.

Increase Your Awareness Of Your Environment Through Meditation


Find out more about this image here.
The world is a complex and fast-moving place and we make it more complex and faster every day. The efficient coping mechanisms we have developed to filter and select information to help us to survive and thrive amid an enormous amount of stimulation often get in the way of fully experiencing our environment. Spend some time becoming more aware of the miracles that surrounds you.
Try this meditation.
1               Sit, stand, or move slowly. Do so in a way that you can be undistracted so that you can direct your full attention to your environment.
2               Shift your attention to your vision. Look around you – side-to-side, behind and before you, up and down.
3               Shift your attention to your hearing. Listen to both quiet and loud and near and far sounds.
4               Shift your attention to your sense of smell. Fully experience both pleasant and unpleasant smells.
5               Shift your attention to your sense of touch. Explore the temperature, the air, the ground, the things around you, etc.
6               Become aware of more than one sensation at a time, working to simultaneously integrate them all without prioritizing one over the other.
Simply observe your experiences of your environment. Don’t compare, contrast, evaluate or judge your experiences. Don’t let identifying the things you perceive with labels limit your impressions. If thoughts come to mind, note them and gently let them go. Return your consciousness to your direct experience.
Learn more about meditation with these resources.

13 Quotes On Focus


Find out more about this image here.
Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on focus.
“A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.” — Anonymous
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” — Tony Robbins
“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.” — John Carmack
“Discovering what you really want saves you endless confusion and wasted energy.” — Stuart Wilde
“But when you’re beginning, you should try to focus on something you love and your own way of doing things.” — Jerry Harrison
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” — Brian Tracy
“Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.” — Anil Ambani
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee
Read More

Look Up For A Change – Lucianne Walkowicz


“TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz asks: How often do you see the true beauty of the night sky? At TEDxPhoenix, she shows how light pollution is ruining the extraordinary — and often ignored — experience of seeing directly into space.
Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA’s Kepler mission, studying starspots and “the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares.”
Read 13 Essential Tips For Night & Low Light Photography here.
Learn more about night photography in my digital photography workshops.

How To Find Time For Meditation


Find out more about this image.
You can find time for meditation without changing your schedule. Simply perform your daily activities with your full attention. While you’re doing them, do and think nothing else. (This is much easier said than done. It takes practice!) This is meditation in action!
How much time can you find for this kind of meditation?
Find out by listing the time you spend doing the following activities daily.
____ showering
____ exercising
____ eating alone
____ walking to a place or activity
____ traveling to and from work
____ total
____ Multiply this by 5 to find the number of minutes weekly.
This figure is with weekends off. More time can be found on weekends.
____ Multiply this figure by 50 to find the number of minutes annually.
This figure is with vacations off. More time can be found on vacations.
In addition, there are some times that are easier than others to find moments for meditation.
 
Add these to your totals to find out how much of a difference they can make.
____ Waking up
____ Going to sleep
____ Breaks
____ Waiting (for someone or something) This last one is extraordinary!
What other times can you think to find for meditation?
Even if you choose to meditate in less than half of these cases – that’s a lot of time!
Think of these types of meditation not as a substitute for longer more formal types of meditation but as ways to extend and augment them.

13 Quotes On Curiosity


Find out more about this image here.
Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on curiosity.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”- Ellen Parr
“People say: idle curiosity. The one thing that curiosity cannot be is idle.” ― Leo Rosten
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neale Hurston
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” – William Arthur Ward
“Love is three quarters curiosity.” – Giacomo Casanova
“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens
“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” – Linus Pauling
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”  – Albert Einstein
Read More

Finding The Right Words Can Help You Find Your Way

Arabesque I, White Sands, New Mexico, 2003

 In 2002 I went to White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. I photographed for an evening and a morning, exposing twelve rolls of film. When I returned I found two ‘keepers’ and counted myself lucky. It’s my feeling we’re lucky if one percent of the exposures we make are worth presenting.
This image was much more subtly surreal than many of my other images and didn’t fit neatly into the work I was currently developing. I found it presented a very useful creative challenge to me. Yet I was uncertain how to begin and take steps to resolve it.
I lived with the image in my dining room, looking at it both casually and seriously, several times a day for an extended time. I not only collected my own impressions but also the impressions other people share with me. It felt good when my father commented one day, “That’s a good one. You’ve managed to avoid all the west coast clichés.” But I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. Much later, my father-in-law squinted and asked, “Is that water?” Instantly I knew I had found what I was looking for. I wasn’t photographing grains of sand, I was photographing the waves that moved them.
I returned to White Sands to develop a body of work around this theme. As I moved through the dunes, I constantly returned to the word wave, asking, “How many ways can I make photographs of waves in this environment.” Photographing for the same amount of time and making the same number of exposures I found ten ‘keepers’; the clarity I had found in one word dramatically increased my productivity.
Walking out of the dunes I took shelter in the shade of a park sign that explained how “these dunes move three feet a month”. I had intuitively sensed this and it got into my work. Now my conscious mind had more information to work with and a direction to give it.
While looking at the new set of related images I quickly realized that they related both thematically and formally to another series of images – seascapes in fog, Condensation. This new body of work bridged my desert and seas work. One realization cascaded into another. Waves are a common theme that runs through a majority of my work.
This image reminds me of the power of words. When I first made it, I couldn’t put it into words. Words help me find out more about where I’ve been, where I’m going, and where I want to go. Words helped me understand what I had done and what I wanted to do next. Words helped me understand my life, my work, and myself. Time and time again, I’ve found the power of words to be extremely helpful.
How many ways can putting your experiences into words help you make stronger images?
Find more related images here.
Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

Exporting Images From Lightroom 4 – Julianne Kost


“In this Episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne demonstrates the advantage of setting up presets in Lightroom to simultaneously export images to multiple file types, sizes, compression settings etc. You might find even find this method more powerful than Photoshop’s Image Processor!”
View more Photoshop videos here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

How Long Should I Meditate ?


Find out more about this image.
The question “How long should I meditate?” is a question I urge you only to resolve for a given moment and never finally. The question will serve you much better, better than any single answer, if you consider it and reconsider it, over time.
Most questions that start with the word should limit rather than open options, unnecessarily. In point of fact, this question can be misleading, suggesting that there is an ideal duration for meditation, when if fact developing a sensitivity to what different durations contribute to a continuing practice of meditation is much more useful.
Much has been made of longer forms of meditation while only a little has been made of their shorter counterparts. Longer isn’t better than shorter. They’re just different. Both have a role to play in your life. What that role is, is not something to be prescribed by another, rather it is for you to discover.
The question, “How are longer and shorter forms of meditation different?” is a much more useful starting point.
Shorter forms of meditation are more easily practiced regularly and frequently. Practicing this way consistently can more quickly and deeply establish new patterns of attention and awareness. Many people find the downside of shorter meditation intervals is that it may take more time for the mind to settle down and achieve significant depth in an experience. Keep at it. All you need is practice. When the mind knows that it has only a certain amount of time to accomplish something avoidance, procrastination and distraction are often reduced. You can train your mind to change states much more quickly than you might have expected.
Sometimes necessary for more complex forms of meditation, longer intervals of meditation allow for more repetition of a single practice or comparison between different practices in a single session, enabling more direct comparison and contrast as well as immediate refinement with each new cycle. This may lead to a greater depth of experience. It can also lead to different states of awareness, neither better nor worse, but certainly different. I encourage you to experience many states of awareness so that you can make future choices knowledgeably.
You may find that meditating for certain durations of time comes easier for you than others. This is a useful observation. Follow it with another. Ask yourself, “Why?” If it’s working, go with it. At the same time, I’d encourage you to experiment with other durations that may not come as easily. If you do, you’ll make many other useful observations. And, with practice, you’ll develop a more versatile skill set that will offer you many more opportunities to choose from.
This is key. After you finish meditating, follow up with yourself and make some observations about your experiences. Keeping a journal of your experience often facilitates greater clarity about past experiences and future decisions.
Don’t take my word for it … or anyone else’s – and I mean anyone. Confirm observations made by others with your own.
How does your experience of meditation change with changes in its duration? As you become more fully aware of the differences time brings to meditation, you can choose to meditate for an interval that seems right for the moment. After all, it’s your moment.
Learn more about meditation with these resources.

30 Quotes On Vision


Find out more about this image here.
Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on vision.
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.” – Woodrow Wilson
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” – Stevie Wonder
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller
“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift
“Only those who can see the invisible can accomplish the impossible!” – Patrick Snow
“The best vision is insight.” – Malcolm Forbes
“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” – George Washington Carver
“The man don’t make the vision; the vision makes the man.” – Pastor Yonggi Cho
“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“It takes someone with a vision of the possibilities to attain new levels of experience. Someone with the courage to live his dreams.” – Les Brown
“Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be.” – Adlai E. Stevenson
Read More