When this course came up, it was perfect for me because I wanted to visit NYC anyway. This was the perfect excuse. This course is called “Opening the Good Eye” which follows the book “The Practice of Contemplative Photography”, which I read last year and started some of the exercises.
I had a fabulous time in the course and on the streets, but first I’ll show you my favourite street shots.
Contemplative Photography is all about clearing your mind and waiting for Flashes of perception. Not just looking, but seeing. Then we can connect with the truth of the perception, without adding labels or prejudice. See more at miksang.com.
On day 1, the assignment was colour. I roamed the streets of NYC from 42 St all the way to 62 St and Central Park for about 3 hours, just to get a maximum of 15 shots to submit to the instructor. 15 shots were all we were allowed each day. When all of us were back, with our photos submitted to the instructor, he displayed them on a projector, and we had discussions and feedback. This was very important and very informative to get feedback from the other students as well as the instructor. Brian, who was more of a Miksang High Priest than an instructor, was very knowledgeable and was able to convey these principles to us. Here is my entry.
The rest of the class were all very capable photographers, who all had an open mind to Miksang and were there to learn. This class was a lot of fun and there was much humour.
On day 2, we also had a colour assignment, but we had to follow some rules from the book, i.e. Vivid, bold colours, no graffiti or graphic designs, no advertising letters or words, no flowers or nature. I walked all the way to the East River – here are my shots.
Day 3 was about texture, which seems complicated, but we all agreed that texture was everywhere and there was often a challenge to filter it out and focus more on the flash of perception. For these, I walked through Greenwich Village and Soho, down to to Canal St. Very interesting neighbourhoods. Here is my assignment.
While walking around Manhattan, I took a few other shots other than the assignments. These are my attempt at street photography, which is the main reason I wanted to visit NYC in the first place. My goal is to adapt Miksang to my own photography. I think I can do this, but things are really different now (in a good way).
This is the post I made when I was just using the book on my own, but these are in GTA, not NYC.