Photography & Zenby Stephen Bray
Professor Michael Eldridge, former Head of Post Graduate Studies in Photography at 'The Arts/b>
Photography and Zen is a book about you, the photographer. It's also about awareness and the filters we place upon ourselves. Whilst some might suggest it's about learning to see in a new way, really it's about learning to see with the innocence of childhood.
Professor Michael Eldridge, former Head of Post Graduate Studies in Photography at 'The Arts University' states in the Foreword:
"Stephen Bray writes here a travelogue about his voyage and search for meaning and inspiration. He also explores the relationship between photography and awareness within the context for formal Buddhist philosophy, for the benefit of those wishing to understand how these may be linked. Then, in Part Two, he shares his own experience and sets out some exercises for you to explore.
"He gets lost, gets confounded in dead ends, is led and misled by people he comes across (it seems always by chance or perhaps by destiny) but they don't disappoint him as he knows he is learning from them; always open to new experience and always learning. There is one constant, his camera. It is not just one cherished item. It is a generic camera, an extension of his mind which somehow projects itself through his eye and then through the lens out into the so called world of reality."
The author of the highly regarded book 'Photography and Psychoanalysis' suggests that Zen is the simple realization that self and other are opposite sides of the state of 'being', and as a result photography is to be practiced as a compassionate activity.
In 'Photography and Zen' Stephen Bray explores the relationship between photography and Zen Buddhism pointing to links and inconsistencies. In doing so he constructively demythologises both Zen and Contemplative Photography.
The book is split into two parts. In Part One the author discusses the development of photography and its relationship to present centered awareness, and therefore Zen and Buddhism. If you've read other books of Contemplative Photography but are confused about it's background this book will help you understand what it's all about.
Part Two is concerned with a young man's self-exploration and inquiry through the medium of photography. There are also exercises to help you to retrace his steps.
If you're an experienced photographer yet somewhat dissatisfied with images you're making, or a complete novice seeking to understand how to make images for the first time this book is a great non-technical guide. But if you're simply looking for techniques of image manipulation then this work isn't for you.
Although written for photographers anyone with a camera will gain insight into their true nature, by following the path suggested in part two of this book.
Buy 'Photography and Zen: Discovering Your True Nature Through Photography' today and begin your own journey into self-awareness.
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