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Author Topic: The Art of Mindful Photography  (Read 12748 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: June 11, 2014, 01:53:31 PM »
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When I use my DLR (not DSLR) it only has 12 exposures/ roll and that has made me more mindful about making photographs. I imagine LF photographers even more so. I find I carry that over into my digital work too.

http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2014/06/06/mindful-photography-jonathan-foust/

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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Ray
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 05:35:05 PM »
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That's a fascinating article, Mike.

As a person who does most of his photography when travelling (as well as sitting at a computer in the evenings sometimes, reviewing the day's shots, and sitting at the computer back home for much longer periods to do further processing  of the images), I was particularly struck by the following comment.

“A number of times I travel without a camera, and it’s so ecstatic to not have that onus on myself to capture something worthwhile, to tell a story,” he said.

Is that really something I could do, I ask myself. Perhaps I should try it. Would I find it ecstatic, or would I experience regret at not having a camera whenever I saw a particularly interesting, beautiful or unusual scene?

Have I got the courage (or foolishness, depending on one's perspective) to go on holiday without a camera?  Grin
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 06:44:50 PM »
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That is good to keep in mind. Thanks for the reminder.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 07:54:00 AM »
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Mike,
Thank you for the link. In this age of instant everything, this speaks to the good of going slower.

Someone else here commented on whether they could travel without a camera. Although I always have my camera with me on a trip, I see so much more when I'm not worried about getting a particular shot. I become totally engaged in the experience, in the moment. And for me, a plus: I am also a poet; I write about what I didn't photograph. Not just diary stuff either. I have become less tethered to my DSLR.

Lorraine
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luxborealis
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 06:49:36 PM »
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“I’d look out over a beautiful sunset and my mind would say, Nah, I got a better one yesterday. Or I would take a shot from a far distance of someone doing qigong with the fog behind them and think, Damn it, if they were only 20 feet higher on that hill they’d be better silhouetted,” he said. ”[I’d] just be noticing–noticing the aversion, noticing the clinging, noticing the judgment.”


For me, this is what it's all about - not making photos of everything I see, but rather, being selective and challenging myself with simple questions like:
  • have I seen this done before?
  • have I photographed something like this before?
  • what can I do to make this unique?

If the scene before me passes through these filters, then I spend some time with it, carefully looking, composing and looking again. I treat each set-up as a journey, an exploration of the scene and what it represents to me.

The result? Decidedly fewer set-ups and far fewer frames to edit, but far more memorable and enjoyable photographs. In fact, particularly when travelling, I often find that as a result of my intense interest in a place, a scene or an experience, I often remember far more details of the encounter than the casual observers who may be with me.

Much like MIke's experience, I credit this approach to working first with Pentax 67, then 4x5, where frames were precious. Ten backs = twenty shots, and each set-up was far more time consuming than it is now, so each shot demanded careful consideration. While this approach to photography would not appeal to everyone, it works for me.
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Terry McDonald
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 12:41:13 AM »
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My experience is different, I would not find any use to limiting myself to a set number of shots per day. Any formula is bound to fail.

Most days I don't shoot. I dont have the urge to shoot. I know there are great things going on out there, I dont feel I would catch them. Once in a while a have a strong urge to go do photography or other things. Sometimes those times can seem like a big waste of time. Then the shot comes. Something happens and you feel like that is why you felt you had to do this. You cant fake it, pretending if you go out to force it, the shot will come. It does not work. It's like the force in Star Wars. If you feel it, you go with it.
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Gulag
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 04:54:35 PM »
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There is so much beauty in the world. Having said that,  I normally don't find it in golden hours,  in sunrise/sunset, in national parks, in the things that we've been conditioned/brainwashed to say beautiful,  as Lao Tzu puts that ugliness is when everyone claims the beautiful is beautiful.  When I encounter beauty, I don't work with any minimum or maximum number of shots that I need to get. Perhaps that's just me.
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louoates
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 12:51:31 PM »
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Years ago I realized that having my camera gear with me ruined too many vacations. I was looking for photographs instead of enjoying the moments with my wife and family. So for a few years I left the gear at home and haven't regretted it. Since I got my iphone two years ago, I've used it -- mainly for vacation shots (uncommercial) since the phone is always in my pocket. I'm afraid the excellence of the iphone's photo quality is leading me back into thinking photography when I should be resting that portion of my brain. I recently travelled to Monument Valley to show my wife who hadn't see the place and I resisted any shooting with my phone except when she was in the composition. Then we visited Arches Nat'l Park and I succumbed to shooting some panos with the phone that I stitched into a very salable landscape. Now what do I do, since I know I can post process phone images into decent products? We have a trip to Michigan coming up in August and I can see myself walking the beaches way before dawn keeping my phone dry until the sun shows. Any photography help groups out there?
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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 12:55:25 PM »
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If I recall the legend correctly, Cartier-Bresson would photograph without interrupting his conversation :-)
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luxborealis
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 07:31:28 PM »
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Years ago I realized that having my camera gear with me ruined too many vacations. I was looking for photographs instead of enjoying the moments with my wife and family. So for a few years I left the gear at home and haven't regretted it. Since I got my iphone two years ago, I've used it -- mainly for vacation shots (uncommercial) since the phone is always in my pocket. I'm afraid the excellence of the iphone's photo quality is leading me back into thinking photography when I should be resting that portion of my brain. I recently travelled to Monument Valley to show my wife who hadn't see the place and I resisted any shooting with my phone except when she was in the composition. Then we visited Arches Nat'l Park and I succumbed to shooting some panos with the phone that I stitched into a very salable landscape. Now what do I do, since I know I can post process phone images into decent products? We have a trip to Michigan coming up in August and I can see myself walking the beaches way before dawn keeping my phone dry until the sun shows. Any photography help groups out there?

The first step toward solving a problem is to admit you have one. You've done that and more. You are far more brave and/or restrained than I could ever be.

One of the things I do when travelling with my family is to have a great time with them, but then, also devote some individual time to pursue my art. They know that my photography is dependent on the light, so when the lighting is great, I take my leave for a few hours. Setting up the expectations ahead of time has allowed us to travel successfully as a family with family images made along the way, but with the added bonus of having some wonderful, expressive moments captured to satisfy my inner need to express the beauty of a place (gulag's comment notwithstanding!): large-scale prints and books which have sold well over the years.
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Terry McDonald
Revealing the art inherent in nature
- visit luxBorealis.com.
Have a read of my PhotoBlog and subscribe!
wmchauncey
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2014, 11:45:23 AM »
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That mindset way very necessary when one shot film, but it limited the volume of folks that cough out respectable images.

Speaking from a personal viewpoint mind you, I could not conceive of taking but one image and having it turn out the way that I envisioned.
This would be especially true of shooting critters...who among you squeeze that shutter once, then just walk away.  Inconceivable for a series of BIF.
For landscape, should the lighting sustain itself, moving a few feet here and there sometimes makes a huge difference, not discernible but on the monitor.

Time and methods change...there are very few of us with a talent for "Seeing That Image" staring us in the face, I know I can't.    Wink
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mal mcilwraith
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 02:04:27 PM »
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Mr Chauncy

I ducked over to look at your images - really beautiful images with a crystal ball delicacy.
Very appealing.

I would have left a message for you on your site but I am not going to register for every site I visit - sorry for that.

Mal
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