Reflecting on Impermanence

I previously posted an article about how to photograph static subjects; however it is worth noting that these subjects that at first appear stationary are in constant motion. It is very easy to overlook these subtle changes. Due to our human tendency to be seeking intense experiences all the time we usually cannot see deeply into the nature of things and we are not able to recognize the impermanence of everything.

When we are in the field photographing, we normally have a fixed idea of what should be happening and a desire for things to be different from what they really are. We spend time and energy doing something that is pointless and we miss the opportunity to see what is in front of us (for example being distracted by wishing for a different quality of light or wishing to capture a particular action that could happen).

Try to be aware of those subtle moments where not much is happening and where our senses experience something neither pleasant nor unpleasant but in between, a neutral experience. It is in this way, when we embrace the change of everything we open our minds to truly observe, recognize and photograph these changes. By doing so, we will help ourselves and others to discern subtlety through our images.

Despite the fact we can apply this method to any genre of photography, generally it is more common to appreciate this exploration in techniques that use smaller spaces to effectively communicate this idea relying on texture, colour, patterns, and tight, exquisite compositions. Usually these photography techniques are best employed in intimate landscape, detailed closed-up and macro photography.

A clear example about the impermanence of constructions are the remains of the Upper Mainland Courtyard where Tintagel Castle lodgings once stood. This area probably contained lodgings for guests and guards of the castle. Garderobes (toilets) survive in the outer wall, which had to be rebuilt several times because of erosion. The remains visible at Tintagel today belong to a 13th-century castle built for the hugely rich and ambitious Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III. Although his castle soon fell into disrepair. The castle has a long association with legends related to King Arthur, Tintagel appear to be as the place of Arthur's conception. The story is told that Arthur's father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin's sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, the husband of Igraine, Arthur's mother. In an earlier period ( in about AD 600) during the Dark Ages people have lived at Tintagel since at least the late Roman period. Between the 5th and 7th centuries a prosperous community was based there, which traded with the Mediterranean world. Archaeologists found building foundations here on a different alignment from the later, medieval castle. It is likely that they were houses, workshops or storerooms, forming part of the Dark Age settlement.

A clear example about the impermanence of constructions are the remains of the Upper Mainland Courtyard where Tintagel Castle lodgings once stood. This area probably contained lodgings for guests and guards of the castle. Garderobes (toilets) survive in the outer wall, which had to be rebuilt several times because of erosion.
The remains visible at Tintagel today belong to a 13th-century castle built for the hugely rich and ambitious Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III. Although his castle soon fell into disrepair. The castle has a long association with legends related to King Arthur, Tintagel appear to be as the place of Arthur’s conception. The story is told that Arthur’s father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin’s sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, the husband of Igraine, Arthur’s mother.
In an earlier period ( in about AD 600) during the Dark Ages people have lived at Tintagel since at least the late Roman period. Between the 5th and 7th centuries a prosperous community was based there, which traded with the Mediterranean world. Archaeologists found building foundations here on a different alignment from the later, medieval castle. It is likely that they were houses, workshops or storerooms, forming part of the Dark Age settlement.

Stone and bones. Err Forest, Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Reflecting on impermanence means knowing that any precious life will not last forever.

Stone and bones. Err Forest, Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Reflecting on impermanence means knowing that any precious life will not last forever.

 

 Astrology Horoscope Zodiac Wheel, Santa Fe, New Mexico. People have tried to forecast changes since time immemorial. For example: The Druids of ancient Britain did have a type of zodiacal "wheel" in which the Moon, or Lunar cycles, were the main focus as opposed to Westernized astrology which focuses on the Sun. Our lives are lived in constant motion and pilgrimage to achieve a higher level of being. This too is part of the Druidic faith in reincarnation and eventual, spiritual, immortality.

Astrology Horoscope Zodiac Wheel, Santa Fe, New Mexico. People have tried to forecast changes since time immemorial.

 

 

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About the Author

Miguel is a freelance photographer and educator based in Brighton, who has travelled taking pictures all round the world. With more than 20 years of experience in photography he has the skills and passion about this craft to share the knowledge, advice and help you need. He teaches beginners, amateurs and professionals. Working at your own level and pace you will benefit from a personalised tuition either in a small group tour or in a one-to-one session. From getting to know how to control your camera’s settings to improving your compositions or to get a new and inspiring approach to your work he will help you to communicate visually in an efficient and enjoyable way through a creative and practical system.

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  1. Gordon McGoochan says:

    As ever, a very thoughtful blog, Miguel. You always make me think about photography in a different way. Thank you.

    • Miguel says:

      Thank you Gordon Mcgoochan . I am glad you find this article interesting and makes you look for new perspectives and inspiration in your photography. Best wishes and light.

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