Patrick McCabe

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True Nature Experiences
Since purchasing my first decent SLR camera in 1975 observations and taking time to notice natural scenes, large and small, has enhanced every aspect of my life.
Capturing a moment, one sixtieth of a second, never to be repeated. My mentor Freeman Patterson has told me that your camera lens points both ways. Meaning that when one reviews their photographs the subject is at the same time a personal insight. Further, I believe a glimpse into ones true nature.
Our true nature of mind, its innermost essence. It is hidden, obscured by the mental scurry of our thoughts and emotions.
Realizing the nature of mind is to realize the nature of all things. Landscape and nature play a large role here. When landscape and nature photographers make pictures with our cameras we are reducing the mental chatter of the mind. These moments of creation bring us closer to really connecting with the nature of things and in turn our own true nature.
Taking the time to notice, connect with our creative bent. Leave the chatter behind.
A metaphor often used to compare our true nature, open, free, clarity of awareness and limitless, is the sky and the confusion of the ordinary mind to clouds. Clouds don’t belong to the sky but simply hang there, representing our chattering mind, scattered upon the sky to varying degrees related to the depth of our unawareness or unconsciousness.
The nature of mind is hardly ever written about It plays no part in popular culture.
Yet we all have fleeting glimpses of the existence of the nature of mind or the nature of all things when we are witness to a breathtaking sunset or an ordinary quiet peaceful moment, an insight allowing us in quiet to experience rainfall , wind in the trees or twilight. These moments of peace and bliss happen to us all and stay with us.
We half understand these interludes but modern culture does not supply, but a few of us, with a context or a framework of understanding. And so we scurry off to busy ourselves with so many important distractions burying the solice of that now past moment of connection to the nature of things.
Visual art is a conduit.
The impressive results from our ubiquitous mobile devices has allowed many more than ever before to capture ‘a sixtieth of a second’ moment many times over. However, too often these brief moments lack any real inspection or introspection. Quick self portraits or passing interests are shot from the hip and pass us by as quickly as they were captured.
A more serious and passionate photographer inherently understands design allowing them to collect almost automatically into an acceptable composition the rhythm, light, harmony, a sense of lines and their direction, width, length, intensity and orientation. Over time the results will be pleasing and often rewarding.
Most all of us have at one time expressed interest in a painting, design, sculpture or photograph. Perhaps unable to literally communicate the specifics of our interest but none the less we have taken a moment to consider it.
Artists who have taken pains to portray their subject and are successful to the degree of accuracy they alone are responsible to provide the viewer a static moment of ponderment. Potentially this moment can supply the viewer a mind-less-ness. By contemplating any point of interest the viewer allows their focus to leave all else behind.
These moments are common for those attending the symphony, opera, theatre, and all the other arts. Times to relax the mind, focus on the intrinsic beauty, It is also true for those in the outdoors experiencing the expanse and beauty of nature first hand.
Owning a piece of art, like listening to our favourite piece of music, supplies the luxury of regularly and repeatedly decompressing when contemplating it fully. Herein lies the potential to disengage from the clatter and all the scurry and to connect to peace.
For me this photographic journey continues serving as both a release and nourishment allowing my natural power of observation to capture moments of natural grace. Building a visual library ‘one sixtieth of a second’ at a time.