I’ve always enjoyed photography. I go through cycles of viewing life through the camera lens until my attention is shifted to other things, which causes me to push aside this practice. Eventually I am captivated by a view or a flower or an interesting photo on social media. Then I find myself reaching for my camera and resuming this spiritual practice.
I’m currently enjoying an eCourse by Susannah Conway called Photo Meditations 2015. This week I’m paying attention to lines and shapes and forms. Normal objects are transformed around me as I watch for these forms to appear in my camera lens. I completed Susannah’s April Love 2015 photo prompts earlier in the year and enjoyed the challenge of looking for those interesting views each day. It was fun to see how others interpret the prompts and inspire me with their discoveries. I like having a daily photo challenge to watch for as I go through the day.
I enjoyed Vivienne McMaster’s Be Your Own Beloved eCourse last year. I always learn new tips for taking photos in these courses. In addition to feeling more comfortable taking selfies, I was inspired by Vivienne to take Photo Walks on a regular basis, snapping photos of the things that captured my attention on that particular walk. I usually remember to do this when I go get my mail at the end of the driveway, so I often see the same limited number of objects to photograph around our property. That’s OK, because each season brings new perspectives.
Photography is a meditation practice. I find myself pausing to look closer at objects. As I take pictures, I see the details I normally rush past in the daily tasks. When I return from my walk, I review the pictures and share favorites with friends on Facebook, Instagram or Flickr. I sometimes use a beautiful shot as my screensaver on the desktop computer for further enjoyment.
My typical photo of choice tends to be nature shots. This eCourse is helping me see objects with a new perspective as I tilt the camera or zoom in for a close-up shot. Surprisingly, lines and shapes are all around me, forming interesting patterns. I like this shot of my piano. When I tilted the camera, I was amazed at all the lines I discovered. A good life lesson: Changing our perspective can bring new insights.There are some great books on Photo Meditations. Howard Zehr’s Little Book of Contemplative Photography: Seeing With Wonder, Respect and Humility was my first introduction to photography as a spiritual practice many years ago. Eyes of the Heart:Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner is a favorite resource of mine. It is full of practical tips and reflective questions. My newest find is Shooting with Soul: 44 Photography Exercises Exploring Live, Beauty and Self-Expression by Alessandra Cave. You can use it for inspiration with all the different prompts and ideas.
Do you spend time taking pictures as a spiritual practice on a regular basis? If you have not tried photography as a meditation practice, I would encourage you to give it a try. Notice the things that capture your attention and snap photos of them. Take a Photo Walk and look at the world through your camera lens. Look for interesting shapes and lines around your home.
Enjoy discovering the world through your camera lens this week!