Here are some images i’ve been working on post production from my last shoot. Not too great, i don’t like the black and white ones, there to horse in comparison to the other bright abstract patterns coming through.
Whilst researching abstract art this week i came across something which just speaks to me. John Suler’s Ebook on Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche, wow it just spoke to me in my language. I’ve been struggling to work out how to say i take my images, my methods process when i go out and take my work. This is it. A true light bulb moment when someone writes about how you do it.
Mindfulness by any other name is still mindfulness.
Even though they may not specifically use the word “mindfulness,” many of the great masters talk about photography as awareness of the present moment in which we forget ourselves. We let go of the goals, desires, expectations, techniques, and anxieties that make up who we in order to more fully immerse ourselves into the experience of seeing. We open up our receptive awareness to what the world offers us. Rather than being some objective observer trying to capture something, we become the being that is in communion with the environment, that is IN the world. We’re not looking for anything in particular. We’re not going anywhere in particular. We’re not expecting or trying to control anything in particular. Instead, we’re wandering, perhaps rather aimlessly, without a goal or purpose. We’re fully and naively open to the possibility of the unexpected, the unique, the moment when things come together… to the flow of life. Under these conditions, when we let go of the self, “it” appears to us. We don’t find and take the picture. The photograph finds us. It takes itself. We unite with the scene not so we can see a shot we want, but rather what the scene offers. The experience comes to us and the photograph is simply the icing on the cake, Suler.
This sums up my practice which i’ve been doing since i had my breakdown in my late 20’s after my marriage split. I was lost in the world and had no focus or direction as i had it all planned out, as i thought with my husband, but it was not to be. So i was little lost and photography came to me again in the form of the new digital camera. I was hooked again and it gave me focus. My mind was very busy at the time, over loaded with questions, though and not good thoughts or questions. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, i was laid of from work as i had chopped the end of my finger tip off. I’m a chef and working with sharp knives when you're not concentrating is not a good idea, which i found out the painful way.
Photography nature helped me calm down my mind and soul, it allowed me to breath and the joys i found from the natural world instantly calmed me. It heightened my senses and for that moment when i walked in the woods or sat by the lake, watched the waves on the beach i was at peace. My crazy thoughts were gone for that moment. They would come back later but with this process and the help of spiritual learnings about a lot of things the crazy thoughts and feelings eventually over time got less and less. I think i will always mental health issues as they label it, but i don’t like to label my thoughts as ‘mental’, they are just thoughts, some bad some good. Its understanding that we are in control of our thoughts, which then respond in our body as feelings which we don’t understand and those two together create the “mental” feeling we associate with mental health.
I guess this links in with the subjects we’ve been learning about this Module. The business side of things.
I do photography for me, it takes me happy, it enables me to be creative, the process helps me with feeling content in the world of constant need for acceptance and acknowledgement from social media. Thats why i don’t engage so much with it, especially with my work. I don’t care if people don’t see it, i don’t care if i don’t make a living from it. I can earn my living through many other factors, i don’t need to sell my creativity to live. Creativity keeps me living. Yes, I would like to be recognised as an artist one day but if it means doing the whole social media thing then no, i won’t engage in it. Its not my route. My route, if its meant to be shown and seen as value will come from another route. I know social media can work but i can also see how it can also interfere with your mind state if engaged to much with, i think you have to be very aware of your feelings with social media as it can create very negative feelings, from the word "‘Like’ button itself, your opening yourself up even before the process has occurred or the image published to negative rejection. It has to be done very carefully and i haven’t worked out how to do that yet, so i go tentatively into the social media world, for my own sanity, Its more important to me than being ‘Liked’.