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Lions Roar : May 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2011 61 angle changes; the color changes; the diffuse- ness changes. not only does the light change, whatever is illuminated changes with the light. as mies van der rohe, one of the great pioneers of modern architecture and design, famously observed, “God is in the details.” revealing natural artistry strangely enough, you don’t need to learn how to be artistic. It is as natural as breathing and the beating of your heart. nevertheless, natural artistry is often inaccessible because it is concealed by preoccupation or resentment. a good analogy for this is the way the sun con- stantly radiates light even though you can’t always see it. the sun is always shining, even when clouds cover the sky. no one has to make the sun shine. sunshine becomes visible when the wind removes the clouds. like that, art- istry arises from mind’s natural wakefulness, creativity, and humor when the obstacles that obscure it are cleared away. this is the main point of the whole contemplative endeavor: you don’t need to learn how to fabricate cre- ativity; you need to learn to remove the clouds that prevent it from expressing itself. seeing the ordinary world clearly is a source of raw material and inspiration when you work with your camera. If art is life expe- rience expressed through creative technique, photography is one method for concentrat- ing those experiences into images. you don’t need a lot of craft or technique to produce fine photographs. when you experience your world clearly, and you shoot what you see, the results will be artistic. training in artistic living will enhance your photography, and training in contemplative photography will deepen your ability to live a creative, artistic life. as the wonderful photog- rapher dorothea lange said, “the camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” the practice of contem- plative photography will increase your appre- ciation of the world around you, which is in- finitely richer than you could ever imagine. ♦ From the practice of contemplative photography: seeing the world with Fresh eyes. ©2011 by Andy Karr & Michael Wood. Used with permission from Shambhala Publications. photosbymIchaelwood