The Happy Paradox of Photography and Meditation

Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 7:12 am

The Happy Paradox of Photography and Meditation

Arlington, Massachusetts
I raced to get to the pond in Arlington, hoping there would still be some light left when I got there. Luckily, there was about five minutes of great sunlight left, and it left lovely colors on the edge of the clouds, and glowing through to the still surface of the water.
Creating a photograph is like meditation, full of paradoxes that coexist happily. The perfect shot cannot be captured by chasing it into a corner, and yet you must have the persistent drive to do it. You must be open to seeing something unique and special in the current moment, but having a vision for what the perfect shot is will help you to record it.
It is dazzling to me how there is such a dance and flow between these various things. Perhaps the most important thing is to know when to run after a shot and when to back off and let your eyes and camera focus elsewhere, when to envision the end product and when to let the subject tell you what it wants to show, when to be in the moment but stay committed to letting your eye and your equipment be used to portray that thing of beauty.


Monica BiswasMonica Biswas is a photographer and mother living in Belmont, Massachusetts. You can view more of her images that help her connect her “own thoughts, reflections and intentions.”

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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