Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

abstract boat2

There’s a type of photography called contemplative photography that I first learned about from Kim Manley Ort that  makes me feel as though I’ve come home to myself.

Kim says this meditative form of photography is “about being present and open to life as it is, without judgment. It’s about being open to what the world offers up to me rather than looking for a particular shot.”

Today, for the Weekly Photo Challenge, I am offering such an image. In December I participated in a month focusing on the photography of simplicity, and many days I  chose to deliberately capture images following the principles of this type of photography.

Contemplative photography has been described as “a method for seeing and photographing the world in fresh ways, to reveal richness and beauty that is normally hidden from view. Instead of emphasizing subject matter or the technical aspects of photography, the contemplative approach teaches you to see clearly, and make images based on fresh perceptions.”

If any of this intrigues you, I urge you to have a look at the site Seeing Fresh: The Practice of Contemplative Photography. You can contribute to and receive inspiration from the amazing galleries there. And check out Kim’s site too to learn more.

When you see such an image, it is startling in its purity. For those who are used to seeing heavily processed and manipulated images, such an image can seem almost too simple. But really what it is is fresh and new and untainted.

These images suggest to me what is possible with photography when we are guided by our clearest visual perceptions and an open mind and heart…when we are able to leave our preconceived notions, judgments and expectations behind us.

Since I’m an eclectic photographer,  I plan to continue enjoying and practising many styles and schools of photography… But contemplative photography contains a treasure trove of insights and practices that can be used to improve and enliven our image-making.

For those who are still wondering what the object above is that I photographed, it’s part of a boat reflecting part of another boat.

16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

  1. Such a beautiful post Sherry. I think I told you my son gave me a book on contemplative photography for my birthday. After reading your post and viewing your lovely photo I’m going to gave to read it sooner rather than later.

  2. Sherry, on this one I need a “LOVE” button instead of “Like”, because your thoughts have gripped my photography soul. I love this kind of photography, more than ones with so much detail. I am looking forward to this month with Kim and learning abstract – going outside my “box”…you know! 🙂

  3. You know Sherry I always love simple but never feel I am very good at it, I guess you need to practice just as with any kind of photography. I do prefer the simple things to my eyes when viewing. Love your image and the simplicity of it, At first I thought it was the side of an airplane but then I saw the boat but only after reading Dotti’s comment. 🙂 I cheated I admit it. Love the colors. Thank you for the suggestion on the 70-200mm f4L I am going to check it out just feel the f2.8 is too heavy for me to buy it again for this old body.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Object | Say It With A Camera

  5. Sherry, this describes exactly what I enjoy most. Thanks for this post, it inspired me to continue what I love to do, but to do it more intentionally.

  6. “Fresh and new and untainted” has said what I love in a nutshell! As soon as I see heavily processed and manipulated images, I freeze up!
    Your images shows the simplicity of taking things as they are and just staying with that. Shape, colour and texture entice us into the art of perception without the need to label or judge. I like this aspect a lot!

  7. I figured out that it was part of the boat. Good eye! I’ll have to check out the two links you shared. Hope you have good sailing weather this weekend.

  8. Great post, Sherry, and really interesting photo. Hopefully you’ve seen the one I have on my Flickr site that’s along a similar theme – reflections on a yacht’s hull. Some really wild and wonderful images can be found on the sides of big shiny fibreglass boats! (It’s helpful that the owners of such vessels like to keep them so clean.) 🙂

    As you have probably guessed, I’ve been taking a course from Kim over the past month, on the 50-mm lens. The concept and practice of contemplative photography have been central in our discussions and I’ve really enjoyed the approach.

  9. This is fantastic!!! I couldn’t guess what it was, but it forced me to read all the way through. So, now I’m hooked! Thanks for broadening my horizons today!

  10. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Object | evolvedmindbodyspirit's Blog

  11. My goodness, Sherry, what an unusual and striking image! I couldn’t for the likes of me figure it out…which just goes to show you the strength of our ‘meaning-making’ muscle! It’s a powerful proposition, to simply to take in, without interpreting, figuring out, judging…

    from “Prescription for the Disillusioned”

    Arrive curious, without the armor
    of certainty, the plans and planned
    results of the life you’ve imagined.
    Live the life that chooses you, new
    every breath, every blink of
    your astonished eyes.

    Rebecca del Rio

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