Practice

 

 

I’m often asked about this ‘exercise in mindfulness’ that I practice daily. What is it about? How did it begin? When and where? And more importantly- how do I continue to do what I do day-after-day?

 

It began with an unlikely pair of domesticated Pekin Ducks that found themselves living in the wild on a small pond not too far from where I live. It was the summer of 2004. Although photography had always been an interest and a passion, it was rekindled when these white ducks miraculously appeared and crossed my path. They quickly became my morning muse, my focus, my reason for once again picking up my camera and looking at the world through its lens. As the greens of summer turned into the rich warm hues of autumn and as those faded into winter whites, I continued to photograph this pair until their disappearance and ultimate sad demise.

 

Funny how ‘endings’ can so often be ‘beginnings’ in disguise. Their disappearance forced me to look at the world around me; to search the everyday ordinary and find the extraordinary in each and every new day. Without them as my guide and muse I had a chance to start once again from the beginning; to seize the opportunity to see the world in a whole new way.

 

As an avid yoga practitioner, I study the power of presence, the strength of acceptance, and the grace of embracing what ‘is’. This ‘practice’ of photographing the world as I see it has become no different than that of stepping on my mat, feeling the ground solidly beneath my feet, opening my heart and my eyes to the world as it unfolds around me. It is a union of body and mind and the click of the shutter’s lens. Day after day, week after week and month after month after that, no matter what the forecasted weather I get up before the sun rise and walk my morning walk. With my camera over my shoulder and in my hand, I ‘practice’recording the world as I see it. I never know in advance what it was I might find. The perfect scene, the perfect moment, the perfect light are allinconsequential and often elusive. There is always something new to see and be seen; something to be captured from a different point-of-view and in a whole new way. The morning light, the weather, the mood, the seasons are ever changing and evolving along with my vision.

 

Looking thru my lens I often find myself totally immersed in the moment and what it has to offer. My ‘practice’ has become a daily reminder that there is hidden magic in the details if we actually stop and breathe and look and listen.

 

Am curious to hear how you do what you do? What inspires and motivates? What gets you up in the morning??? What is your muse? And how do you keep that passion going?

 

Photograph and words courtesy of Honorary Sister / Guest Blogger Marcie Scudder. You can see more of her beautiful work(her practice) on her blog Daily Practice.

Comments

  1. says

    yes i have been following her blog for a while, her work is breathtaking… it’s very nice to get this glimpse into her soul, and she sounds divine, no wonder there’s something so special about her work!

  2. says

    I started trying to photograph my children with the faster shutter response of a DSLR. Once I had this tool, I could look beyond the surface cuteness and see the beautiful things about them, their eyelashes, their toes, and then I was able to capture the way my two children interact with each other. I started noticing all the little, simple, yet beautiful things around me. Holding the camera is like concentrating on my breath. Slow, deliberate. I feel like this post could have been written from my own perspective-I feel so much the same way!

  3. says

    Hello Marcie! What is my muse? I just read a post from one that inspires me greatly! Thank you Marcie for you wonderful talent. I look at your images every day.

  4. says

    It’s so nice to get to know you better, Marcie. I have always admired your work. Right now I’m in a bit of a creative funk, so I’m not sure I can answer your questions, but I’m sure once spring comes, I’ll be feeling more inspired.

  5. says

    "…to search the everyday ordinary and find the extraordinary in each and every new day…"

    That, too, is my muse. There is SO MUCH beauty in the every day, ordinary things we see around us and because we do see it every day we don’t really SEE it. I went around the office at work one day and probably took about 50 photos of stuff around the office. Here is a small sample:

    http://dailyvignette.com/2009/01/25/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know/
    http://dailyvignette.com/2009/01/23/texture-2/
    http://dailyvignette.com/2009/01/22/shades-of-gray-grey/
    http://dailyvignette.com/2009/01/14/curly-ques/

    There is so much beauty in the details.

    Marcie – VERY inspiring post! You go girl!! We think quite a bit alike, you and I. ;)

  6. says

    Oh my. The photos in this post are breathtaking.

    I shoot mostly macro in the mornings when day is drawing me in. I focus on the little things you see when your eyes are just opening. I look for quiet stories, spots of color, soft light and a little bit of magic. I look because I have to, I look because I want to, I look because I can’t help seeing.

    Thank you for sharing your practice, Marcie. Here is some of mine…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8702729@N02/3241664002/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8702729@N02/3240831775/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8702729@N02/3240831723/

  7. says

    Marcie! How wonderful to read what inspires you. I love your photos and now I feel like I know a bit more about your perspective. Very cool. When I photograph…I just let my heart guide me.

  8. says

    Nature is my muse, for the most part, although I am trying to expand beyond the small details to other things. But I love taking a photo with the macro lens, opening it up on the computer, and seeing how it reveals more about a leaf or blossom than I can sometimes see with my naked eye. That is inspiring. Like these aloe blossoms – I seemed to see more of them once I looked at the image.

    http://meadowlarkdays.blogspot.com/2009/01/noticing.html

  9. gina says

    Marcie, I’ve been following your photos for quite awhile through this site….Your work is beautiful! it’s great to "hear your voice" as a guest blogger! Thanks for sharing!

  10. says

    I think you said it best when we ‘force ourselves to look around, searching the everyday ordinary to find the extraordinary.’ It’s there, I just need to be deliberate about seeing – everyday. I spent so many years looking but never really seeing.
    http://flickr.com/photos/laurohunt/2557668670/in/set-72157603642653724/
    http://flickr.com/photos/laurohunt/2993507055/
    http://flickr.com/photos/laurohunt/3236632127/
    Thank you for the reminder we all need to exercise.

  11. says

    I wondered where the title came from! I just read The Inner Tradition of Yoga and learned the meaning of "practice". I loved it.

    Nature inspires me. My puppy inspires me. Beauty inspires me. And there is beauty in everything – we just need to learn to see it. :) [I have a photo of my feet on my yoga mat .. that may take some learning .. tee-hee.]

  12. says

    I am always finding a new muse. Lately it’s been working with textures on my photo’s. But one thing never changes. The desire to produce a photo of a moment in time. I love capturing simple things. But sometimes landscapes jump out at me. It’s so hard to whittle it down to one style..one thing.
    So I keep working at it. And learning from others.
    I’ve always enjoyed your blog marcie. You are so talented. THanks for sharing with us here!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jodyangel/3238646709/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jodyangel/3233474299/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jodyangel/3223309213/

  13. says

    Marcie, thank you for sharing this… Seeing as a photographer is truly different than just seeing, its a learning process that I try to practice everyday.

  14. says

    Marci- That was a beautiful post. I’ve followed your photos for some time and really enjoyed hearing about the ducks that inspired your journey. I also am practicing meditation and focusing on awareness and presence this year. I truly wish I could go for a morning walk every day with my camera. I go for walks mostly on the weekends, but when I do, I too am looking for the "hidden magic in details."

  15. says

    As a frequent follower of Marcie’s photography blog I am acquainted with the beautiful images she shares with her viewers. It was especially enjoyable to read Marcie’s thoughts about her "Daily Practice" and to gain insight into her as a person.

    One additional benefit of Marcie’s guest post is that I’ve now been turned on to "Shutter Sisters!" I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of me. :) I look forward to hanging around here in the future.

  16. says

    Very nice post! Marcie takes incredible nature photography and her photoblog is one of my favorites. Just about everyday I visit I am amazed by the photos! Great to get to read more about the process of the shots.

  17. says

    I liked what you wrote Marcie, specially the fourth paragraph, where you explained how and in which mood you shot, as you see. Very interesting sharing. Thank you.
    SwissCharles

  18. says

    I’ve been following Marcie’s photography for awhile now..am thrilled to see her posting here. She made me wonder what it is that motivates me to do what I do. It’s so different for each and every person.
    My creative work…my ‘art’ is what continues to motivate and challenge and get me up each day. It’s what keeps me going.
    Thank-you for your inspiration.
    http://www.roselle-artwear.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>