Trip To Florida

PHOENIX, AZ

February 7, 2017 10:07 AM

I’m flying out to FL tomorrow to visit the family for a week. No problems, just a… what do you call a family visit when you just want to see them? Anyway, I doubt I’ll be updating the blog during that time. … Read more…

2016 Photos

The Empty Classroom

The Empty Classroom

PRESCOTT, AZ

January 8, 2017 2:47 PM

Every new year I go through the previous year’s photos. Here are my favorites from 2016.

You may not see it, but I can tell I was distracted by the book. Some good one’s though.

With a couple medical appointments in Cottonwood over the next couple weeks, I’m headed in that direction. Plus I want to shoot some videos for the book in Sedona. With the cooler (colder) weather, I’m hoping Sedona isn’t too crowded (the noise of OHV’s roaring by kind of takes away from the spiritual vibe).

The Filmmaker

Another Accidental Shot

Another Accidental Shot

NEAR EHRENBERG, AZ

January 26, 2016 6:40 PM

I don’t remember this guy’s name. Two weeks ago, he had asked me to sit outside my van at the RTR while he filmed some “B-roll” shots for a movie he was making about people who live out of their cars. After the shot, I was admiring his camera and was showing him mine (unfortunately, his is bigger). … Read more…

Odds and Ends

Wide Angle Test

Wide Angle Test

PHOENIX, AZ

January 3, 2016 4:07 PM

Some things that may or may not interest you:

  • I’ve posted my Favorite Photos of 2015. To see my picks for other years, hover over the Favorite Photos menu option above.
  • I’ve been playing around with my new GoPro Camera that I got for Christmas (thanks Mom!). Not only will I be using it for videos (soon), but it has some interesting features such as time lapse exposures (ala this shot), uber wide-angle lens (above), and remote operation via your smart phone (this shot).
  • I finished the first draft on the Soul Evidence portion of the book. I still have some personal experiences to write about and to summarize the evidence, but I’m through with the self-imposed roadblock.
  • Margaret had an interesting comment on writing and fearWhile my procrastination wasn’t fear-based (nor has it been in years), it definitely used to be, particularly when I was writing Fading Toward Enlightenment, which was my first foray into “confessional spirituality.”
  • I’ll be heading to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous later this week. It will be my first one (though I’ve tried numerous times in the past). If you’ll be attending, stop by and say, “Hi.”

The Videographer Technique

The Stalk

The Stalk

GRASSLANDS NEAR EMPIRE RANCH, AZ

December 6, 2015 2:59 PM

Alain had written that he had had a few, brief “no mind” experiences and was wondering if I had a more effective technique than the vipassana method (meditating while focusing on the breath).

I’ve never liked the hit-or-miss nature of meditation, so I prefer and recommend a more active, hands-on approach. My response is also the technique I use to find subjects to take photos of. … Read more…

What Is Left When There Is No You?

Snapseed Practice

Snapseed Practice

ONTARIO, OR

September 18, 2015 8:51 AM

As I sat in a little local coffeehouse contemplating a route through eastern Oregon, I downloaded and played with Snapseed, an iPhone/iPad app for editing photos (see my first attempt above). One of my fantasies is to wander around the country like Jack Reacher with nothing but the clothes on my back and an iPhone or iPad in my pocket, but I couldn’t figure out how to make good qualities photos… until now. Hmm… I can see the possibilities. … Read more…

Thank-You

The Fading Light

The Fading Light

THIRTY-NINE MILE MOUNTAIN, CO

August 9, 2015 8:47 AM

I looked up from Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything to see the valley awash in the soft, golden light of the setting sun. Grabbing my camera, I hustled down the dirt road to get a clear and unobstructed shot.

Moments later, the sun dropped behind the low hanging clouds and the scene faded to dull, flat shades of grey. … Read more…

See What He Sees

Portrait of a Pine Cone

Portrait of a Pine Cone

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—When I got serious about taking photos, I did what a lot of serious photography students do: I found a photographer whose work I loved and blatantly tried to copy his style.

My hero was Harry Callahan (no, not that Harry Callahan).

But here’s the thing about photography—about any art form for that matter (I include spirituality here): Once you get the theory down—once you’ve learned the techniques—you need to learn how to see.

For a photographer, you need to learn how to see color and shape and texture and negative space. For a musician, you need to learn how to see tone and rhythm and pauses and flow. For the spiritual, you need to learn how to see Love and Light and Emptiness and the Divine.

When I started trying to copy Callahan, I wasn’t trying to copy his technique—I was already well versed in photography theory at that point—no, what I was trying to do was to learn to see how Callahan sees. I wanted to see what Callahan saw before he took those photos.

There’s a saying in Zen that goes something like this, “Don’t try to be like the sages of old, try to see what they saw.”

Once you get your spiritual technique down, try to see through all the mental boundaries. Try to see the music behind it all—the tempo and rhythm and pauses. Try to see the Archetype of Everything.

Once you get the theory down, pull away all self-contraction and open your eyes to the Love and the Light and the Emptiness and the Divine.

And in no time at all, you’ll become one with your art.