Discover how digital photography can help you see the world around you more clearly and experience it more deeply. Explore a variety of practices that will open new ways of seeing, grow your Quaker faith, and connect you more closely with yourself, your environment, and your community.
"The hardest thing about photography is learning to see." -- Galen Rowell
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."-- Dorothea Lange
This workshop is intended for both beginning and experienced photographers. Participants will need a digital camera, a working knowledge of their camera, and access to a computer with basic photo editing capabilities (i.e., iPhoto; a laptop is desirable but not essential). Participants will be invited to share in a conversation about their own ways of seeing and about how photography helps them experience the world more deeply and more clearly. Specific topics will include: a) seeing our surroundings with greater awareness, b) developing fresh perceptions of color and texture, c) working creatively with light and shadow, d) discovering simplicity of form and space in our immediate environment, e) aligning heart, eye, and mind when taking a photograph, and f) learning the art of visual discernment. We will also discuss how digital photography relates to our Quaker testimonies and values.
We will begin each day with worship and grounding ourselves in poetry and mindfulness meditation (45 minutes). Then participants will be given specific photographic assignments to complete on campus or at local places of photographic interest (90 minutes). Finally, we will share our experiences and our images and provide positive feedback to each other (45 minutes). Participants may edit their photographs outside of the scheduled workshop time. They will also be encouraged to use evenings and early mornings to take additional photographs and to reflect further on their experience of seeing. If possible, we will display our favorite images where they might be seen by everyone at the Gathering.
I recommend reading before the Gathering "The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes," by Andy Karr and Michael Wood (Shambhala Publications, 2011), and anything by Jon Kabat-Zinn, particularly, "Coming to Our Senses" (Hyperion, 2005).
About the leader :
I am a life-long Quaker and photographer, as well as a language teacher and translator. Several years ago at a workshop on Photography and Spirituality at the Woolman Hill Conference Center in Deerfield, MA, I began to identify myself as a Quaker photographer and to reflect on what that might mean. My workshop at the 2012 Gathering in Rhode Island was transformational, a profoundly meaningful exchange of ideas and images that connected me more deeply to the wider Quaker community and to my Quaker values. A sampling of my photographs can be viewed on my website: www.franklintreephoto.com.