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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Why do we like reflections so much? I have many to choose from in my photo library. This is one of my favourites. I took two shots when I saw this. One in landscape format, and one in portrait. I find it hard to choose between them but the portrait one here has a little something extra which is that it reminds me of a playing card. You know how the Jack, Queen and King in a standard set of cards look the same whether they are “the right way up” or “upside down”? Well, this image reminds me of that effect.

I think reflections are something which “catch our attention”. When I see one, I’ll stop, take it in, probably take a photo. So it does two crucial things which make all the difference between drifting through life on autopilot, and living a conscious life.

When we notice something and pause to look more closely we’re activating, what Iain McGilchrist, in The Master and His Emissary, calls “the necessary distance”. This human capacity to make a space allows us to make responses, not just react. When we are on autopilot we are under the influence of our habits and reflexes. We find ourselves experiencing emotions or taking actions which we don’t understand. But when we pause, create the distance between cause and effect, between stimulus and reaction, then we open up the gates to choices, to imagination which can lead to novel solutions to problems or can stimulate us to create works of art and self-expression. This distance cuts the strings which others can deliberately pull, and allows us to re-assert our own values, our own beliefs and to tell our own, unique, individual stories.

There’s something else about this kind of reflection I’m sharing with you today. Half the image is upside down. When we look at the upside down half we are challenged to do two things – to make sense of what we are looking at, and to see the unreflected reality differently because we are engaging more actively. Is that clear? What I’m trying to say is that the reflection stops me, the upside down part of the image challenges me, and between them these two halves combine to make me pause, which gives me the opportunity to become more alert, more aware, and to enjoy the experience of the present moment more fully.

Finally, a photo like this just brings me joy because of the sheer beauty of the image. I hope it brings you some joy today, too.

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Carrying a camera

I’ve posted before about the value of carrying a camera everywhere. I’ve got two cameras (well, three if you count my mobile phone), a Nikon D70 which takes wonderful high quality photos, and a Nikon Coolpix S10. The D70 is BIG. It’s a conscious decision to take it with me, and, usually, I do that when I’m heading out on a photo trip. The little S10 with it’s amazing swivelling zoom lens is in my jacket pocket all the time (just have to remember to move it when I change my jacket!). I find even having the camera in my pocket makes me look at the world differently. I’ve hardly ever taken photos with my mobile phone (probably haven’t rated it as a “real” camera!) but this site by Chase Jarvis has just changed my mind about that!

Take a look for yourself – go to this link here. I find this totally inspirational! I’m amazed that he takes between one and a thousand photos daily with his iphone and I’m even more amazed by the quality of the photography.

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