Friday, 24 October 2014

Umbrellas

Today, it rained for most part of the day. In the afternoon I decided to go outside for a walk in town and photograph people with umbrellas.
six umbrellas
As I went around town I noticed it was not so easy to do that. First of all, people move around all the time and secondly holding a camera and an umbrella myself is a little bit like juggling.
three umbrellas
Then there is the thing that I don't want to take pictures right in the faces of people, so discretion is another ingredient of this craft. 
lots of people in the rain
lots of people in the rain

two girls under a pink umbrella
two girls under a pink umbrella 
see-through raincoat
see-through raincoat
I saw this plastic see-through raincoat and I thought it was charming. The colourful edges really make it happy coat.
couple under a red umbrella
couple under a red umbrella
Here and there people stood still for a short while, then it's easier to aim, focus, relax and hit the release button. 
couple under a lopsided umbrella
couple under a lopsided umbrella 
four-coloured umbrella
four-coloured umbrella
I decided that my Canon Powershot is not up to the task: it takes about 3 long seconds before actually taking the picture and that is too long. By then people have moved to a different position.
three umbrellas
three umbrellas close to the Flower Market
couple under a yellow umbrella
couple under a yellow umbrella
I am going to try this again, but then with my DLSR. I am curious as to what the difference will be.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day III Moments and Visual Haiku: moments and people

little things on the steps
On the third and last day of this workshop our teacher explained that there are three similarities between miksang (photography) and haiku (poetry):
1. Subtle resonance. We come to a more subtle layer in ourselves, our heart resonates with something and our heart becomes also more subtle. Subtiety and heart level are inextricably linked with each other.
thown away orange peels
2. Immens directness. On the second day during writing a haiku we worked with senses which experience direct perceptions. Miksang is also about sense perceptions, the contact with your own body: what do you feel, smell or hear?
perceiving a moment of one of the participants
3. Looking and seeing. Looking is considered a skill aspect: we are looking all day around, looking is a means. In Miksang contemplative photography we are training ourselves in looking in a more open-minded and unbiased way which will lead to seeing (wisdom aspect). Seeing is an experience, which is also imbedded in our language: "I'll believe it when I see it." Insight and heart connection are also part of seeing. A haiku is also about insight, experience and heart connection.
fellow participant drinking tea
The morning of the third day we started walking a block around our teacher's apartment with the same assignment as yesterday: perceiving moments with leaves on sidewalks for just about half an hour. The assignment for the whole morning was perceiving moments with people. It can be quite daunting to do that in the wild, so we started practicing on each other. First as a group and later in pairs.
taking pictures of each other
Above is an impression what it looks like when we were photographing each other. The pictures of the hands are taking when we were split up in twos.
Marielle's hands
Marielle's hands
Annette's hands
Annette's hands
After lunch when we were a bit more comfortable with this field, we spread out either photographing moments with leaves or people.
kite surfer and friend
kite surfer and friend
As I wrote before I am still not in my comfort zone photographing people, especially in the streets. Also, jumping in front of someone with your camera is so not Miksang. I need to feel comfortable looking at people without them thinking I want something of them and secondly still make contact with them from my side to establish that heart connection, that little jump of my heart when I see something that takes my breath away even for a tiny little bit.
footstep filled with sea foam
footstep filled with sea foam
I am afraid it didn't really happen with me, photographing people, but I did see some other moments. You meet moments or you don't and I sort of didn't that afternoon.
a leaf, wetness and scratches
How about you, do see moments during your day?