Photography Workshop Anam Cara - soulimages by Katja Liedle Fotografie

Photography Workshop in Ireland 2017: "The Art of Seeing: Mindfulness in Photography" | Anam Cara in Eyeries, 2nd thru 8th September 2017

This workshop will take place on the Beara Peninsula at the wonderful artist retreat Anam Cara. (

To book the workshop and get more information on cost and accomodation contact Sue Booth Forbes at

Photography sometimes can have the effect of removing one from really experiencing nature. Taking a photograph may mean just taking a snapshot - been there, seen that - and trying to reconstruct the experience while watching the photographs back home. However, photography can also be a way to experience our surroundings in a more profound manner, especially when mindfulness becomes part of the photographic process. Also, mindfulness can be seen as a key ingredient of a good photograph. In this workshop we want to address the issues of really observing what we see and experience and use this to make better photographs and at the same time to experience an intimate connection with the natural phenomena that surround us. It is photography as a creative art form and as a means of contemplation and maybe even mediation at the same time.

In the workshop we will talk about composition and the factors that make a photograph a good one like perspective, balance, contrast, forms and colours, but also elements of surprise and challenges to the way we generally look at things. Exploring the wild and beautiful countryside and seascapes of the Beara Peninsula we will put this into action and work on photographic themes like water, sand, rock, landscape and flowers with an approach that includes practices of mindfulness. The focus will be on close-up shots, details and structures but also some landscape photography. You will be able explore more closely your own way of looking at things and expressing yourself while at the same time experiencing a close connection to nature that is thoroughly yours.

Some of the key aspects of mindfulness that we will address during the workshop are • being aware of yourself and your surroundings in the present moment

    • feel, see, hear what is really there

    • welcoming each and every experience that comes your way every day

    • a non-judgmental way of dealing with those experiences

    • trying not to get too attached to things, e.g. lost photo opportunities

    • being gentle with yourself and others

The daily programme will start with a half-hour exercise in mindfulness, mostly sitting, involving among others meditation focussed on breathing or a mental body scan. This is followed by an introduction into the topic(s) of the day, e.g. water, including technical aspects and relevant factors in composition, like lines, direction, colour, but also dealing with the meaning of water as a natural element, its power and the way nature is formed by it. Then we will go out and put what we learned into practice. This can sometimes include walks of up to 5 – 7km. Now and again, there will be short exercises in mindfulness. The evenings – and periods of very bad Irish weather - can be used to review our experiences and the photographs taken during the course.

This workshop is meant for people who are reasonably familiar with the basic workings of their camera as technical aspects will only play a marginal role; the focus is on photographic composition and the introduction of mindfulness into photography. However, most cameras produce pretty good results in “automatic” mode. If you have an SLR or a mirrorless digital camera, that’s perfect, if you have a compact camera, you are limited in what you can do, especially where selective depth of field is concerned but it should still work. If you want to learn about photographic composition and are open to a new approach to photography, this workshop is for you.

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