Mindful Photography – week 1 – See (Colour)

I was given a new digital camera for Christmas so thought the best way to move me off auto mode would be to take a course. I need the motivation of some sort of structure and this 10 week on-line one run by Lee Aspland of Potential seems to be ideal. I can work at my own pace, within each week, and go back to the tutorials  whenever I choose.

Firstly I need to absorb the 4 stage seeing practice so it becomes second nature to me; here is my interpretation of the practice.

1) Be in the moment – be aware of the surroundings, what can be heard, seen, smelled, felt. Take a few minutes to absorb them.

2) Walk around, looking but not deliberately framing an image, wait for something to catch you eye then stop.

3) Just be with the experience, don’t force any thoughts, just note what you are thinking.

4) Imagine the image before you take it, how are you going to capture the essence of what captured your eye, do you need to move? Then use the camera – take the image and move on.

The first assignment was colour, Lee suggested to take an hour over it. I’d been thinking about what I could photograph during my walks around the city but realised that maybe I was framing an image too much. Also, when I looked on the website where we have to up load our images to, some of my ideas had already been used.

This morning the sun was out but with promise of rain later so I thought I better get going. As I was walking down the road I was captivated by the neon pink salwar a lady was wearing. I explained to her I needed a photo showing colour and her outfit was perfect. I was concious that I couldn’t spend too much time arranging my image – not an ideal composition.

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I walked on slowly, just looking and being mindful I was in the city and saw a row of bollards with bright red bands. I didn’t want to take lots of images – I want to move away from whittling down 100 pictures to two or three good ones so I spent a little time finding my view point.

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Having seen the green cones with the red bollards it wasn’t long before the green of the recycling bag against the vivid red door begged to be photographed.1see3

Red was in my vision now – I was seeing flashes of it everywhere. The photo of the bicycle lamp was difficult to take as I had to put my camera through the railings and couldn’t see the image on the screen – I was shooting blind.

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The red of the phone box was seductive so had to be recorded , again with a touch of green of the playing fields in the background.

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No great images here – none that would stand up on their own. But I’m pleased that I took only ten, within an hour. I found it difficult to separate ‘being in the moment’ and ‘setting up’ the shot.

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