The object of aesthetical contemplation is not the individual thing, but the Idea in it which is striving to reveal itself. Alex Gray
To contemplate is to focus the attention on something long enough that it generates meaningful insight and appreciation. Photography is an ideal medium for this because, beyond looking, it promotes conscious seeing and creative organization, selecting and directing the focus of attention. What’s more, because the resulting images provide feedback about the photographer, they promote self-awareness and aesthetic development.
The term “Contemplative Photography” has been variously defined and widely adopted by individuals who want to sharpen their perceptive skills in order to see the world more clearly and experience life more fully. Following the advice that “God is in the details,” images approached in this manner tend toward simplicity. They have a Zen-like quality.
This is true of my images. But I have and continue to engage in the photographic process for somewhat different reasons. Primarily, my approach has to do with the waves of love, appreciation and gratitude that frequently and powerfully sweep over me. The aesthetic ordering of light, geometry and subject—as attempts to meet love with love—scratch that itch. Also, the process of making and reflecting upon images, particularly those that are evocative, feeds my soul. As with so many photographers, mine has been a spiritual journey, a way to deepen my appreciation for being in order to more closely approach the Great Mystery. In elementary school the nuns said, “If you want to know the Creator, know the creation.”
Below is a list of topics in order of appearance. To view them scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on “Uncategorized.” That will display about ten more posts. Click on the titles to open them. To view even earlier posts, click on “Older Posts” to reveal another ten. More are available after that—and after that. Here are the themes as of September, 2015
Reflection / Part-Whole Relationships / Influence / Expansion / History / Multiple Realities / Construction / Web of Communication / Radiance / Coalescence / Roots / Confidence / Context & Order / Immensity / The Evolutionary Spiral / Cultivation / Subtle Attraction / Knowledge / Order and Coherence / Presence & Present Moment / Nations & Nature / Entropy / Knowledge and Imagination / Stewardship / The Flowering of Our Humanity / Equanimity / Bounty & Beauty / Collaboration / Tranquility / Electric Power / Purpose / Nature’s Design Principles / Everyday Beauty / Models & Modeling / Form and Function / Vibration, Resonance, Synergy / Branching / As Above, So Below / Growth as a Spiral / The Ladder of Success / Serenity / Gratitude / Symmetry / Authenticity / Emergence / Winter Solstice—Renewal / Merry Christmas / Silence / History / Light and Shadow / Feather In Rock / Identity / Home / Work / Joy / Hope / Faith / Love / Transition / Flow / Perspective / Equifinality / Particularity / Attention / Perception / Continuity / Enrichment / Abundance / Change / Appreciation 1 / Car Show / A Celebration of Spheres / Space: Nowhere Is It Empty / Atmosphere / Maize / The Shaker Aesthetic / Magic Hour in Ohio / Graphic Images / Nautica / Linda’s Garden / The Railroad Yard / Guatemala / Transition
© Copyright, David L. Smith, 2014. The images and the associated contemplations on this site are protected against any and all commercial and promotional use without the permission of the author.
However, permission is granted for individuals to download the images and print them for private, personal use.