Saturday, April 1, 2017

Take Heart!

It's not going to be All Hasselblad All The Time (although my traffic has blown up around the topic, good god, it's ridiculous).

I'm working my way through a couple of books. Google "Miksang" if you want a preview. It's interesting, and I will have some things to say about it. Hat tip to one John Wilson for the pointer. Also coming up, some detailed commentary on Vivian Maier! My library has acquired a couple of the monographs, which I am spending time with. I don't think my opinion has changed much, but I do need to spend more time and all things are possible. Either way I will have more to say.

So, hang on, gentle reader, hang on!


  1. Nice. I've been working with Nalanda Miksang for a couple of years now, including being able to take a few workshops with one of the authors of "Looking and Seeing", which joins Intermediate Photography as the only two books in my Kindle app. I can't say that Miksang has made a profound difference to my images, but it has been personally useful and provides a different level of seeing. I'll be interested to see your take on it.

  2. OK, so I did google "Miksang"...

    Call me an ageing cynic (actually, don't) but when I see yet another attempt to monetise a spiritual tradition by linking it to the desire of so many to lead a more creative life, I just feel tired. We all have a "good eye"? All children are creative geniuses until squished by school? Follow your dream via our Dream Follower (TM) courses? Please...

    The results speak for themselves: illustrative, stock agency photography in the main, with little or no personality or insight. The photographic workshop can be a transformative experience, but (IMHO) good photography requires the acquisition of a "bad eye", one that is dedicatedly contrarian, resistant to bland formulae, a little wicked, very selfish, and prepared to see what is *not* there, until it has been photographed. That'll be $500, thanks.


  3. Meh, all of these just look like the placeholders on billboards.

  4. Hmm, thanks for this interesting post. After a quick read, a couple of thoughts. I totally agree with your statement that the wheels fell off upon reading that: "The solution, the authors suppose, is to learn to see what is truly there, and only what is truly there, and to photograph that." I actually think that is what Ming does, and in many ways, I think it is a totally acceptable approach to photography. But I certainly don't think it is the only approach to incorporating Buddhist ideas into photography. One of my favorite photographers who, to me, clearly works in the Buddhist tradition is Masao Yamamoto [ ] and his photos are 180 out from depicting only what is truly there.
    I think somewhat related to all this is a TED talk by Phuc Tran I recently heard which addresses the ramifications of the subjunctive which seems to be missing in [some?] oriental languages. This to me explains why there is so much focus on the here and now in Buddhist teaching, because the "could have, would have, should have..." is simply missing from the language.