Photography and painting are both spiritual experiences for me. Photography requires an observant state of mind where I am extra-sensitive to the world around me. I stop and scan the world around me, seeking the unusual, beautiful, or amusing. In this state of mind, I find myself feeling grateful for so many things –starting with all that is unusual, beautiful or amusing. I am grateful to be in that place and time, grateful for my eyesight (more so now that I have gone through several eye surgeries and various vision struggles), grateful for my equipment and the technology that allows me to capture images (many of which I could not see with the naked eye), grateful for the technology that allows me to share my images with so many people, and so much more.
Humility enters the process too – so often my best photos are about being in the right place at the right moment. Serendipity is the best word I can find – truly such moments are a gift from God. Such gifts encourage me to continue my work. Often I am alone in witnessing the events captured by my camera, which magnifies my awareness of how privileged I am to experience the moment. I have the blessing of the moment, while the best I can share is merely an image or video.
As I photograph, I am immersed in the moment, studying the object, the behavior, the surroundings. Many photographers describe a similar state of mind: taking photographs enhances their awareness and experience of a place or event. More than simply capturing an image, photography requires looking intently and intentionally at first the greater surroundings and then at specific items of interest. Mindfulness of the place, the time, and the details is involved.
Gratitude, humility, mindfulness – what else is needed for a spiritual moment?