Brenda’s Photo Study: Contemplative Photography I

This is my entry for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Contemplative Photography I, which was posted on June 23.

Brenda started this article with a quote from John F Simon, Jr (Drawing your own Path).

“The object is of secondary importance to how I see the object. …concentrated looking is the way to get past labels and our preconceived ideas of what interests us. Looking slowly and in detail, …gives way to interlocked abstract shapes, energetic textures, ranges of colors, spaces in between things, sharp edges, and soft shadows. This way of seeing objects turns any item into an interesting subject.”

For this photo study, the challenge/exercise is to take 10 photographs in 20 minutes, and before taking each photo, spend two minutes “being with…looking at…contemplating” the object – (your photo subject). (I hope I understand this challenge correctly.)

Now, going back to “Looking slowly and in detail”… my idea was to take photos with a large aperture to create a shallow DOF, so only a small part of the object would be clearly seen in detail at each photo ;-).

The Rock
Long time ago, one of my friends took me to a rock beach that had many of these rocks with “dimples”. I immediately collected 10, 20 of them, planning to take all home. My friend didn’t think I should take any. So I ended up putting all back except 3.

These rocks still fascinate me.

The Exercise
For this exercise, I probably would give myself a “D“ (because I don’t want an “F” ;-). Looking at the rock for 2 minutes was not a problem. I had done that many times in the past. But after looking at it for 2 minutes, I have to take a photo and then look again for another 2 minutes and then take another photo… this, somehow, didn’t work well for me. I think I probably only looked for 30 seconds.

Brenda has some interesting egg photos on her post. I hope you will stop by to read her post, if you haven’t done so.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Brenda’s Photo Study: Contemplative Photography I

  1. Raj says:

    I am not an expert but I see what you are saying. Probably these kinds of shots need a background in a subtle way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Raj. You are probably right. I thought of using a fabric as the background since I can “shape” the fabric in many ways, but at the end, I decided to do it without. I like doing this kind of exercises. No matter if I succeed or not, I always learn something. 😉
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior... says:

    well I think Mother Nature would say you are putting the rocks to great use and so it was a good choice to take 3 (and maybe one more would have been okay) –
    and sounds like you made the process your own but still stayed within the assignment…
    and I like the photos –

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rupali says:

    Very creative Helen. You inspire me with a new perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    I thought these photos were lovely. Looking at all of them together, you definitely attempted shots from different angles and the light falls differently in each shot. I usually like to take my time looking at my photographic subject before making a shot. But sometimes like you I can’t wait that long and am restless or don’t have that long of a time to capture a passing shot. Sometimes you just have to go with what you feel and take that shot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Mabel. I definitely should take more time looking at my subject. It’s one of the many things that I am trying to improve. I think I prefer to spend time looking from all angles first and then take one photo after the other. I need to be more patient 😉
      Have a great day.


      • Mabel Kwong says:

        You have a lot of enthusiasm for the way you take shots, Helen. I also like taking photos one after the other…sometimes you only able to spend time in a place for so long and you just get excited taking photos one after the other 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. loisajay says:

    Helen–I would give you an A! I tend to be a bit impatient….that is a lie. I am very impatient. But sometimes I do wait for the spirit to move me. I love the photos you took. The rocks are fascinating. It must have been hard to reduce 10 to only 3. You did great, Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. You got it — I am not as patient as I would like to be. Ha. I think it has something to do with our working environment or living environment. I remember the first time I went to Paris, after I complained about how slow the waiter served our food, I realized everyone around us was relaxed and taking his time enjoying his food. We were the only ones who couldn’t wait to finish our food so we could get on to our next destination. 😉
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. carol1945 says:

    I love rocks too!! As an exercise for myself, I enlarged the small photos and looked at them one by one, and pondered which one I liked best. It turned out the one in the very middle of your collage. Thanks for taking the time to do the exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Carol. Your comment makes me think… hmm, which photo I like the most? You know what? I can’t decide. The middle one seems a little too balanced for me… (I like your rock photo!!!)
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo says:

    Maybe because you’d already looked at them lots of times before? They are really beautiful, and quite like my cairn stones. (I was good and didn’t take any 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Sure, you just have to tell me that you didn’t take any… Ha ha ha. To be honest, I didn’t know we are not supposed to pick rocks (really, we are not supposed to?) There are many of them, and for some reason, I thought every day some new rocks would be born 😉
      I read on news that one beach (I don’t remember where) has a lot of glass rocks (crystals?) and people were upset with a couple of Chinese tourists, who collected a bag of them to take home. Oops. I think they didn’t know either.
      To keep the record straight, now that I know, I don’t do that any more 😉
      Have a great day.


  8. brenda says:

    These are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

I would love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s