Attention & Contemplation Sr. Raphaela

One of the required components of our blog is to furnish pictures to go with our posts. Sometimes I have the photos in mind when I write my post and sometimes, I go looking for some of my photos that might enhance my post.

Capturing images is an intimate engagement with the external world for me. I bought my first digital camera not because I was interested in photography but because I was curious about how I saw beauty. Often times when I was out hiking, I would see a particularly striking tree or boulder or section of a river or all of them intertwined together. I experienced myself marveling at their symbiotic relationship with what is around them.

I always enjoy how sunlight plays into the moment, especially when it creates a mirror image reflection. I often wonder if the image in the photo I just took will ever look exactly the same sometime again or if I have captured a pure un-twin-able moment in the life of that rock, river, or tree.

At first it was simply about capturing what caught my eye. Then, as I went through the digital files of the photos I had taken, I had time to wonder what was it that drew my attention and what did it mean to me.

 Understanding what attracts and seizes my attention is valuable to me. From these images, I learn photo by photo how I am a part of and how I relate to the amazing world around me. The more picture excursions I took and the more entwined with the living world I became, the more its value to me increased. The best part of taking pictures is that it leaves the object of my momentary intimate union unscathed, precisely as I encountered it.

 I still don’t consider myself a photographer, even though my preferred subject type has expanded from primarily nature to nature, nephews, nieces, and nuns. I imagine that photographers immerse themselves in the pure contemplation of the mechanical or digital precision of photography. But for me, it is the open-minded and open-hearted contemplation of capturing images that teaches me most about the art of contemplation and myself.







  • Comment posted by Cindy on January 28, 2024 at 1:35PM (5 months ago)

    Beautiful pictures and thoughts!❤️

    • Comment posted by Raphaela on January 28, 2024 at 10:20PM (5 months ago)

      Thank you, Mom!

  • Comment posted by S. Monika on January 28, 2024 at 12:33PM (5 months ago)

    Beautiful photos. Beautiful reflection on them. Makes me want to take up photography!

    • Comment posted by Raphaela on January 28, 2024 at 10:22PM (5 months ago)

      Thank you, Monika! We could go on a image capturing excursion together, if it was sometime you wanted to do.

  • Comment posted by Anna Peterson on January 27, 2024 at 5:09PM (5 months ago)

    Ah Sr Raphaela, I know this endeavor! Brian literally had to pull me out of Monte’s garden because a was both entranced with every little detail, I loved the peace I felt, and 400 photos weren’t enough

    • Comment posted by Raphaela on January 27, 2024 at 8:34PM (5 months ago)

      I know what you mean, I could never do this with a film camera. Thank God for digital cameras, using and developing over 400 film pictures is expensive!

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