Photographic Meditation?

Meditation

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Meditation – a seemingly “new age” type of word that strikes an unhealthy fear of “hippydom” into people everywhere. No, I am not a Krishna offering flowers at an airport. Nor am I saying anything extreme here. Humor me. Let me show you how I see photography as a kind of meditation of sorts.

What is Meditation?

At its basis, meditation is a form of deep relaxation.

I find photography relaxing. Well, not at first I didn’t, but now I do. I think that once you know your camera, equipment, and technique, then you can relax into it. I now shoot for the fun of it – finding new ways to take photos and new ways to excite people.

Being naturally anxious, any form of relaxation is a blessing to me. Since I have found it within my passion, it is even more precious.

The relaxation carries forward long after the shoot. (Just like real meditation.)

Tonight at the Watershed.

A post shared by Lars Lentz (@larslentzphotography) on

In a Zone

While I am photographing nature, I feel I am in a zone where I belong. It is a feeling of effortlessness where any move is okay to make. Any shot is okay to take. The thought is not about the work, but more about the feeling. And once I have the feeling, then the work will follow and it will be good. I know that. I have that relationship with myself and just know it.

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How to Get There

The purpose of this post is not just so I can ramble on about how great I feel. I want to inspire you to take more photos. The more you take, the more it will feel like meditation. At least, that is how it worked for me.

I used to say I was a photographer, but not take many photos at all. In small doses, yes, but not often enough. I was always caught up in not having the right equipment, or not having the right weather, or light, or every other excuse I could think of.

When I realized that I gained real relaxation from photography, I started using it as almost my own private therapy. It became a way to calm my anxious mind and leave the everyday worries behind.

I suggest you could do the same. If you like photography, then try it in this way. Do not look at photography like a chore or something that has to be difficult. Almost all of us have a cellphone now and can take photos at any time. Better yet, get a compact camera and carry it around. Make it a rugged one and you’ll have less fear of losing it or damaging it. You could then shoot in all weather. You would then remove your excuses.

I did this in order to remove all of my excuses (see the camera here [link]). You can use a tough compact camera like I use and get some great results.

My Olympus Tough Camera set-up with rubber protective housing, floating wrist strap, and circular polarizing filter with adapter.

My Olympus Tough Camera set-up with rubber protective housing, floating wrist strap, and circular polarizing filter with adapter.

I have gone snorkeling with my tough little camera, I have gotten it dirty, sandy, I even ran over it with a tractor (on accident). No problem. The thing keeps on going. I clean it up and keep on shooting.

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Where Am I Going With This?

Shoot more. Do more. Feel good about it. Even if what you shoot sucks or turns out poorly. Even if you can’t think of what to shoot. Shoot anything. Enjoy the process. After all, isn’t that what we should do in life as well?

Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it!
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