Saturday 24 November 2012

Seeing Drala Week 3

A late post from last week's Seeing Drala (Week 3) assignment entitled Garden of Impermeance, which was about looking at nature, in its ever changing state.  This was a large topic as there were many elements to think about. 

Grasses on the shoreline - Zen aesthetic

Zen aesthetic images show the simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner.  They are elegant and beautiful.  We can find images in nature that reflect this elegant simplicity. 

Fallen Leaf -Visual Haiku

 Visual Haiku images reflect the changing season, the cycle of life.  Just as in a traditional written Haiku, there is a certain tension that arises.  Something that indicates to the reader that an event has happened.   

Sand dune grass
 This grass just "popped" out at me so I took the shot, simple but quite effective.

I am noticing more things just "popping" out at me these days which is what the course is about, it's about noticing what takes your eye before you put a concept upon it.

These are some images which popped out for me this week but are not part of the assignment.

White berries - not sure what these are!
Afternoon Moon

Tuesday 13 November 2012


“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” — Edith Wharton

Monday 12 November 2012

Seeing Drala - The Ordinary Personal World

So, week 2 assignment in the Seeing Drala programme is all about The Ordinary Personal World.

Julie writes "this ordinary world of ours is actually quite extraordinary.  It might not always seem this way when we stumble out of bed in the morning finding our way to the bathroom or to the kitchen to prepare our coffee or breakfast.  Instead, our ordinary life leaves us feeling rushed or even irritated while we try to make it out of the house on time.  We’re uninterested.  Not curious.  On auto pilot.  How can we truly appreciate being alive if we are missing the seemingly insignificant yet beautiful details of our daily lives."

Week 2 was about  noticing our Ordinary/Personal world.  Exploring our own -often overlooked- personal world and hopefully find the beauty and richness in the oh-so-ordinary. 

Mental Challenges can arise out of this connection to our personal world.  Personal ‘blocks’ about our space, emotional associations (my Mum gave that to me), mental jargon (I really should sweep) and the difficulty some of us have in finding ‘space’ at home.  When photographing this assignment, sometimes the default is to ‘document’ our environment.  For example:  a picture of your bedroom or kitchen or backyard.  In these ‘documentary type’ images it is easy for the viewer to clearly feel the lack of ‘feeling tone’ because they are documentary in nature. “ This is my fridge and look how little food there is in it.” or “Here is my fireplace…I wonder when the last time I swept was.”  The stories begin to arise quite quickly.  Maybe you see your space as cluttered.   This is not always an issue of your environment being cluttered  rather the mind of the photographer being cluttered.  We can photograph a cluttered home in a mindful way, one that honors the space for what it is, rather than attempting to explain or justify it.

So, here are a few snaps from week 2:

Sunlight reflections from my table lamp

Fork and spade resting in the sunlight

Living room sofa catching the sunlight

I am enjoying looking at the world in a simplistic manner (through the lens anyhow!) and it has had an additional benefit in that I am leaning towards the "less is more" approach.  

Sunday 4 November 2012

Seeing Drala

I was lucky enough to earn a free spot on a photography course run by Julie Einstein.  (I'm not sure if she is connected to Albert!)  The course is called Seeing Drala and is a contemplative practice that is focused more on the process of "seeing" than the product (an image).  Seeing Drala focuses on learning how to identify with our perceptions and less about the photographs that we take.

Seeing Drala is seeing things as they are; on the world’s terms, not ours.  We all have ideas and concepts about what is good/bad, pretty/ugly, worthy of photographing/not worthy of photographing.  This contemplative practice helps us learn to appreciate everything that exists without our habitual overlay of concepts.of eyes.  As if you were seeing and experiencing color, light and form (and so much more) for the very first time. The moment we connect with our perceptions, a gap appears in our mind that completely frees us from our habitual thinking.  Nothing else exists except the present moment.

This week we have been asked to focus on colour and notice what colour pops out to us. The course does not allow for any post processing work such as photoshop etc and is very much about allowing simplicity and space into your photos.  So here goes for this week:

A pop of red berries against a very blue November Sky

Sunlight streaming thorugh my front door to illuminate the orange painted porch walls

I liked the simplicty of this, the relationship between the leaf and berry, and their own colours. 

More berries
I devaited slightly with this! I just liked the simplicity of finding a fallen leaf resting on the pavement.