Quick Book Review: “Photography as Meditation” by Torsten Andreas Hoffmann
As someone who has been meditating (almost) every day for the past few years and has also gotten into photography since my retirement a few years ago, I’ve been interested in exploring the possible connection between the two. Both require you to be in the present moment, both require total focus and awareness, and both are most attainable when the mind is free of distracting thoughts. In this book, the author explores an approach to meaningful, creative photography based on Zen philosophy. By engaging in a daily practice of meditation, you will discover what you want to express through your photography, because the sense of meditative calm you achieve helps your own artistic expression. When you create an internal free space to just breathe and exist free of distraction from the outside world, you can get in touch with the source of creativity and produce images that have more depth. That’s the premise of the book, and the author makes a very good case for it, explaining how to accomplish taking better photos using the assistance of meditation. The author points out that there is almost nothing whose existence is based on the present moment than a photograph. When you sink deeply into the present visual moment with your camera, you can shut out the internal dialogue that is constantly running through our heads, distracting our focus. The author’s clear explanation of meditation (the clearest, most easily comprehensible description I’ve ever read), the benefits (both personal and artistic), and the connection to photography was really enlightening. For photographers who are interested in photography as a way to achieve personal growth as well as stellar photos, this book is ideal.