27 Sep Art and Mind – 10 Days in Japan [Part Two]

Source: Fujifilm Insider

We often hear or read the quote, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer”, meaning the creation of great photographs is not dependent on having the latest or most expensive gear but on having a keen eye, an open and inquisitive mind and the artistic skills to turn vision into a reality that is a photograph. After sixteen years as a professional photographer, I can attest this is absolutely true.

That doesn’t mean improved tools don’t make the job easier and open up possibilities that would otherwise be hard to fulfil. There is no doubt I can achieve things with the FUJIFILM X-T2 that would have been practically impossible with a 35mm film camera. But whatever the benefits of technology, the stories we tell – expressed in the photographs we create – always come from within us.

If we believe this to be true, how much time, then, do we spend training ourselves above learning camera skills and techniques? This thought came to mind as I flew north from Honshu towards the island of Hokkaido.

My overpowering observation of Japanese culture is best described as “mindfulness”. It’s the reason I so quickly fell in love with the country. Whether it’s a cleaner, bowing respectfully to the train he’s just swept, or the dignified and purposeful presentation in the return of your credit card by a shop keeper, the Japanese are mindful in everything they do.

Mindfulness teaches us to interpret the automatic flow of our actions and thoughts and intensify our connection with the present moment. In part, mindfulness is awareness. Living mindfully means taking time for contemplation; being touched by objects – the ones we encounter every day and forget because we’ve seen them so often, we no longer see them at all. It means removing the barriers that separate us from our environment and, in so doing, letting it capture and fascinate us to no purpose.…

Art and Mind – 10 Days in Japan [Part Two] posted on Fujifilm Insider on .

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