Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Photography and the Art of Seeing

Below is a short section from a book written by a well known photographer, Freeman Patterson. It describes 'seeing' with the eye by letting oneself go. A Miksang friend of mine sent it to me after reading my writings about Miksang on this blog. It helps to describe what Miksang attempts to do. I won't go into it any further, but please read on if you are interested. Damian

Photography and the Art of Seeing

by Freeman Patterson

"On those frosty mornings when I grab my camera and tripod, and head out into the meadow behind my house, I quickly forget about me. I stop thinking about what I'll do with the photographs, or about self-fulfillment, and lose myself in the sheer magic of rainbows in the grass; in the multicolored prisms of back-lighted crystals. I am lost in a world of glittering lights and dancing colors. I experience myself in what I see, and the result is a tremendous exuberance which helps me make the best use of my camera, and which lasts long after the frost has melted."

"Letting go of self is an essential precondition to real seeing. When you let go of yourself, you abandon any preconceptions about the subject matter that might cramp you into photographing in a certain, predetermined way. As long as you are worried about whether or not you will be able to make good pictures, or are concerned about enjoying yourself, you are unlikely either to make the best photographs you can or to experience the joy of photography to the fullest. But when you let go, new conceptions arise from your direct experience of the subject matter, and new ideas and feelings will guide you as you make pictures."

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