Mindfulness and Photography: From Black and White to Colour.
Written by Tori Scott
Photography by Lily Newman
It’s not surprising in 2021 to see people mindlessly taking photos or recording videos with their phones, just for the aspect of sharing them on social media platforms. But what if we took a moment to focus on what we were capturing? What health benefits come from practising the art of photography?
Mindful photography is simply a form of mediation that helps you to re-connect with yourself and nature. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche- Tibetan Buddhist meditation master- introduced contemplative photography, the art of seeing the world through fresh eyes. This ideology is used for riding individuals from confusion and ignorance and instead, liberating its followers.
Other than religious benefits, there are many proven health benefits that comes with practising photography. Taking the time to soak up nature’s goodness, is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Professor Williams says that “mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings we experience” and having this awareness, helps us to notice signs of mental health which makes it easier to deal with the illnesses when you notice it.
Photography can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves, as well as the world around us. It helps us to understand our own interests through the moments we capture, and being regularly exposed to surroundings we admire only improves our well-being. When you’re passionate about capturing the ‘perfect’ shot, as photographers are, you strive to improve your skills, learning from our strengths and weaknesses and making us more resilient individuals. Being creative with documentary photography and exploring unfamiliar landscapes and scenes, allows us to be aware of different ways of living and benefits our understanding of different perspectives.
Now that you know some of the benefits of mindfulness and photography, here is how to get started!
Cameras are very accessible now, whether it’s your phone or a small compact camera. Using your phone allows you to practice daily, mindful photography more easily.
2. Be relaxed and present in the moment: acknowledge how the trees move or the bright colour of the flowers surrounding you. Being mindful allows you to see more clearly, opening your eyes to a whole new world of beautiful nature.
3. Experiment with different angles and perspective. Using different angles, techniques, and perspectives allows you to continually improve your photography skills and photograph the subject the way you want perfectly!
If there is any time to try mindful photography, now’s the time as we push through the last few months of lockdown and enter spring vibes. We are all riding through a wave of emotions and change, so detach yourself for 10-15 minutes, and give mindful photography a go!