Photography as Focus (pun intended)

Photography meditation - leafDuring the middle stage of a meditation walk (the “holding the silence” phase) I will sometimes use this time to allow a most perfect picture to come to me.  This is unlike vacation photos where we try to capture the essence of a trip through a multitude of photos – where getting a good shot can take precedence over being fully present to the event/environment itself.  This is about being fully present, without searching for a “photo op” and instead staying open to what our surroundings reveal to us in due time and without fanfare.  These are more like “oh my” moments that “wooo-hooo” moments.

Photography as meditation - mushroomDuring this phase, keep yourself focused on the here and now – your pathway, your breath.  But also ask to be open to anything in the environment that would make you glad that you stopped and absorbed a moment in more detail.  Although I use a small digital camera for photos, you could use your cell phone camera; or, if sans camera, you can take a mental picture by outlining a virtual frame using your two index fingers and thumbs to form a square.  Give yourself permission to take up to three pictures, which allows you plenty of silent time along a trail – fewer pictures and your focus disappears too early; more pictures and your walk turns into a photo expedition.  I have found that focusing on my walk and allowing my peripheral vision to bring something into focus works best.  And, I photograph objects “as they are” – leaving the object, background, shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns unchanged.

The end result is a sense of slo-mo walking, an appreciation for the diversity of life, and an increased sense of awe in the minute details that surround us.

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