Yesterday I delivered a fabulous mindful photography workshop at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea. Well, I say it was fabulous, it was from my perspective! It felt like I was at home. I was confident with my material and delivery and spoke with clarity and authenticity. The nine participants all seemed to enjoy the experience and it was great to see some familiar faces – attendees from previous workshops and people I have met in Swansea.
I shared my philosophy of developing mindfulness through photography and got the attendees out and about on two key activities. My overarching intention of the morning was to slow people down and tune them into the visual feast. To support this intention I shared the 4 Stage Seeing Practice and designed two activities that limit the choices photography can present.
The first activity was 100 feet/10 Photos. Pretty self explanatory? By limiting the space we have to wander we start to see more that is present. By limiting the number of photos and the time we focus the mind upon the task. As an additional support to encourage an attention to what is seen all the attendees had to turn off their review screens (or cover them up).
This has two effects. Firstly, it means that you either have to use the viewfinder, or if you don’t have one then you have to imagine what the camera is seeing. Secondly, you can’t see what you have taken or how many. So you have to pay attention to the visual and the moment of pressing the shutter. And then you have to remember how many photos you have taken!
At the end of the activity everybody shared 1 or 2 of their favourites and you can view them in the first slideshow on the right. Click on the right hand arrow on the photo to advance through the slideshow.
The second activity included different limitations. There was still a time limit, but this time seeing the screen was allowed. However, only two photos were required and each one had to respond to a phrase, one photo for each. The two phrases were: I am Great and Right Now. And here are their photos in the second slideshow.