Mindfulness and photography (dates to be arranged)

A week-long workshop with Erica to enhance your ability to immerse yourself in the natural environment, sharpen your powers of observation, and exist in the present moment. It will also help you to reflect on how observation interacts with your internal state, and your ability to communicate that to others non-verbally through the visual image.

This course is not about photographic skill, equipment or technique. You will be asked to work with a cameraphone to produce images you can share with others. Working in a group of no more than eight, we will start with an orientation meeting to explain the concept of the workshop followed by a guided tour of the land, to observe its special features and show you the routes (for instance where the stiles and gates are). Then we will split up to spend time alone exploring the land and taking pictures. People are asked to do this separately and without talking, as well as to switch off mobile data and use their phones solely as a visual recording tool. 

After lunch we will resume the group, and each person will be asked to select a few pictures to share with the group, projected onto a screen. The person concerned is asked to remain silent while others give feedback on how each photograph affects them (not an evaluation of whether or not it’s a ‘good’ photograph). 

At the end of feedback from the group, the photographer will share with us how they felt about the subject they photographed, and we will be able to see how the image has worked as a means of communication. There are no ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’ in this exercise, only learning about ourselves in interaction with the environment and each other. 

If people are willing to donate photographs we might assemble them into a portfolio of each workshop, or perhaps hold an exhibition. But apart from being asked to share your pictures with the group, it will be your decision what happens with your photos.

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