One of the important concepts in Christine Valters Painter’s 'Eyes of the Heart' is that of the Contemplative walk. I find this both a easy and difficult subject because in some ways you are both clearing your mind and filling it. It’s complementary to ideas making mindfulness moments – in that you become more aware of your surroundings, but doesn’t go as far as a building a state of ‘flow’ because you don’t ‘build the image’ as much as you might if you were making an image normally. Painter has a strong and helpful idea that images are ‘received’. She says (p3) that it’s a two stage process – ‘an active art of image receiving’ and a ‘contemplative stage of open hearted prayer’. Again it’s very much about the process and not the product and allows us to feel God through our creative process and that might take us to places that were not expected.
The images on this page were taken on one such contemplative walk. As I write it’s been frosty here and I’ve been attracted by the shapes and forms of frosted leaves. In these images I see structure and transparency and that links to my ideas of God providing the structure of the world. But the dying nature of them also links to some reading I’ve done on climate change. So my notions of God and my concerns for the world are seen here.
I’ve made these images on my smartphone. These I find are ideal devices to contemplate with, because they are often with us and have an easily accessible screen on which to view the images on return home. Often I see things in these images I hadn’t noticed when taking them so spending time quietly – and asking God to show you things – taking your thoughts on further is a wonderful method of contemplation. How often do we not revisit images we’ve taken!
This approach is great one to experiment with, as you walk
what attracts your attention
is there a significance to that,
how does it link to your faith
and how you understand God from it?
When you sit quietly with the image on your phone - what does that say to you then?
You may also like
One of the key elements of image making are the associations that go with images.
These books have been helpful to me and I would recommend them for further reading. Not all are 'photography books'!
Visio Divina is an ancient form of contemplative prayer linked to seeing God in the world around.
Seeing it Differently
The joy of slower paced photography, is that we can try alternative approaches to see different perspectives
For a while now I’ve become more and more interested is photography as a spiritual tool. This is an introduction to my exploration of this area of spirituality.
In my experience the process of seeing connections isn’t one that you can have a set of instructions to follow, nor is it something that can be trained like a skill.
The Timelessness of a Thin Place
Celtic Christianity is rich in it’s connections to the world and seeing God in that.
Connection to a place, making space through time and making associations are wonderful ways to gain from photography.