View Full Version : December 2013 photo assignment - Space

11-28-2013, 07:29 PM
Hi guys
it's going to be december soon!
I had an idea for the level 11: we had a presentation at our photo club about Miksang Photography:

Miksang, at its most basic level, is concerned with uncovering the truth of pure perception. We see something vivid and penetrating, and in that moment we can express our perception without making anything up—nothing added, nothing missing. Totally honest about what we see—straight shooting. As we allow ourselves to become more available to the things around us without the biases, filters and formulas often associated with photography, our experience and expression of day-to-day moments becomes more rich and endlessly varied—beyond what we think. One moment. One image. Graceful Appearance.

Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as ‘Good Eye’, and is based on the Shambhala and Dharma Art teachings of the late meditation master, artist, and scholar Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.

‘Good’ here doesn’t mean good as we usually use the word, as in good or bad. Good here means that our mind is uncluttered by preoccupation, relaxed and open. Its innate nature is clear, brilliant, and extremely precise. When steady mind, clear vision and soft heart come together in one single moment, ‘Good Eye’ manifests. It is vision that is inherently pure, unobstructed, unblocked, free of depression, free of aggression, free of interpretation. Free altogether. When we synchronize eye and mind, we abandon all concepts and predispositions and become completely present in the moment. The world becomes a magical display of vivid perception. We can develop the ability to experience and express these experiences precisely through the practice of contemplative photography.

it might be fun to get all 'Zen' with the excitement of the holidays coming

OK Bambi - I think I need an interpreter. I have read the above a few times and am still no wiser.

I think the problem is :

1. I'm male
2. I'm Australian
3. I was formally trained as an accountant and work in engineering

what chance have I got to understand that?

As for level 11 - I think it should be level 23

Other than that it is a good idea

Joking aside - I am prepared to give anything a go, especially as I will soon be in Malaysia and that seems an appropriate place to find my zen

Dude needs a label and more precision on Zen "Just define it for me man!" - LOL!

I'm not against Miksang but I'm also not against trying to capture a smaller portion of it by naming a possible 'aspect' of it. Just the fact that it takes 4-5 lines to attempt to define it (and it's a non English and not a 'concrete' word) might throw some people (males) off
For Simplicity, Maybe we could name the assignment

contemplative photography
being in the moment

Just a thought and Totally okay w/ Miksang if the peeps call for it

This can't be coincidence, Bambi. I just got finished listening to this podcast, The Candid Frame #212 - Julie DuBose (http://ibarionex.net/thecandidframe/2013/11/18/the-candid-frame-212-julie-dubose), the other day. If anyone is interested in more details around Miksang I recommend listening to the podcast since she is a co-founder of The Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography in Boulder, Colorado.

I'm not sure I was convinced (and I try really hard with the artsy stuff) that this makes sense to me. I'm even less convinced that it makes sense FOR me.

All that being said, I'm fine with "contemplative photography" or "being in the moment" as a theme.

I think I'm like Runmonty. I need an interpreter.

I too am male. Must be part Austrailan (just joking) and Engineering (math and sciences) was my forte.

From a little reading, and especially the rules of the agreement to join the Miksang Flickr group, the main thing seems to be no processing, not even cropping, but still creating compelling photographs. I'd be interested in trying that. Although I think that all photographs in some way fit the criteria, since all photographs capture a moment or moments in time. Besides, staying present in the here and now is good practice for everyone I believe.

Had a look at examples of Miksang photography. I understand now from the images. However I still don't understand it from the explanation. To me the 'zen' and "be in the moment' are just red herrings.

I recently did a photo tour with Darwin Wiggett and when we did our assignments the rule was no processing...straight out of camera. We did 2 assignments. One of the assignments was based on an Einstein quote...."Simple...but no simpler than that."
Hey.....that might be a cool assignment!

Fros another level we could do space....whatever you think fits the concept.. figuratively or literally.

From a little reading, and especially the rules of the agreement to join the Miksang Flickr group, the main thing seems to be no processing, not even cropping, but still creating compelling photographs. I'd be interested in trying that. Although I think that all photographs in some way fit the criteria, since all photographs capture a moment or moments in time. Besides, staying present in the here and now is good practice for everyone I believe.

sorry guys, I didn't mean to confuse you all. I was thinking along the lines of MBrager. I thought it might be a way to exerices diff't photography muscles to try anyway. But if it makes more sense to others how about:
'simple photographs conveying a sense of mood/place without no cropping or processing (recognizing that if you shoot raw you will need to do something).

I like C's idea of 'space' too

I am somewhat artsy-farty, have a good understanding of the English language, but I don't really understand the concept either. But what about this no processing thing? I shoot in Raw so am I supposed to present a photo created with Adobe's rather lacklustre colour space or do I shoot in jpg using the the camera adjustments of my choice? If I choose this last option, why is having the camera automatically do the processing for you better than doing it yourself? To me that is tantamount to handing over a roll of expensive film to K-Mart. Or I could process it myself if I was into processing my own roll film or hand it to a professional to work on. O.K I am going to go look at some Miksang now.

Edit, sorry but not impressed. I think I will go with Jay Maisel's non-pretentious school of thought (even with the colourful language) which comes down to cropping in camera, watching your edges,(no unwanted distractions creeping in)paying attention to composition, and looking for gesture.

I also like 'space' for a level 2 suggestion.

Either I'm getting dumber or these assignments are getting harder. Had a look at the definition of space;

The unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur - this is of no help

For Fine Arts.
a. the designed and structured surface of a picture: In Mondrian's later work he organized space in highly complex rhythms. - Interesting abstracts but not sure this is what was meant by the assignment
b .the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. - I kind of like this definition.

How about a definition from here:
Rule of Space in Photography – PictureCorrect (http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/rule-of-space-in-photography/)

That or shoot the stars or moon at night and make it a literal definition...whatever works! :)

Not sure you needed to look up space asnow - everyone on the forum likely knows what space is...... and the interpretation of that concept is wiiiiiide open.

Personally I enjoy concepts that have nearly unlimited ways to interpret them... and I love seeing the creative interpretations in the images people post. Restricting a general theme with too many parameters usually means less people post. There is no wrong interpretation.

But majority rules as usual. So if 'space' doesn't do it for you feel 100% free to suggest something else - we are an easy bunch :)
Suggestion with the most support becomes this month's theme.

Still looking for regular assignment suggestions.

Sorry. Didn't mean to throw a monkey wrench into this idea. Was just tying to narrow down the suggestion.
"and I love seeing the creative interpretations in the images people post" - creativity is not my forte, as you can see from my posted pictures. Its just that assignments that are more defined I find easier and I was just trying to find a way to simplify it. It is a level 2 assignment and should not be easy so please ignore my above comments and leave as is.

most controversial month yet! :laughing: which I like 'cause it means that we're pushing some boundaries.

There are two types of challenges that I see- those of more 'regular' subjects that challenge you to find a creative way to shoot or a more wide open abstract idea that challenges you to think about things a little differently. Not sure I'm explaining it well.

either way I can go with the group decision but it is now December...... :shrug:

JAS- as I said, raw requires some processing but at a very simple basic level.

So perhaps to help simplify things (or make it worse....:cool:) how about this:

"Minimalism'- few elements, could be abstract or not your choice.

Suggestion for Level 1: diptych or triptych, two or three complementary photos.

So how about Diptych for level 1 and space for level 2?

So how about Diptych for level 1 and space for level 2?

sounds good to me

Ok let's go with it then.

But i think Diptychs are more work than 'space' so we'll make that one level 2.

12-02-2013, 09:11 AM
Hi members,

The theme this month is 'space' and you should feel really free to interpret it as you wish and post the images in this thread.

Level 2 assignment is here (http://www.photography.ca/Forums/level-2-photography-assignments/21476-december-2013-level-2-photography-assignment-diptychs.html).

Ok then who will post first?

12-17-2013, 02:22 PM
nobody uploaded any space images yet? people! :)

12-18-2013, 12:51 PM
Ok, since no-one else has posted, I'll go first. I wasn't sure I had anything for this category but then I came across this shot of the moon. It's not a new shot though, that's the only problem but it's something :)18528

12-19-2013, 11:35 PM

12-20-2013, 09:40 AM
Nice interpretive image mbrager - I dig it!

Matt K.
12-20-2013, 07:42 PM
Frozen Space


12-20-2013, 11:44 PM
I like 'em all so far. I've got an idea; we'll see if I get to it. I think December's been busy for everyone this year.

Jim Scrimger
12-21-2013, 10:42 AM

12-21-2013, 02:32 PM
Good interpretations so far. Got an idea, that I hope to get before the end of the month.

12-21-2013, 09:15 PM
Sometimes space is as much how it makes you feel - catching your breath and balance - as distance.


12-22-2013, 07:37 PM
Love all the different variations/interpretations of the word "Space" every individual has shared with us here. Awesome assignment imo.

These two are my versions of what the word space sometimes means to me.

This one is our newly built, off-grid, (unfinished as yet if you notice the lack of porches/decks until spring), home in the woods with lots of room to roam.


This one is not much to look at, but all you see is all ours. Small lake/marsh and a couple islands in the distance. (although not sure how long the islands will remain "our space" with a close friend laying dibs on them)


12-23-2013, 10:24 AM
Lovely ice formations - Mbrager!
Lovely comp and nice use of 'space' Jim.
Q.O. - another nice interpretation.
HBG - I disagree with your opinion of shot 1 - I really like it for it's lovely comp and light. Shot 2 is the type of shot I was going to post but you beat me to it.

12-26-2013, 03:10 PM
Took this one at the beginning of December and finally getting it posted. I think we need more "space" between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/11571053336_3d05f951bc_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdneely/11571053336/)

12-26-2013, 04:26 PM
here's my interpretation
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2815/11229295375_90ced1cb5b_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bambe1964/11229295375/)
chess (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bambe1964/11229295375/) by bambe1964 (http://www.flickr.com/people/bambe1964/), on Flickr

12-28-2013, 12:26 AM
I'm with you, Jason! Especially since where I work, we go right into our annual audit in January. No one gets vacation days during the month, and we're all cranky.

Bambi, love the tones, texture and angle. You've got a winner here.