Photography and meditation
Since late last year we tried to introduce mindfulness in our day to day lives. Harder at first, but learning step by step, we started to become more aware of our feelings, sensations and things that are happening around us.
Mindfulness is not about trying to eliminate things that create chaos in your mind, but more about being present with what you are doing, no matter the activity you are performing. Instead of allowing your mind to wander around, you try to bring it to the present moment.
As we began to practice meditation we realized that meditation will help our photographs grow into images that have a story…
When we are out photographing there are moments in time when we are so present in capturing what is in front of us that we do not realize when time passes by.
And then there are times when we go to a place with a specific photographic target in mind and we are not present enough to make the switch and photograph what is in front of us. We keep trying to reach our target so in the end, we end up disappointed.
One of best examples is a trip we did 2 years ago to a Romanian Mountain resort – Baile Herculane. We went there with one thought in our mind, to do landscape photos to the area. Unfortunately for us, the entire area was a narrow valley with not a lot of landscape photography opportunities.
Still, what shocked us was the resort itself. Baile Herculane was a famous place where people all over Europe would go in the past for it’s healing waters and fresh air. What you see now there? Abandoned 20 floor hotels, empty streets, broken roads, closed elderly hospitals.
So, instead of being present and focusing on what we found on location – deserted mountain resort, emptiness of the place – we spent one week searching the woods for compelling landscape compositions.
This is where meditation comes in.
When you are out photographing, you find that one thing that captures your attention, you think actively on your composition, focal length, tripod position and you start to pre-visualize the photograph in your head. Then you are hooked and you start creating, working towards what you have already imagined. All the decisions that lead to the final photograph can only be made by being present, being aware of your surroundings.
But to be able to reach that point, where you start working or composing, you have to decide what captures your attention, what is it about the place that is compelling enough to make you start creating. This is where mindfulness definitely helps. It helps you stay grounded, be flexible, adapt to each situation.
We will keep you posted on how our photography evolves together with meditation. Do you relate in any way with our story? Love to hear your thoughts below.