Mindful photography and a photomarathon – join in!

This week I was invited to take part in a photomarathon – I’d never heard of one!   A friend is doing one in Cardiff soon and wants to train, so we are doing a practice this weekend.
The deal is this, we will have six hours to produce six pictures.  Sounds ok so far!   However, each of these six pictures will have to conform to a different theme that we will be given at 10am.   Since it’s just the two of us, we are actually choosing them ourselves – I am going to do a random book search and look for phrases that jump out at me on Saturday morning (if I do it any sooner, I will start to plan my pictures which I don’t want to do).      Lee is supplying three and I am supplying three and we will order them alternately.
But…. and this is a big but, the pictures must be taken in order, with no processing.  The idea is that at the end of the six hours, I have just six pictures, in order, on my memory card, which I’ll show Lee (and he’ll show me his and no doubt we will have a little discussion about them too!).
I am very excited about this, it challenges the very essence of the way I photograph.  I seldom go out with a subject in mind, I take lots of pictures that appeal to me, I come home and process them (not much, but I do crop into pictures a fair bit, I will sharpen, boost the colours or make them monochrome.)  I won’t be able to do any of that except the monochrome because I have that function on my camera (luckily!).
It’s going to be hard work but I will post the results here on Sunday (if I have recovered sufficiently!).
When Lee does the full photomarathon in June he will have 12 hours to produce 12 pictures!   That is quite a feat.

Stalking my husband on the shores of Portsmouth Harbour!
Stalking my husband on the shores of Portsmouth Harbour

Lee is the mindful photographer who taught me so much in January when I first got a proper camera.  I will, with the restraints of the above rules, endeavor to be taking the pictures mindfully.   This, I interpret as:

  • Going to an area to photograph – usually I do not have a subject in mind, but I might be in a particular mood and want to reflect that.
  • I wander around and soak up the area, I might sit and breathe and relax – I practice mindfulness anyway so it is not too hard for me to zone in and focus on ‘now’.
  • I become aware of the beauty and interest around me.  Things start to catch my eye (Lee calls this ‘receiving’ a picture).
  • I take some pictures.
  • When I am happy that I have captured what it was that appealed to me, I move on.

If you want to know more about mindful photography, I recommend Lee’s site: Photential  or see his twitter stream @Photential – we are still looking for people to join in on Saturday!  (We are not geographically close so we are not doing this together in person, so it doesn’t matter where you are – I’m in Portsmouth and Lee is in Swansea).   Get in touch!
The picture in the header was taken over the weekend in Gosport.   I was walking through an industrial estate to get to a beautiful peaceful beach and this caught my eye…. “Rotation”.   The second picture was actually taken about 50ft from the first.

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