Contemplative Photography

I’ve been hearing the term “Contemplative Photography”.  Just the words are appealing – conjures up Zen and meditative philosophies, new age music and yoga – a spa sort of atmosphere.  Going in search of just what contemplative photography is I came across this at Seeing Fresh:

“The practice of contemplative photography is an approach
to the art of photography that emphasizes developing the ability to see.”

Taken this week in my own backyard …
metal circle with snow
I liked the simplicity, balanced design and texture …

I’m very open to comments here on whether you like or don’t like but also from any who may have an interest or understand the concept of contemplative photography better than I do … it’s a style I think I’ll explore and feedback would be helpful.

This next one was certainly NOT about balanced design … but it is about the light – good lighting can be cohesive in a chaotic composition.
shed interior with strong light through window

This one for me was not just about the leaf texture, but also about the space around the leaf …

leaf texture in space

Seeing Fresh is hosted by Andy Karr who, along with Michael Wood, has written the book The Practice of Contemplative Photography.  The Seeing Fresh website provides greater explanation and examples of the style and philosophy behind it.

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17 thoughts on “Contemplative Photography

    1. I’m surprised more hadn’t heard something of contemplative photography but glad to be introducing it to people – if it sounds intriguing to you I hope you check it out – it could lead to a whole other passion 😉

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  1. Thank you Lynne for the Seeing Fresh site address, I have been over for a look, what an interesting site I have bookmarked it. I love the idea of contemplative photography, a new phrase to me but a good one, I think photography opens up your eyes to the world around you. I am always looking at everything with the idea it may be a good photo for my blog…Jack has taught me about negative space and it is interesting to look for that in compositions too. I like the leaf for the composition as well as the lighting

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    1. My painting has taught me that the negative spaces are just as important as the focal points and when we can look at a photo as an overall composition, a jigsaw, and how the pieces fit together, that concept becomes more apparent.

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  2. This is an interesting idea Lynne. I will certainly be checking it out. I do tend to sit and contemplate the landscape when I’m out shooting it, often waiting for the light to change. What I tend not to see is the more intimate landscape which I would like to explore. 🙂

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    1. It is interesting … I’ve focused a lot on landscape shots looking for fodder for my painting. Now I’m enthused about everything else that is out there and how I can interpret it.

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    1. Thank you, Anne. I think you might be right about being able to see something new, or seeing something in a new way, when taking nature shots. It’ll be a greater challenge for me to see other types of things with a different eye. I know when I first started painting I found myself looking at many things differently – instead of seeing a maple tree I’d see an overall shape and whether it was pleasing, or not; not just a building, but the way the light was striking it producing shadows …

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