Meditation in photography...
I've always looked deeply, in love with awareness itself. How to nurture it, cultivate it? Meditation helps, and I think photography is good too.
I've meditated for all of my adult life (with a few breaks) -- from age 14 -- and very early in my photography I noticed that there was of course an interplay between meditation and the process of seeing and making photographs. As life and these practices go along, it becomes more and more absurd to make distinctions between the two. In some sense this is an artificial distinction here, this category, this web page, since I consider most of my photographs to reflect my "good eye" and years of development of my contemplative practices. They are all about looking deeply.
In addition to practicing sitting meditation, I've also practiced Tai Chi for most of my adult life, for the last 10 years pretty seriously. Besides being another form of "meditation in action," practicing Tai Chi outdoors in the warmer months with a camera nearby provides me with a time of literally extending my meditation practice into photography. Many of my water photos are made in breaks while practicing Tai Chi near some body of water or another. As I practice I start to see things differently.
I've always been drawn to Chinese and Japanese Zen paintings, Tibetan thankas, and also western abstract expressionist paintings by some artists. I think the common element of these is that the image conveys a state of mind, an aspect I was drawn to even in my late teens, and which is ever more profound and important as I move through life. I'm compelled to create an image representing a state of mind, in which a sense of awareness permeates a space filled by forms that might resonate with or stimulate thought, emotion, and energy.
Early on my photography was influenced by some kind of clinging: attempting to grab, or capture, or freeze a moment. Now it's very different. Rather than trying to "capture" reality, I'm just transforming it into a new form. I've deepened the understanding that I'm creating a two-dimensional space that resonates with our humanity, rather than capturing reality. I'm working this process to help me wake up, and hopefully I'm helping you too. Images are made with full awareness that the light, the frost, snow, trees, leaves, style, fashion, and buildings are ephemeral. The world is like a fireworks display, each moment we freeze an image of the world into something solid in our minds, while the world moves on, flashes, dissolves. Each of my images represents a self-existing moment of light and form that passed, quickly or slowly. That moment is long gone, but it's a new moment when we look at a print, which is its own thing.