Photo Meditations in the Garden

story & photos by Linda Wiggen Kraft

Parts of my garden are on sabbatical this year, or should I say this gardener is partially on sabbatical. My front gardens are lovely, the back ones are not. There are large areas of bare scorched earth and neglected weeds. An invasive groundcover (green agepodium) has crept into two large flowerbeds. To get rid of most of it, I took out lots of plants. I now have areas of brown bare blank slate. It is not a pretty site. My veggie garden never got planted, so what is growing is on its own from last year. Cabbage, perennial lemon sorrel, rosemary, chives and the fennel are it.

So how do I see the glass half full instead of empty in this garden? I use my camera as a meditation tool. I can focus on the beauty that is there, instead of focusing on the areas that normally make me cringe.

A camera is a great meditation tool. A camera requires standing still, looking closely and focusing. It helps in the search for beauty and interest that is often hidden in the overwhelm of choices of what to see that surround us.

My photo meditations take place in the freshness of morning. It is cooler and the direct sunlight is still behind the tall trees to the east. A soft light illuminates the garden. I look closely to see the hidden detail that is seldom seen. A macro lens allows the camera to focus within a few inches of whatever is being photographed.

Most digital cameras now have amazing lenses and pixel memory in all price ranges. Photographs that were once the domain of professionals can be easily taken. Last January I got an IPhone, not realizing until recently that I was getting an amazing camera that just happened to be a phone.

My IPhone camera is my recent camera of choice because not only do I always have it with me, I can play with the apps that allow photo manipulation within seconds that would take me hours on Photoshop.

I can take not very exciting photos and turn them into wonderful images with the layers of borders, textures and scratches that my new favorite ScratchCam app allows. There are other apps I haven’t even tried.

I download my photos from my camera cards or email them from my IPhone into my computer. When the details show up on the screen I am in awe. Often I can’t even see the detail with my naked eye, but it shows up when enlarged. I then realize my garden is so full of beauty and wonder that it is perfect and complete just as it is.

Note: To see my photo meditations go to my blog –www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog. Subscribe and an email will be sent to you with a link to each new post.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer, mandala artist, photographer and meditation teacher. Her work can be seen on her website and blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com.