The Illusion of the Self

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The existence of a thing that we call ‘self’ has been discussed, investigated and argued about for more than two millennium. Philosophers, Buddhists, Christians, psychologists and biologists all have shared their thoughts and theories. What the ‘self’ is and how an understanding of its influence can support you is intriguing. I am interested not only in the views of those … Read More

12 inches

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“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” – Ansel Adams This is my most often repeated quote. I ask the question, “What is the most important part of the camera?”, a deliberately misleading question, I know. It illicits answers that reveal a technical focus and occasionally compostional awareness. Once in a while someone … Read More

My four (not so) noble truths

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Sometimes life circumstances and events are so challenging, so not what you want that the desire to just sail away to another place, another world, another version of your life is overwhelming. The literal reality is that this is probably not possible. Your commitments, loves and responsibilities may mean that running away to sea (or the equivalent) is just not … Read More

The Unruly Mind

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With mindfulness, as we practice – be it meditation, mindful photography or simply being present with the one thing that we are doing – our present awareness develops. As our present awareness deepens, our understanding and appreciation of the moment has room to expand. In this moment thoughts may arise and we notice how busy our mind is. We practice … Read More

Henri Cartier-Bresson

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“Photography is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis” Henri Cartier Bresson I do love this quote. Not only does it summarise my view of photography beautifully, it has also been an inspiration for my development of a mindful approach to photography. Henri Cartier Bresson was a French photographer who is generally regarded as the … Read More

Shattered

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Sometimes events arrive in our world and all that we know is shattered. Even if we know that nothing is forever we sometimes imagine that it is. Then in a flash it is gone. Loss, often in the form of death, is one such shattering experience that we all live through at some time. I was reminded of this by … Read More

Relieved

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Are you relieved to see a bit of sunshine? If you are UK based then you’re probably expressing delight or misery, dependent upon whether you’re enjoying some well earned rest or working in the heat. It is very warm for the UK. And boy do we let everyone know! I was looking for some inspiration to go with the ‘relieved’ … Read More

What can your dog teach you about mindfulness?

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Monty is a middle aged Bijon Frise. White haired, curious and very friendly. What can a four legged creature teach a two legged one about mindfulness, consciousness and the self? Monty is a creature of the moment. His day is shaped by routine and it is coloured by sensations and experiences. He is a conscious creature, aware of his surroundings … Read More

The last act of your life

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“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I’m not sure where I first came across this, I tend to jot down quotes I like for future reference in a little notebook. This was in there. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century who wrote … Read More

An Ending

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Every ending may be a beginning, but sometimes we find the adaptation to this change beyond comprehension. I was discussing endings and beginnings with my good friend Phil today and he recited a short poem he had learnt on this very topic by Leon Wieseltier, from his book Kaddish. A poem should always be read out loud, so I asked Phil … Read More

Beginnings

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As one door closes another opens. You are familiar with this phrase. Of course often it’s a sop to comfort you when the change was unexpected. Sometimes though it is you who exits and closes the door. That is how it is with me right now. Yesterday I left my part time employment with the Dylan Thomas Centre. I am … Read More

External Reality Internal Resonance

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I have recently changed my camera system. After more than ten years as a Canon DSLR gunslinger I have traded everything in for a Fuji mirrorless system. What’s all that about then? Why choose to make any change? And why choose that change? I am living through a period in my life of great change. I have made some choices, … Read More

Why mindfulness is relevant to photography

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My refocusing of my photography business as an online service that offers self development and enquiry through photography, with Mindful Photography at its heart, has encouraged me to reflect on why I have applied mindfulness to photography. Jon Kabat Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living), who has probably been one of the main catalysts for the growth in popularity of Mindfulness in … Read More

Is vulnerability a strength?

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Vulnerability In our fast moving, success orientated world it may seem that vulnerability is a weakness. Having worked in the vibrant hospitality industry and the results orientated education industry I am familiar with that perception. My travels through the hierarchical world of management, from trainee to senior manager, certainly reinforced that view. Managers who reacted in ‘inappropriately emotional’ ways or had … Read More

Get Creative – Impose Limitations

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On the 25th March I am running a Photography Walkshop titled ‘Creative Limitations’ in Swansea. This post explores a little of the ground that this idea sprung from! If it interests you why not book on, there are still a few places left and it will be a small group ( not more than 10). There will also be cake. … Read More

Life and Photography

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“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams I was looking for inspiration today and came across this fabulous quote by the landscape photographer Ansel Adams. His thought expresses a … Read More

Guest Post – Kim Manley Ort

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Photography and the Web of Connection I spent the summer of 1976 living with my Dad in Windsor, Ontario (Canada), a place I’d never lived before. He’d moved there a few months earlier and was able to get me a job where he worked. My second part-time job that summer was teaching figure skating at the local arena. A few … Read More