Satisfaction and Contemplative Photography

Satisfaction in contemplative photography is very different from satisfaction derived from taking pictures in a conventional way.

Usually, satisfaction comes from emphasizing the product, the content of our seeing. The image that we have produced is what counts most. We have spent a great deal of effort, time and money to develop and hone our technical skills. The pleasure and rewards we get from our achievements are important to us. It is a satisfaction that pleases our ego and makes us proud.

But the situation is quite different when it comes to contemplative photography. Here, the primary commitment is with freeing ourselves from our ego. We are not focused on the outcome or on the capture of a particular image. We are interested and involved in the process of image making. When we land in the present moment, the flash of perception cuts like a laser beam through everything and lights up, for a fraction of a second, what is in front of us. The content is incidental but appears fresh and new. It is a moment of utmost clarity, a moment of unity and wholeness that is highly energizing and satisfying. It is a moment of creativity we would like to have again and again.

If we convey these qualities in our photos, the ordinary around us appears in a different light and becomes extraordinary. This kind of satisfaction is profound and very different from the satisfaction derived from an award winning image. In order to know the difference it is necessary to live these special moments, to experience them from the inside.

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