A camera is a powerful tool to become more present with yourself and your surroundings.
One might say that the essence of photography is sensing one’s surroundings. Taking photographs reorients the way that you see and appreciate the world around you. It invites you to be fully receptive and aware.
Taking photographs shines a light onto a scene that you may have otherwise not noticed. And in a way that is what photography intends to accomplish: the literal definition of photography is “to paint with light.”
Being behind the viewfinder, you become aware of how things or people look from different angles, in different lighting conditions. We often see the world from only one perspective – photography gives us a chance to expand our awareness and look at something from 360 degrees. We get a full view of whatever is.
As much as photography is an artistic journey, it can also create a profound shift in your life. It gets you out of your mind to become a witness of what is. It may shift an otherwise bleak day into something magical.
Why don’t you give it a try?
With the camera in your hand, find a subject of your choosing. Pause. Become aware of your environment: the way the light hits the object, a particular person, the way the wind moves the trees or plants. Observe what happens around you.
Zoom closer in with your eyes. Notice how the more time you spend tuning in, the sharper your awareness. You will see more and more detail.
You may find that there is a specific rhythm to things. You may sense that things will slow down around you.
Once you experience that state, pick up your camera. Now press the shutter. Play with the angles and the exposure to paint your unique light onto the canvas.
To create a permanent shift in awareness, keep your camera with you at your side at all times. Consider giving yourself an assignment!
Here are a few for inspiration. Take 21 days to become immersed in one topic before you move on to the next one.
• The Beauty of Life: Take three photographs every day of something you are grateful for.
• Spring Awakening: Capture Spring in landscape, flowers, food, people.
• Awareness Walk: Take 15-20 minutes every day and go on a walk with no particular purpose other than to observe your surroundings. Look at the houses, the people, the way the light falls onto the streets. Click what captures your interest.
• Capture Reflections: Watch for reflections in puddles, windows, mirrors, sunglasses.
• Light and Objects: Photograph a simple object such as a phone booth or a fire hydrant during different times of the day to see how the light plays on the object.
At the end of the assignment, print the photos of your liking. Put them in a scrapbook or pin them on a photo wall.
We promise you will be amazed.
Photo Credit: michaeljung/Shutterstock.com