Photography as a Spiritual Practice

What if every time that you picked up a camera, you regarded this tool as a mechanism for revealing the inner and outer light around us? How wondrous this black box would become as we viewed the radiant essence of everything and everyone!

This has been my relationship to the camera since age sixteen, and I’ve grown to constantly see the world through the lens of life’s brilliant light.

Think about it….the camera only imprints what is light enough to see, and the most striking pictures are often those that show a beautiful contrast between the shadows and light that weave together a rich tapestry of diversity. This holds true when viewing landscapes, still life and people. What we’re inherently drawn to is viscerally feeling the light emerging from the darkness. Envision a stunning Ansel Adams photograph and you’ll notice the rich shades of contrast between the light and shadow areas that give the image a profound dynamic appeal.

(c) Carl Studna

The practice of photography can serve as a rich vehicle for deepening in our way of seeing, appreciating and revealing this ever-present light show viewing daily through the Divine projector. Given that we inherently are composed of light, we simply are drawn to the light of truth throughout our day. We are literally drawn to the light because that is what and who we are!

The camera equally reveals the inner-light that’s always emerging from all living beings. The more safe and trusting that we feel in front of a camera, the more fully our inner-light shines and is imprinted. When we honor another, theirs and our light amplifies.

In these ways, photography can serve as a most effective form of meditation. As we quiet the mind and allow ourselves to slow down, we’re able to see and feel the more subtle forms of energy that compose our daily experience.

Viewing the world through a camera lens provides the opportunity to select a singular frame and make it important.

Through this practice, we’re able to deepen our appreciation for our ever-changing landscape and place value on what we might not often see due to our conditioned busyness. Deepening in this frame-by-frame awareness allows us to truly feel and reveal the sacred, lifting us from an ordinary to a truly extraordinary life.

The next time you pick up a camera, what will you see?

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About Carl Studna

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