“Rather than filming what it looks like, shoot how it feels.” ~ David Alan Harvey
I think it is in the interest of all of us to be here now, where it is easy to find peace and tranquility thanks to the current state of the world. Or, so to speak, we can even be more attentive because we want to blame others hard on what we say, act, and think, and focus negatively on difficult times. How we act, interact, and even plan positively is more important than ever for our mental and physical health.
It’s no secret that this pandemic has shifted us as humans. Most events in my life have influenced our community and our relationships in more ways than we have ever done.
It paused us (okay, harder stop) and allowed us to see what we really wanted and needed. Not only to stop and smell the flowers, but to feel, explore and be with them. To determine if we really like flowers or if we want a different color or variety. Or maybe to determine if flowers are important in our lives today, here, and now.
Many people practice mindfulness but are unaware of yoga, qigong, meditation, tai chi, just taking a walk, looking out the window, and so on. All of these are considered mindfulness actions. I do them all.
One of my favorite heartfelt activities is “conscious breathing”. This is one of the most powerful mindfulness practices of all. Even for a brief moment, returning the screaming mind to breathing can calm the mind and completely transform it into a presence.
Apart from conscious breathing, there is one mindfulness exercise or channel that most people don’t even consider. And that’s my friend, a photo. Yes, you are reading that right, good me, a simple photo.
I really rushed into this throughout the pandemic. I’m 75 years old and travel to a caravan trailer and live there, but I’m not really alone.
Something that saved my sanity through this pandemic and while staying on the road is to photograph what I feel. In addition to taking pictures with friends and family and taking your favorite dishes, talk about what you take with digital film and make your subject aware.
I have lived a long time and am planning to become an old man of “holy shoot”. I truly believe that my beautiful life in this era is the result of practicing mindfulness, picking up a camera, taking a walk and integrating it with the pictures I took.
There are a few things I find important to know about mindfulness through photography. I share some with you today and hope it inspires you to do the same. Pictures are beautiful and personal, not just for taking, but for you.
Some simple tips:
1. Always carry your mobile phone or real camera with you.
I think many of you already carry your cell phone with you all the time, but it’s probably not a camera. But without a phone or camera is the same as having no photos. So just do it. Do you have a pocket? Be creative. Hang it around your neck with a holding strap. For women, get a waistband, funny pack, or comfortable pants with deep pockets.
2. Take a picture of a full boat.
You are not assigned to National Geographic and no one is willing to pay you squats for these pictures, so go ahead and shoot whatever you talk to you.
Stop and look around, sit quietly in your home or outdoor environment and take pictures. It can be raindrops, lichens, flowers, trees, sidewalks, puddles, the sky, yourself, your feet, works of art, burning candles. There is anything. Open the cupboard, turn on the faucet, look at the ice cubes and pets. The possibilities for careful photography are endless.
3. Slow down.
This is where mindfulness comes in handy. Look around you and see all the possibilities of photography. what is that? What happens when I get closer? Should I include that next to it? What’s special? Is it the color, shape or texture that attracts you? Is there a reflection? What if I bend down, look through the grass, or look at it from a different angle? What happens if I lie down here and look up? Please do not take pictures in a hurry.
Slowly go in and out, go in and out, just breathe. Basically, you learn to relax and not fulfill your mission. Mindfulness also means being here now, without creating a shopping list or thinking about what to say to your loved ones about the issues that upset you. When your heart wanders, simply say “come back” or “I’m back” to get it back.
5. Become a detective.
Be interested in what you are doing and what you are seeing. Open the peripheral vision. Pay attention to the things around you. Softscapes like nature and hardscapes like houses, cars, fences and buildings. How do things connect? Where does the sky meet the earth? Where does it fit? If there are people in your vision, what are they doing? Observe and ponder.
6. Set your purpose before you go out …
… “I’ll take 50 pictures today”, “I’ll focus on the red ones today”, “I’m looking for reflections today” and so on. Take pictures of the clouds and look at them later to ponder what you are seeing. Or, if nothing is coming, be careful and take a picture of everything you care about and take it politely. Keep in mind that setting goals can help you focus and slow down.
7. I will go alone.
Keep everything that could distract you, such as friends, children, loved ones, and dogs. Even for a moment. This time it’s just for you and you. This is your time, as there is enough chatter to take the bribe and silence it while dragging it in your head. Go early in the morning while your family is still asleep or doing their morning routine. It’s slippery and the light is perfect.
8. Learn about cameras.
The difficult truth is that you are only as good as you have chosen. Don’t blame your cell phone, lights, or other silly pictures until you spend some time learning what you can do with your cell phone or camera.
There are many YouTube videos to get you started, and of course, the store where you bought your phone or camera. Having taken several courses, my photos are 200% better than before and are always better. I love the simple format and all the examples. I also learned to edit using some apps. Yes, it cost some money. So is toilet paper. It’s worth it.
Taking these pictures and printing them on journals and online Pinterest boards is a great way to share your heartfelt moments and revisit them when you need them most. Be curious, experiment and learn as much as you can. But best of all, just breathe, point and click … carefully.
Photographs capture the moments, thoughts, memories, and emotions of life. Also, what you can do to get back to the present is very easy. I like to think of it as another form of meditation.
It can also stimulate curiosity and wonder, evoke positivity and calm your mind and body. Many beautiful things can happen through the lens. Combined with deep breathing, you can truly capture what you are feeling and want to feel and capture those heartfelt moments.
No one needs to look at your photo. They can be personal and private. You can start a mindfulness photo journal and refer to it when you don’t want to see it through the camera lens, but instead look back on what you’ve captured earlier and bring a sense of mindfulness to space. ..
Light, camera … mindfulness.