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Contemplative Photography #3

Contemplative Photography #3

My continuing journey to enter into the depths of myself through the windows of photography.

Ogmore Beach

Ogmore Beach

I see > flags, warnings, markers, a lifeguard rescue board at the ready standing in shallow water that hardly poses a threat; the warnings and rescue share colors, linked together; flags only in the flatland–no danger on the hills beyond? houses afar off–are they the rescuers, or the rescued, or only just observers? A reflection, barely mimicking the original except in color

I feel > Am I in danger? I can see the flags, does their warning apply to me? They seem limiting, so narrow the space between them. Is that the place of greater safety or of harm? Where is the rescuer, surely the board of itself cannot save. The warning is so prominent, dominating the coast; can I enjoy the tranquility despite this ever-present signpost? How many tragedies have occurred here? Many? Any? Are the flags proactive or reactive as they call attention to the need for caution?

I think > What would prompt me to bother entering into the area of warning?–it seems I can see fine from here. Is there something better over there? Am I safer here, or actually at greater risk, farther from the rescue board? I don’t feel fearful or threatened, and perhaps I don’t need to be. Only aware that danger and serenity often inhabit the same spaces.


I welcome you to share your own reflections on this photograph in the comments below, and to peruse my other contemplative pieces and writings.

Contemplative Photography #1

Contemplative Photography #2

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Prayer


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Contemplative Photography #2

Contemplative Photography #2

This is my second occasion of taking 10 minutes just to reflect on a photograph, to consider its content, themes, and message…as suggested by Howard Zehr in The Little Book of Contemplative Photography. (You may wish to click on the photo below to enlarge it in a second window so that you can see more of the detail.)

Dunraven Coastline

Dunraven Coastline

I see > a rocky wasteland hemmed in by sea and cliffs, fortress-like walls, unscaleable; a narrow strip of safety but not of comfort–temporary; 2 people, one in white, miniscule and so far ahead walking in a place of smoothness; a helicopter just entering in–a heavenly observer; beyond, another coast which I could never reach by walking; coastal rocks in lines set like alligator teeth in a protected car park–be careful not to move the wrong way over them!

I feel > if the tide came in, could I be rescued? Would the people turn back? Would the helicopter descend? How much time have I got? Could I run safely over the rocky wasteland and find community and companionship? Across the ocean, I can see for miles and there is nothing; towards the cliffs, I can’t see beyond and there is nothing. Little oases of green along the way–taunting refreshment, discouraged by saltiness.

I think: there is no clear destination for this journey, just a day-to-day survival and wondering. In these circumstances, dreams are hard to come by, but limitations are apparent and help is uncertain. Do I actually want to be down there? One step forward and I will be. But I can’t imagine that the perspective is any better from there, but somehow I know that it is.

These thoughts remind me of a previous blog post: In the Midst.

See also my other posts on contemplative photography.


Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Life, Prayer


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