Nowadays everyone is taking pictures. About 4,000 photos are taken every second in the U.S., four times as many as a decade ago. And this is part of a worldwide trend. People all over the world are sharing their photos via social media. Our pictures are all over our computers, our phones, and our walls.
Those of us on a spiritual path find it easy to honor and appreciate photography as a way of seeing the world with fresh eyes. That's why we have decided to have reviews, features, and galleries devoted to photography on Spirituality & Practice.
Here are a few reasons, supported by quotes from photographers, why we welcome photographs along our spiritual path.
- Photography draws out and exercises our ability to see.
"The meaning of life is to see."
— Hui Neng
- Photography trains our attention on the awesome in the ordinary.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in
— Henry Miller
- Photography reminds us that we live in a multi-dimensional, wonder-full, and sense-luscious world.
"In photography the smallest thing can be a good subject."
— Henri Cartier—Bresson
- Photography brings all things together.
"In the act of deeply seeing, we transcend the boundaries between the self and the otherness of the world, momentarily merging with the thing seen."
— Alex Grey
- Photography honors diversity but also reveals the underlying unity of life.
"We are all one, birds, plants, animals, minerals — we are all different manifestations of the same essential energy."
— Alejandro Lerner
- Photography draws out our compassion as it conveys the horrors of war, ethnic hatred, and endless cycles of violence.
"The strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke a sense of humanity. If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war and if it is used well, it can be a powerful ingredient in the antidote to war."
— James Nachtwey
- Photography encourages us to be spontaneous.
"I've never pursued anything. I just let things pursue me . . . they just show up . . . this is the way I've led my life . . . in photography."
— Manuel Alvarez Bravo
- Photography challenges us to make the most of those moments that matter to us.
"In all my photographic work, my aim was to achieve the honesty of the form, to be true to the thing itself . . . My satisfaction came from the wonder of being able to capture moments that matter to me."
— Dorothy Norman
- Photography points the way into the future.
"We think of photographs as the captured past. But some photographs are like DNA. In them you read your whole future."
— Ann Michaels
- Photography respects the mystery of people, places, and things and in doing so, paves the way for a reverence for life.
"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
— Diane Arbus