Photography has given me many experiences, and enhanced my life in myriad ways.
One of the most valuable of these, in the dozen or so years I’ve been photographing deliberately, is the form of meditation it provides.
Meditation I would define as a way of being calm and present in the moment, without the usual hectic distractions of your surroundings or your mind intruding.
Normally we might think of mediation needing a continuous and uninterrupted period of time in a quiet place, when we’re doing nothing else but sitting.
But I’ve found that on a photowalk in the countryside, making each photograph provides a form of momentary micro meditation.
String a number of these together and their impact grows further still.
Heres how and why I find it works for me.
Generally, a photowalk is a very calm pursuit overall anyway. I love the countryside and I love walking, so by combining these two I’m already on to a winner.
Then we add the photography too, an elegant, experience-elevating garnish on an already scrumptious and wholesome dish.
When you’ve found your potential scene to capture, and you’re there in the moment of composing your photo, hands steady and breath held, nothing else matters but what’s between those four corners of the viewfinder or screen.
Everything else drops away, the whole world is right there in front you.
Your usually spiralling, complex and over-thinking mind stops. Your breathing stops. Perhaps even your heart stops.
Then, the shutter clicks, there’s a momentary after echo, you exhale, and the world resumes.
Camera raised once more, you hunt for the next composition.
That sensation is worth experiencing even once, but by stringing together a series of these micro meditations in succession, the benefits expand even more.
The repeated return to stillness, for me makes the whole experience of the photowalk even greater than the sum of its parts, and the reason I’ve returned to it thousands of times.
What positive and life enhancing experiences does photography bring you?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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