The Practice of Contemplative Photography -Andy Karr and Michael Wood

blogEntryTopperThis blog does not concern itself normally with 'how to' books on photography because most of them concern themselves with it's technical aspects:- cameras, file formats, which lenses best suit certain subjects in photography, using flash, software, etc etc. That's not to say that the science of photography is not important, it certainly is. It is the means by which expression, creative vision, can be expressed and conveyed. But, to my mind, it should always be the messenger not the message.
A quote by Henri Catier-Bresson used in the book, "Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see .... In any case people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing."
Well The Practice of Contemplative Photography is mostly about seeing and perception.

Here are some chapter headings which will give you an idea of the books approach:-
Photography and Seeing
Art in Everyday Life
Two Ways of Seeing
Synchronising Eye and Mind
Seeing Space
The Practise of Contemplative Photography approaches the 'how to' of seeing. The authors Andy Karr and Michael Wood both come from a Buddhist meditation background, And this experience is applied to the question of seeing and perception.



By developing your visual awareness and sensitivity the authors show that you becomes more engaged in the world around you and begin to see things in a mindful way. Exercises to develop unconditioned seeing, free from conceptions, are included in the book. The bottom line is that if you develop your perception, your eye will find it's subject and recording your vision will become the easy part. You will begin to see the world with fresh eyes.



The photographs by the authors and others, speaks volumes for the approach and the book is a fine collection of perceptual photography in practice.
The publisher is Shambhala Publications.