Practicing Mindfulness In Photography
when I first started thinking about this cause this particular lesson was titled Mindfulness Exercises for Photographers. I was planning to tell you how I get into a mindful state when I'm taking photographs and offer a few exercises you could try, but when I thought about it, I honestly couldn't think what to say. The thing is, when you put a camera in my hand, mindfulness comes naturally to me. To be fair. Most other times, as anyone who knows me well, we'll tell you I'm completely mindless. The camera to me is like a trigger. So rather than tell you what I do, I thought I'd show you what happens when I'm on location and my mind is triggered. Take a look at this scene here and tell me what you see. Now let me tell you what I see as well as a triangle. There's a bold circle created by this boulder. There's an implied horizon line, which I've positioned just above the center line, which draws your attention to the foreground. Importantly, there's also a small white line under the bould...
er, which creates separation between it and the water. There are lines on the mountain texture in the rocks and the vivid orange color in the land complemented by the blue in the sky. More subtle but critical to the composition is this small triangle in the foreground, which is an almost perfect mirror of the mountain. Here is another example. What do you see here? When I first came across this location, I wasn't exactly inspired is a derelict industrial area of a small French town. But after a moment's contemplation, I was drawn to the water tumbling over the weir. I could see line and pattern, and the quickly descending sun was just beginning to add a touch of color. I set up my camera frame, the shot I was visualizing in my mind and waited for the deeper glow of sunset. And this is the image I talk by cropping tightly, isolating the water and removing the distracting background environment. I have drawn attention to the key subjects, the line and the pattern of the falling water. I've used an evenly positioned Baroque diagonal to lend equal weighting to the to half of the frame and used white balance to add a blue cast that complements the orange yellow reflection of the setting sun. There are many ways to get yourself into a mindful state before you start a photography session, and no one way will suit all people. So I suggest trying different exercises and seeing which one works best for you in the resources panel below. I've provided some ideas and links to websites and articles that I've found useful in the past. It's not a definitive list, but it's a decent place to start.