Beginner Cat Photo Skills

Mindfulness Photography And Your Cat

I came across a small project online that aimed to use some of the guiding thoughts of mindfulness to encourage photography practice. It sounded like a restful concept in these stressful and difficult times, so I took a look and thought you might like to try this relaxing idea. Photography and mindfulness is a new concept to explore.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What is Mindfulness?

Tabby cat relaxing on warm sunny ground
Toulouse – smooth tones and softness (smartphone)

Although some people are quick to dismiss mindfulness as ‘woo woo’ or unhelpful. It forms one part of the meditation practice of millions of people worldwide.

At its most simple, mindfulness is bringing your attention to the present moment; such as noticing sounds or feelings, without labelling them with words like good or wrong. If you meditate this might mean feeling your breath moving in and out of your body. I have not seen a mindfulness photography course but I have seen a couple of books online.

Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately bringing your attention to something in the present moment.

Health Navigator NZ

What Has Mindfulness to do with Photography?

The aim with mindful photography is to create an image that has a calming effect on the viewer. So, grab your camera and head out, or across the room with no agenda and no ideas about what you might photograph, although I am sure there will be a cat in the way somewhere!

The aim is to crate an image that feels serene and calm, and make your viewer feel the same.

Tabby cat on a fence. Light brown fur and grey wood.
Relaxed Cat on Wooden Fence- ISO 200 250mm f 6.3 1/80 (DSLR)

How do I take a Mindful Photograph?

Here are some helpful prompts for a mindful photo:

  1. Think of adjectives, describing words that mean calm to you; like softness, fur, relaxed, smooth. Try for quietness and a peaceful state of mind and incorporate these feelings into your photographs.
  2. Look for a light smooth range of tones nothing too strong or sudden. The range of tones in tabby fur or ginger is a great place to start.
  3. Set aside time for your project. An hour, a quiet morning, whenever you can find some time. Try not to worry about the other distractions in your day and carry over the calm you are nurturing into your photos.
  4. Don’t rush. Slow down and focus on you and your camera working together. Just take photos without expectation. The colour of a cat’s fur, or the contrast in texture between a cat’s paw and a wooden floor.
  5. Unlike last week’s secret iPhone menu post, don’t worry about camera settings this time. Go with your smartphone’s default settings or ‘Auto’ or Av/A on your DSLR. Maybe even try black and white.
  6. Above all, enjoy a relaxed time. If you even take just one photo that says ‘peaceful’ to you, your mindful photography exploration will be a success.

Even if you are not skilled in meditation this is a useful exercise that will absorb a lot of thought and maybe relax you. If you do want to look at meditation then check out one of the free Daily Calm meditations on You Tube.

Have you ever tried an exercise like this? Did you like it, or do you think you might try it?

Landescape Shot of the Makara Coast in New Zealand.
Peaceful Makara Coast, NZ – ISO 100 18 mm F/14 1/125

Mindful Photography Resources

11 thoughts on “Mindfulness Photography And Your Cat”

  1. Excellent post! I love the “mindfulness” photos…I had not realized there was a name to this, but I do love this type of photography,. I tend to do a lot in winter. For some reason fresh snow always brings me peace, especially when I took photos of my FiveSibes in the fresh snow. Just loved those moments! Awesome post! Pinning to share!

    Reply
    • I think in these stressful pressured times being able to incorporate some form of being present is important.

      Reply
  2. Ooohhh, mindfully taking a photo! What a terrific idea! I do meditate every day. Henry often lays next to me while I meditate. I will definitely try this exercise. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  3. Love the photos, Marjorie! The presence of cats always has a calming effect on me, so maybe I can try this sometime. I agree about tabby fur, there are absolutely beautiful ranges of colors on tabby cats. It reminds me of the G. M. Hopkins poem about “dappled things”.

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  4. Great post and wonderful pictures ! It’s very intersting to see how you can link mindfulness and photography. Purrs

    Reply
  5. An excellent post, Marjorie. Awesome pictures too. Mindfulness brings so much to us in our everyday lives, if we let it. We see things differently, and also seeing things for the first time, maybe even see a familiar item in a never before seen light.
    Great to see mindfulness being applied to art.
    ERin

    Reply
  6. Wow, so simple, and yet so complex! But when I walk around to get images of peace with my dogs, it ends up far from peaceful, LOL! Only when they are snoozing, Hah!
    Birds are a better subject for that here, as well as summertime in my garden. Or the snow buildup on my patio furniture.

    Thanks for a great new idea for taking pictures. I do have some unscanned ones from the mid seventies of gees/ducks, and some other from trips to Europe. Nature lends itself to peacefulness.

    Reply
  7. We love your photos, Marjorie!

    Mindfulness photo is the best. I find it is an excellent way to clear my mind and soothe my soul.

    Reply

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