Contemplative Photography

An abstract from an interview of Alex Markovich for LIFE AS ART MAGAZINE (Russia) devoted to his exhibition “Contemplative Photography” which was held in Belgorod State Pushkin Library (Russia) in February and March 2018.

Alex Markovich:

I came across the term “Contemplative Photography” in September 2014. In the comments on my other blog a lady from the States said that some of my pictures which had been presented on my site are in the genre which is called Contemplative Photography. Well, that was not something really new as I referred to those pictures as “Haiku Photography”.

I do like the word combination “Contemplative Photography” but I prefer not to place my images into any categories. Even if I do so I say that all pictures we take are “screenshots of the Universe” or “screenshots of our being”. But it’s a totally different subject.

This is my fifth exhibition on “Contemplative Photography”. The first one was held in Belgorod (Russia) in 2015. The second, the third and the fourth ones were held in the United States (two cafes and a yoga center) – I sent the electronic images to my friends, they printed them and put in those places. The pictures keep traveling from place to place and I have no idea where they are now, but I am happy that they had not been put on a dusty shelf.

Speaking in the context of Contemplative Photography most of all I like taking pictures of sunlight on various surfaces. I’ve got over one thousand photos of sunlight taken for the last 6 years. On this exhibition I have presented 24 images. Here are some examples (the exhibition is a mixture of sunlight and pure abstractions):

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On the Internet you can find some good sites which are devoted to Contemplative Photography. The other term they use are Miksang or Miksang Photography. Miksang is a Tibetan word meaning “good eye”.

I know that Contemplative Photography is quite popular in the United States and Canada. There are even schools on Miksang – classes and workshops are held in various places. In Russia I know only one person in Moscow who practices Contemplative Photography and arranges exhibitions.

I don’t want to oppose Miksang to other genres of Photography. I think that Contemplative Photography has a lot to do with spiritual evolution of a person, not just knowing how to hold a camera. It’s a matter of watching… observing… contemplating. Not just seeking for an interesting object but rather being ready when the object, scene or phenomenon would gently call you to have a look at them.

In April 2018 this exhibition will be moved to another library and then in June will travel to another city. So many people will have a chance to find out what “Contemplative Photography” is.