Mindful Photography

pinecone_end

I have been revisiting photography as a mindful activity. I find that taking photos, especially macro photos, is an excellent way to slow down and appreciate the present moment. There is nothing like focusing the lens of a camera on a small detail, realllly close, to help me, well, focus! And the congruency of minimalism and mindfulness is one of the bedrock elements of my minimalist ethos.

pinecone_blossom

There is a giant pine tree in our front yard that bears these interesting cones each autumn. The image, above, looks like a pine cone rose. I have walked by these cones over the years with, admittedly, only a cursory glance at them. It took the act of photographing these cones in various stages of development to get me to stop, breathe, notice and appreciate what was right before my eyes.

This next photograph shows the cone midway through its natural peeling process:

pinecone peeling

I did not realize that pine cones peel away, layer by layer, to release their pine nuts. (BTW, I tried eating these pine nuts.  Big mistake. Very pine-y tasting and bitter, not at all like the delicious pignolia nuts found in groceries).

And here is a picture of the mighty pine tree itself. My macro lens could only capture the center portion of it. I am guessing it is over 60 feet tall:

pine tree

I believe anything that gets us to stop and be mindful of the present moment is to be encouraged and embraced. I feel very fortunate to live in a time where technology (e.g., digital cameras) and creativity can be readily combined to facilitate moments of mindful presence. There is something about the immediacy of being able to see the finished product that only enhances the experience.

What about you? Do you have a creative, mindful activity that helps you become centered and focused?  Or is there an activity you have tried in the past or would like to revisit as a means of getting grounded and centered?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in a comment below.

images: © 2010. Christianna Pierce.

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2 Responses to Mindful Photography

  1. Avatar Anne Marie
    Anne Marie says:

    These photos are absolutely stunning, they turned my gloomy day right around!

    I found your blog through Dusti at Minimalist adventures and I am so excited to have found another vegan/vegetarian blogger! I was wondering if you knew of any resources or information for veganism while breastfeeding. I was a vegan before having my son, and I am currently drinking milk as per my midwife’s advice. I know your kids are older now, but did you stick to veganism while nursing?

    As far as my creative, mindful activity, I practice yoga on a daily basis. Yoga helps me to find my center and a focus for my days. As a mother of a 3 month old, relaxation and finding a balance in all that I do is an extremely important thing. I love settling my son into his nap, lighting some inscense, practicing yoga and then winding down with a nice hot cup of tea and my journal.

    I look forward to following your blog :].

    In Christ,
    Anne Marie

  2. Hi Anne Marie,

    Thank you for your kind words. I’m delighted to meet another vegan 🙂

    I was a vegetarian, not-yet-vegan, when I was nursing my sons (I became vegan just about 1 year ago). It is perfectly safe to nurse as a vegan, as long as you are getting adequate calories and nutrients (especially take note of your intake of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and DHA).

    One of my favorite experts in the field, Brenda Davis, RD, recommends the following for lactating mothers : 2.8 mcg/day Vitamin B12 and 200-300 mg/day DHA. I highly recommend her terrific book, Becoming Vegan, for vegans and anybody else interested in following a more plant-based diet.

    While you did not ask about supplements for your baby, I thought you might also be interested in Brenda’s recommendations:

    “Breast-fed vegan infants should receive a vitamin B12 supplement of at least 0.3 mcg per day from the second week of life until at least 2 years of age, or until such time that enough vitamin B12 is provided by fortified foods…. Most breast-fed vegan infants should be given a vitamin D supplement of 5 mcg [200 IU] (10 mcg per day in northern climates), beginning during the first week of life.”

    I hope this helps. Enjoy this precious time with your sweet little son 🙂