.

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