Opening to Seeing, Opening to Being
A Mindful Photography Workshop offered by Janice Lindsay-Hartz, Ph.D., licensed
clinical psychologist, mindfulness meditation teacher, and photographer
On Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 1-5 p.m., I will be holding a Mindful Photography
workshop in north Coconut Grove. The cost of this workshop is $75. In this workshop,
we will alternate between brief (5-10 minute) guided sitting meditation exercises, and
mindful photography exercises. The meditation and photography exercises are
designed to be synergistic and integrative with each other. This workshop will either
introduce you to the practice of mindfulness, or help you to deepen the practice you
already have. Mindfulness involves paying attention, on purpose, fully in the present
moment, with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. Mindfulness
helps us be more fully present and awake for every moment of our lives, including our
moments of seeing the world in a fresh way.
For this workshop, it does not matter whether you are new to photography or are an
advanced photographer, or whether you bring a camera phone, point and shoot or a
DSLR. The focus is on opening to the experience of seeing, through the practice of
photography, as one example of how to bring the flow of mindfulness into your life.
This workshop may help experienced photographers see in new and deeper ways and
bring a fresh perspective to photography, and may help beginners move from simply
taking snapshots to seeing more fully and capturing the experience of seeing with
greater depth. The workshop will not focus on the techniques of using photographic
equipment or post-processing, as there are many available workshops that focus on
that. The focus will be on cultivating seeing and experiencing more fully, openly and
Together we will look at some of the photographs we take, as well as photographs you
already know that move or affect you in some way. This practice will give us a chance
to bring mindfulness to experiencing photographic images, and to deepen our way of
The workshop will take place in one of the oldest Miami neighborhoods in the north of
Coconut Grove. There are a myriad of photographic subjects, from century old Miami
houses, to modern houses, all the normal tropical foliage and flowers of the Grove,
cars, streets, and peacocks. The point of the workshop, however, is not to
concentrate on the photographic subjects but rather to focus on the experience of
seeing, and photographing, and exploring the ways in which creating photographic
images can expand our way of seeing.
You will need to bring some kind of camera, but anything will do. You will be able to get
more out of the workshop if you can bring a way to share 1 or 2 of the photographs you
take with the class. You could simply show images on your phone, or could bring a lap
top with the ability to post and view your images quickly on your own computer.
Alternatively, if you are equipped with a way to email your images or post them online,
we could view them that way. My own computer is available for Internet or email
I also ask (but don’t require) that you bring one image that you like. It could be one of
your own, or a famous image. It could be on an iPad, or a printed out image of
something, or a link to something you have found online, or a page in a book. You can
even email me a link in advance, and I shall have it ready for you. We shall spend
some time exploring the ways in which we mindfully experience a photograph, noticing
how our eyes flow through an image, and whether we are drawn to certain areas of
lightness or darkness, certain colors, certain patterns, forms, or line. We easily tend
to notice the obvious subject matter of an image, but we can be enriched by noticing
the less obvious and more subtle ways in which images are taken in by us and affect
Many people have explored mindful photography. For those who are interested, here
are some links to a variety of different approaches, that will give you a taste of various
possibilities. Matthieu Ricard, a French scientist and Tibetan Buddhist monk who is the
Dali Lama’s French translator and who has written books on mindfulness and
happiness is also a world renowned photographer.
Michael Woods, Julie DuBose and Andy Karr, have developed an approach to
contemplative photography they call Miksang. You can see several galleries of
photographs showing some of the images that emerge from the exercises they
encourage here. Karr and Woods also have written a book called The Practice of
Contemplative Photography: Seeing The World With Fresh Eyes.
Craig Tanner, a well known published and artistic photographer who teaches many
workshops, also offers free online critiques, which give you a taste of mindfully
experiencing a photograph. He then goes beyond that to get into the technicalities of
post-processing, but the first part of his critiques are lovely examples of how he opens
to and experiences a photograph. One such example can be found here. You can also
check his website: The Mindful Eye, where there are more critiques and tutorials.
How to Register: Please call or email me by Wednesday, April 10, 2013 to RSVP.
Phone: 305-662-4127. Email: email@example.com . Once you register, I will send
you the address and directions and further instructions. Spaces are limited, so
register as soon as possible.
Instructor: I am a licensed clinical psychologist and also a mindfulness meditation
teacher. I am a long term meditation practitioner, and have studied under many
mindfulness teachers, including receiving teacher training in Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction (MBSR) from Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., and Saki Santorelli, Ed.D., of the
University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in 2001. I also am an avid amateur
photographer, who has had two pieces accepted into a juried art gallery exhibit at The
Main Street Art Gallery, in Groton, New York, as well as receiving second place,
honorable mention, for one of these pieces. A few other works have been published in
various places. My psychology and mindfulness website is www.drjanhartz.
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