How Photography Can Be a Mindful Practice

Looking at the world through the lens on your iPhone? Here are three ways to take better pictures, but more importantly, take a moment to really see what’s in front of you.

You are walking through the wide open spaces of a leafy park on a bright summer day. As you continue, dark clouds gather in the distant sky, moving toward you. You might notice how the light suddenly changes; how the foliage looks darker and the greens look richer; how the many shades of gray in the clouds give them more texture and shape.

Or else you might start worrying about oncoming rain, a spoiled outing, and the likelihood of getting drenched.

There are always two ways we can experience the world: directly or covered over by thoughts.

Photography can o er us a way to get in touch with fresh, direct experience. More often, though, it’s just another blip in the ow of our inner chatter: “I like this.”

“I don’t like that.” “Interesting.” “Boring.” “Not worth shooting at all.” “These things will make a great photograph.” Snap.

But there’s another approach to photography that many people have been discovering over the past few years. Contemplative photography is a meditative practice that invites you into the richness of direct perception. It’s not a technique for making images that look “contemplative” but a method for seeing the world in fresh ways…

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Mindful Staff

Mindful Staff editors work on behalf of Mindful magazine and Mindful.org to write, edit and curate the best insights, information, and inspiration to help us all live more mindfully.

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