Articles: Philosophy

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The Tao of Nature Photography

The Tao of Landscape Photography is about the recovery and the illumination of the path to creativity.   I say recovery because the way of the Tao is also a recognition that the path was always there.  In this article I explore eight Taoist ideas and how they relate to Landscape and Nature Photography in our own time: (1) Return to Nature; (2) Negative Space; (3) Yin and Yang; (4) Flow "Wu Wei"; (5) The Simple Life is the Best Life; (6) Perception: Is this Life a Dream?; (7) Reality is a Seamless Whole; and (8) Self Understanding.  Understanding the way of the Tao has helped me immensely to grow creatively on my photographic path and I am sure that it has the potential to help you also.


The Way of Zen, Love of Nature and Photography

In this post I introduce Zen as a synthesis of Buddhism and Taoism with a special connection to the Love of Nature.  Many of us Landscape and Nature Photographers have embarked upon our own Way of Zen without necessarily even associating our path with the Way of Zen.   The time we have spent in Nature itself has helped weaken some of our conceptual filters that stand in the way of us realizing our true nature, in other words our Buddha Nature.  Ultimately the path of Zen does not rely upon words or concepts and is something that is grasped at  a more immediate and intuitive level.  Other practices that help us along our way include (1) Daily Walks in Nature, (2) Journaling, (3) Meditation,  (4) Mindfulness, and (5) Photography itself.  All of these will be discussed in this post.  The Way of Zen leads us right to nature itself, where we live in nature and nature in us, no separation.  This adventure of Zen expands our consciousness, making us more aware of our inner world and our relationship to nature which is also the path that brings us freedom to be creative.

Remains of Autumn

Journey to Your Own Walden Pond: Thoreau's Legacy and his Message to a Modern World

In this post I talk about both Walden as a physical place close to Concord Massachusetts, and our own internalized Walden that can be found close to home in the here and now where ever we are. I discuss my twelve takeaways from reading and rereading the book including: (1) Access to Nature is our Birthright; (2) What we Need is a Breath of Fresh Air; (3) Voluntary Simplicity; (4) Daily Practice; (5) Follow the Beat of Your Own Drummer; (6) Solitude: (7) Inward Journey; (8) Be Here Now; (9) Waking Up; (10) Follow Your Dreams; (11) Stay Grounded; and (12) Rebirth. This post is intended for a wide audience, photographers and non-photographers alike, anyone who is drawn to nature.

Let the Light Always Be With You

Mystery: The Holly Grail of Nature  Photography

In this article I explore the realm of mystery and how it can inspire the art and craft of creative nature and landscape photography.    I explore in detail several elements that go into creating and deepening mystery including: (1) Wonder, (2) Imagination, (3) Shadow and Light, (4) Atmosphere, (5) Motion and Blur, (6) Bokeh, (7)Subtraction, (8) Seasonal Transitions, (9) Use of Metaphors, and (10) Transcendence.

River's Bend

Finding your Photographic Vision and the Search for the Authentic Self

Have you ever wondered what it means to find your photographic vision? Do I need to stop shooting iconic sites? Do I need to pursue a different style of taking images: lest say Black and White, Macro, or Telephoto?    This article concludes no!   Finding ones photographic vision has to do with the search for ones authentic self. The emphasis is on the search because for most of us a sense of self is elusive. Just when we see our self come into view it changes much like the atmospheric changes of a foggy landscape. What is going on here! If you occasionally like wandering onto the deep side of exploration give this article  a read!

Pacific Northwest Lighthouse Moods

The Stories we Tell With our Images, With and Without Words

In this blog post I discuss how images without words have the power to impact the viewer at a more visceral and emotional level allowing the viewer to tell their own stories.  I also talk about how words in a narrative can help complement an image in order to tell a story that goes beyond what is implied in the image itself.  The types of stories I tell include the Journal Entry, the Documentary, the Short Story, the Message, the Metaphor, and the Evocation.  The Evocation recognizes that words cannot ultimately describe the mystery of nature and instead uses more poetic language that "like a finger pointing at the moon" expresses some of the mystery of nature without trying to literally name the mystery because that is impossible.

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