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Lions Roar : May 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2011 60 about how beautiful or ugly the subject is, or worries about expressing yourself and becoming famous. Instead, clear seeing and the creativity of your basic being con- nect directly, and you produce images that are the equivalents (this is alfred stieglitz’s term) of what you saw. what resonated within you in the original seeing will also resonate in the photograph. henri cartier-bresson offers key in- sights into this approach. he says that camera work should be nonconceptual, that good images resonate at the core of our being, and that the artificial and con- trived are deadly. this is how he put it: “thinking should be done beforehand and afterwards—never while actually tak- ing a photograph. success depends on the extent of one’s general culture, on one’s set of values, one’s clarity of mind and vi- vacity. the thing to be feared most is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life.” putting this conclusion positively, the uncontrived is what is true to life. this is not meant as an objective standard of truth, it is more like being true, being will- ing to express things just as they are, with- out dressing them up in any way. people often associate the creative process with dressing up reality to make it “art.” From our perspective, genuine art expresses things simply and elegantly as they are. art in everyday life this ordinary, workaday world is rich and good. It might not seem that way at six in the morning when you are rushing to prepare your coffee or tea and get out the door to go to work, or when you are tired and irritated after dinner and have to take out the garbage. Instead, ordinary life might seem hassled, repetitive, and bor- ing. when you are impatient, resentful, or uninterested in daily life, you will be blind to the potential for living cheerfully and creatively. life seems repetitive and boring when you don’t notice the uniqueness of each mo- ment and the constant, subtle changes that are going on all around you. For example, you might have the same thing for breakfast every morning and not notice that it tastes different each day because of natural fluc- tuations of your body and mind and small variations in the details of your meal. even though things usually seem solid and enduring, nothing really lasts a sec- ond moment. our experiences are always in the process of disintegrating and trans- forming. as photographers, we can know this intimately. photographers are always working with light, and light is always changing. the brightness changes; the photobymIchaelwood(leFt),andykarr(rIGht)