No matter how often I return to a beach I have explored previously I find something new and exciting to discover. Could it be that looking through the viewfinder of the camera has a vital part in it? Perhaps… When I employ the viewfinder, adjust the focus and sharpness I can omit distractions on the periphery. I regularly surprise myself by what I have discovered by simply slowing down, sometimes closing my eyes before I begin to explore the familiar or unfamiliar surroundings. But I always let the landscape and my intuition guide me.

It has been an active pursuit to trust the process. I reflected on a turning point and came up with the end of November 2011, nearly ten years ago! It began with the discovery of ice formations along the lake shore. All I had to do was get closer to the edge where the water was freezing and voilĂ , I was completely immersed in discoveries I could never dream of. The images I created were the starting point for an exhibition during August 2012.

Fast forward to 2016 and a week-long course on contemplative photography hosted by Haliburton College in Ontario. I was thoroughly hooked on Miksang/Contemplative photography already. During the workshop I discovered haiku composition which led to creating my previous blog. Posting daily images and haikus for 4 1/2 years was a precursor to this blog.

I often get the question: “How often do you practice contemplative or Miksang photography?” And my answer has remained the same: “Every day.” I am committed to the contemplative practice and photography is an activity I can engage in on a daily basis. Does every image turn out the way I want it to? Absolutely not, but every image I frame and attempt to create aids in strengthening my focus, it calms me and helps me manage life’s distractions and negative influences. There are also plenty of attempts that don’t work and I walk away from the image.

When I make the time to visit the beach I know in my heart that I will find inner peace, the photographs I create are secondary and often a surprise to me when I review them at home later. Each image is created in the moment without considering the conventional rules of photography we have all learned when we participated in our “Introduction to Photography” courses. Contemplative photography is about leaving the rules behind and responding to a flash of perception.

Why would I be making the images above? Perhaps I was intrigued by the pebbles left behind in the indentations of the the rocks when the tide went out? Or was it the smooth surfaces? Maybe it was the colouration of the rock? I cannot recall what drew me into make the images two weeks ago. I just know I responded to a flash of perception most likely triggered by an emotion…

Today’s post was all about sharing what brings me a feeling of calm and deep satisfaction while escaping the routine of everyday life and its challenges.

All images were created at Fox Point Beach under the time constraints of the incoming tide. I hope you enjoy them. If you recognize one or the other from a previous post you may have caught a glimpse into my process and motivation.

Warm wishes for a peaceful summer day, Anna

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