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The Buddha Behind the Camera

One may wonder what, if anything, Buddhism or any other spiritual path has to do with photography. I readily admit that for some, this paradigm of thinking may not exist in their photographic experiences, however, it is resolute in mine.

It all comes down to clear seeing and living in the present moment. Two aspects that resonate with me both spiritual and artistically.

One of the greatest elements for me as a photographer is the understanding that with each image I photograph I am, in a real way stopping time.... or at the very least.... isolating a moment. The main idea of meditation is to stay grounded and focused in the present moment through the in breath and out breath, and certainly photography is a wonderful vehicle for slowing down, breathing deeply and concentrating solely on the "now."

The natural world and its construct is a very important element on the Buddhist journey. The most powerful moments I experience as a photographer are when I am in nature, be it a forest, a beach and/or ocean, or find myself walking through the mountains of Alaska, Idaho or Utah, which I have done in the last year. I am thankful I live in Southeast Texas, as I have unlimited access to wetlands, forests, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico. It never ceases to amaze me how much of my ego simply dissolves when I connect with nature.

Many of my more notable influences possessed a very Buddhist (Zen), and Taoist nature to their work. Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston, are synonymous with the development of photographic art. And, although Buddhism was relatively obscure in the West at the time that these photographers were at their pinnacle, all of them embodied a Buddhist spirit in their work. It is unifying, it joins not only the artist creating, but also the individual viewing together in a balanced equanimity that transcends time and space.

I encourage you to look even deeper, clearer and more poignantly at your subject matter the next time you pick up your camera. It is a wonderful opportunity to become that which you seek. When you are firmly in the moment, see your subject with unmistakable clarity and breath deeply, then you indeed become the Buddha behind the camera.

Grab a camera and tell a Story!!!!


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