Miksang! (long but intersting? post)

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by K_Pugh, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Anyone ever heard of this type of photography? or practice it?. I find it fascinating and i feel i can totally relate to it - perhaps not on a photographic outcome level recently as opposed to a frame of mind (or lack of) and the simplicity and feeling of the image i have in my mind.

    I was just discussing with someone, a non-photographer, but someone who has an appreciation for such things and all things artistic, creative and reflective about the use of photography and what photographers gain from their work, and why they do it... We agreed that the technical aspects and textbook rules obviously have their meaning and are tools but the real aspect of photography (or photograph that interests us) is feeling and representation on a level whether it's unaltered or an insight on the photographer taking the photograph, his/her feelings, relationship, distance, or other on the subject (or no subject for that matter) whether it's technically correct or not.

    Then i immediately discovered Miksang without actually looking for it, well, since i've picked up a camera again i have been looking for a field that interests me and means something to me other than a technical exercise. Street photography interests me greatly and i have attempted it and will continue doing so but i was also after something else to fit along with this.

    Link to Miksang Website


    "What is Miksang Contemplative Photography?

    Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as ‘Good Eye’, and is based on the Shambhala and Dharma Art teachings of the late meditation master, artist, and scholar Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.
    ‘Good’ here doesn’t mean good as we usually use the word, as in good or bad. Good here means that our mind is uncluttered by preoccupation, relaxed and open. Its innate nature is clear, brilliant, and extremely precise. When steady mind, clear vision and soft heart come together in one single moment, ‘Good Eye’ manifests. It is vision that is inherently pure, unobstructed, unblocked, free of depression, free of aggression, free of interpretation. Free altogether. When we synchronize eye and mind, we abandon all concepts and predispositions and become completely present in the moment. The world becomes a magical display of vivid perception. We can develop the ability to experience and express these experiences precisely through the practice of contemplative photography
    Miksang, at its most basic level, is concerned with uncovering the truth of pure perception. We see something vivid and penetrating, and in that moment we can express our perception without making anything up—nothing added, nothing missing. Totally honest about what we see—straight shooting. As we allow ourselves to become more available to the things around us without the biases, filters and formulas often associated with photography, our experience and expression of day-to-day moments becomes more rich and endlessly varied—beyond what we think. One moment, one shot. Graceful Appearance."





    As i said earlier a lot of my photographs that i liked most from my days of my D70 were shots that technically may not have been to the book; most of the shots i preferred sometimes had no immediate subject but they portrayed my thinking, feeling, perception in its simplest form at that moment, and that's where i gain most from photography.

    I've always been open to my surroundings and people around me, i guess we all are to an extent. I've also always been one for looking for the ordinary in the ordinary, if you know what i mean, a lot of ordinary objects and life vastly goes unnoticed from day to day. I've also been into self-hypnosis etc and that loosely related to the 'still mind' of meditation. I guess i've been looking for or unintentionally conditioning myself for Miksang all along, or it's just one of those things that you totally relate to. It's all a matter of timing.

    I'll try to dig out some of my old photographs i was talking about, i can remember one in particular that stood out and i understand it more after reading about this - so you can see why i'm excited about it lol.


    If you've visited the site and some of the galleries you can easily sense what the photographer was all about when taking the photograph, yet if you were to look at them on a technical POV you'd dismiss some of them as being a snapshot.

    I'm sure there was another point i was going to make but i'll leave it for just now.

    Miksang, anyone? i'd be interested to hear other peoples opinions and views on it, and if anyone actually does it, and if it relates to anyone else's work, or makes them realise why they took a certain shot, or why a certain shot works for them..

    wow, sorry if i gibbered on.. i'm not the most articulate writer!



    *edit* (found that photo i was thinking about)

    [​IMG]

    contemplative.
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Fascinating! I plan on reading and studying all about it. The galleries are quite an inspiration. Love your photo.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. DZX

    DZX TPF Noob!

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    Seems very interesting. I would like to take some photos like that sometime.
     
  4. Thanks for this, quite interesting.
     
  5. TheLostPhotographer

    TheLostPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    New word for an old art?

    Personally, I don't buy it. Most of the photographs on the site linked to are totally shallow and meaningless. Purely graphic with no substance. However, I like the theory and it's very similar to my own approach to photography. I once shot a whole series called 'Contemplar' that many people called photographs of nothing :mrgreen:

    Here's one example:

    http://www.freewebtown.com/johncolley/gracias/LivingColour/large/067.jpg


    I need a good couple of hours at least experiencing a place before I decide what to photograph. Even then I'm not sure why I made the choice I did. It's the post photographing analysis that appeals most to me.

    One of my favourite photographers is Thomas Struth. I think he uses a similar approach. If an established theory can be applied then it is the laws of Gestalt - very influential on the German Bauhaus movement and consequently on the German art photography practice taught to Thomas Struth (and many others) by Bernd and Hilla Becher. Well worth Googling Gestalt theories on visual perception for ideas about this approach to photography and why it works (for some).

    Interesting thread. Just that it has actually been discussed for as long as photography has been accepted as an art form.


    e2a; Ooops! Big pic changed to a link. Sorry.

    P.S. Love the car window shot. Think we've all been there at sometime.
     
  6. That's a great image, TheLostPhotographer. I would love to see a large print of that.
     
  7. TheLostPhotographer

    TheLostPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. The exhibition print is actually 10" x 14" (actual image area) on 20" x 16" paper. Shot on Konica Impressa 50 (sadly no longer available 35mm film). The shot needs to be given time to get where I'm coming from. Not everyones' cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination, but it works for me. Nice to get appreciative feedback from others - makes me feel a little more sane ;)
     
  8. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've got to admit that when i first viewed some of the photos the idea that it was just an excuse to make a snapshot seems a little less meaningless had crossed my mind.

    As you say though the idea behind it is what is really interesting. It's the same idea that really motivates me to take a photo of anything, at the root of it. Although where as Miksang photographs have that nothingness look about them most of the photographs i tend to take atleast try to encapsulate a subject even though the method behind it is fairly similar.

    It's just good to be able to put a name to the approach, for recognition that it's not just a snapshot and does indeed have something to it.

    Like your image, too. It does draw you in the longer you look at it. I can pretty much sense where you're coming from with it.. would like to see more from your Contemplar series. (and i might even rob you of your series idea as it's a good one)
     

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