“Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
– Elliott Erwitt.
Following up on last week’s practice: savour the good things, and knowing that during holidays camera shutters go all gung-ho, we’ve decided to bring you a little practice that will help you enjoy the things you see. A while ago we talked about The Curse of The Mindless Tourist, and how in our eagerness to share, show and tell the world what a wonderfully instagrammable life we have, we might forget to enjoy the very thing we are sharing. If you ever feel like that, this practice is the perfect antidote!
The exercise is simple, every day find something that catches your attention and, just before you go click, pause for a moment and consider why you are taking this picture, what does it evoke or inspire you, and how you are going to take that photo: the framing, the surroundings, the background... Once you’ve taken the photograph (just one, not hundreds!), refrain from retouching, adding any filters or even sharing it on social media. Maybe you can show it to a friend or family and use it to start a conversation about gratitude, happiness or to have a laugh!
WHY IS IT GOOD?
It helps you become more present when looking at the world around you, shifting the focus of our awareness onto the joy of your experience.
It helps fight that compulsion to take photos just for the sake of it or to share it on Instagram.
It boosts feelings of awe and gratitude.
It helps you accept reality as it is and stop hoping for a perfect picture. Thinking something like: I wish the light was better, undermine our ability to enjoy the moment.
It helps you become aware of your thinking patterns, particularly the comments of your judging mind, thoughts like it’s not really that interesting or it’s not very good can quickly pop into our minds.
Take a pic of something you normally wouldn’t, things that seem unimportant like a shadow or a funny shaped dog poo.
Go for an awareness photo-walk, with no particular purpose other than to explore your surroundings and take a snap of those things that catch your eye.
Look beyond the object: capture reflections in puddles, windows, mirrors…
Experiment with light, colour and texture.
Focus on the feeling/emotion/atmosphere...
Take a few moments to reflect on why you take the picture.
Take part in the Slow Photography Prize for 2020, but hurry up! The deadline for entries is 30th November 2019!
EXTRA BROWNIE POINTS
Once the week is finished, go back to each photograph and take a moment to remind yourself why you took that pictures. Enjoy!
Have a great picturesque week!
Vero and Enrique
What's your Kensho?
JOIN THE KENSHO LIFE
Sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest guided meditations, news and articles.