Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 73

Thread: Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

  1. #1

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    Zen of Creativity chapter 8
    The Artless Arts
    The Zen Aesthetic

    [W]hen thought is in bondage, the truth is hidden...Master Jianzhi Sengcan

    This line from Master Sengcan for me, sums up what this chapter is about.
    In Chapter 8 John Daido Loori summarizes the components present in Zen art which generate from our zazen practice.

    -No mind: this concept includes no expectation, following no rules, and a sparse aesthetic. A vital aspect of no mind is the moment the artistic act creates the alive relationship between the form, the medium and the artist. JDL asks how we can translate this into how we live our lives.
    -No rank or ordinariness: this is reflected in the lack of extraneous-ness or superfluity of effort. Work is mature and seasoned. And experiencing the awe of the endless and infinite nature of creativity.
    -Playfulness: the wonder of it all and the fun and magic of creativity expressed in beauty.

    And finally, JDL explains the quality of suchness. Which he defines as the very nature of life itself. But ineffable.

    In the classic book The Unknown Craftsman A Japanese Insight into Beauty (1972) Soetsu Yanagi’s offers his insight into the beauty of Zen art:

    ‘Let us look at a beautiful piece of pottery. Its provenance does not concern us. If the article is beautiful, we may say that it has achieved Buddhahood, for it is not man alone that may become a Buddha. A beautiful artifact may be defined as one that reposes peacefully where it aspires to be. A man [or woman] who achieves Buddhahood has entered the realm that lies beyond duality; by the same token, beauty is that which has been liberated-or freed-from duality.’

    He goes on to make clear what the term beautiful means:
    'True beauty exists in the realm where there is no distinction between the beautiful and the ugly, a realm that is described as ‘prior to beauty and ugliness; or as a state where beauty and ugliness are as yet unseparated’…

    And a quote he attributes to the Buddha:
    'If in the land of the Buddha there remains the distinction between the beautiful and the ugly, I do not desire to be a Buddha in such a land.'

    These are provocative statements about the beautiful in art. Any thoughts?
    Does your zazen practice help your creativity by instilling the traits JDL mentions in your artmaking? How do you understand suchness?
    It seems to me that once we can make art from this pure, still, mindless place suchness will necessarily be part of the result. Art is then not separate from the artist and yet completely separate.

    And now a word from Meitou!

    Hello everyone and welcome to Prompt 8.

    'Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler' Albert Einstein.

    In this chapter John Daido Loori talks about the simplicity of expression in the Zen aesthetic, even though it could be argued that this simplicity contains within itself an unknowable depth and complexity.
    He explains the idea of no-rank, aesthetically an ideal of beauty in which 'sensuousness disappears and in its place surfaces a poverty in which there is nothing superfluous.'

    Moving forward from that, JDL gives us a wonderful teaching on 'suchness' or 'thusness', an expression used in Zen 'to suggest the ineffable.' He describes suchness as referring to the 'that', 'what' or 'it' that is self evident. 'It is essentially being as it is, the all inclusive reality that is manifested as a sense of presence.'
    He goes on to say that this suchness, this sense of presence can be sensed in Muchi's ''Persimmons'', a beautiful rendition of six persimmons, all different, positioned in a line within a painting that has no contextual background. Just as they are. And again in Joyce Carol Oates' poem ''That''.

    In the following chapters JDL will show us how these concepts relate to the various Zen arts, but for now I would like you to experiment with ways of expressing the suchness of something. This could be through photography, painting or drawing, video, poetry or prose, sculpture, music. Look at the examples in this chapter – the quotes, the poetry, the brush work – and think about how you might approach this prompt, remembering also the concept of no-rank – that lack of superfluous decoration which strips something right back to its suchness, its mysterious self. In prompt 5 we looked at expressing something for what else it is, or could be seen to be. Now we are attempting the exact opposite, expressing the presence of something, its being, all of its imperfect perfection, just as it is.

    Have fun!

    Gassho

    Anne and Meitou

    we both sat today.

    A note from us both: Because we are in Ango, we will be posting less often, to allow time for everyone to do all the readings.

  2. #2
    Thank you Anne.

    Six Persimmons Mu qi ( also knows as Muchi)
    I was very happy to see such a large reproduction of this in the book; all of those online are tiny for some reason.


    six persimmons mu qi.jpg


    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    I love that painting...
    I love working in black and white in general.
    Gassho

    Sat today, lah.
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    I love that painting...
    I love working in black and white in general.
    Gassho

    Sat today, lah.
    It's one of my favourites too Geika, just so perfect in its simplicity. I do a lot of black and white work, especially photography, it really speaks to me.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    It's one of my favourites too Geika, just so perfect in its simplicity. I do a lot of black and white work, especially photography, it really speaks to me.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    I love your black and white photography!

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  6. #6
    Meitou and everyone...

    Geika, I am with you. Meitou's b & w photos are stunning...

    Yes there is something extraordinary about that persimmon painting. The simplicity and the perfect composition makes it so soothing and refreshing and certainly says 'persimmon'!

    I have a painter friend here who is a Renzai buddhist monk/teacher. https://www.susanmyoonlinnell.org/home-c199t Of all the artists I know I think Susan comes closest to being able to express 'suchness' in her art. She spent months practicing painting an enso for her teacher Harada roshi (http://onedropzen.org/community/usa/tahoma_sogenji) as part of her Zen training.
    1 of 9 1_2019 Installation 9Moon2 (003).jpeg She did a series of 9 monoprints of the moon and attached is a Zen koan.

    (I may have posted these images before, but to express the concept of 'suchness' I will post again)
    We did a moon show last January. I have a series of sewn moon pieces (9 phases of the moon from waxing crescent to waning crescent). I call the series 'Lunatic' because of the tedium and slowness of making those thousands of silver stitches over months and months. The images in the photos are so subtle it is almost impossible to see them unless they are enlarged or you are standing in front of the actual pieces. In thinking about 'suchness', these sewn images come closest to me of expressing 'moon-ness' of any recent work I've done. Not sure you will be able to see the image with this less than ideal size photo.

    lunatic full moon adj.jpg

    Her 9 monoprints and my 9 sewn moon pieces on black Arches cover stock paper (22" x 30" or 56cm x 76cm)
    IMG_3434.jpg
    Suchness, a clear and delightful goal for all artists.

    gassho
    Anne

    ~st~

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    Meitou and everyone...

    Geika, I am with you. Meitou's b & w photos are stunning...

    Yes there is something extraordinary about that persimmon painting. The simplicity and the perfect composition makes it so soothing and refreshing and certainly says 'persimmon'!

    I have a painter friend here who is a Renzai buddhist monk/teacher. https://www.susanmyoonlinnell.org/home-c199t Of all the artists I know I think Susan comes closest to being able to express 'suchness' in her art. She spent months practicing painting an enso for her teacher Harada roshi (http://onedropzen.org/community/usa/tahoma_sogenji) as part of her Zen training.
    1 of 9 1_2019 Installation 9Moon2 (003).jpeg She did a series of 9 monoprints of the moon and attached is a Zen koan.

    (I may have posted these images before, but to express the concept of 'suchness' I will post again)
    We did a moon show last January. I have a series of sewn moon pieces (9 phases of the moon from waxing crescent to waning crescent). I call the series 'Lunatic' because of the tedium and slowness of making those thousands of silver stitches over months and months. The images in the photos are so subtle it is almost impossible to see them unless they are enlarged or you are standing in front of the actual pieces. In thinking about 'suchness', these sewn images come closest to me of expressing 'moon-ness' of any recent work I've done. Not sure you will be able to see the image with this less than ideal size photo.

    lunatic full moon adj.jpg

    Her 9 monoprints and my 9 sewn moon pieces on black Arches cover stock paper (22" x 30" or 56cm x 76cm)
    IMG_3434.jpg
    Suchness, a clear and delightful goal for all artists.

    gassho
    Anne

    ~st~
    Anne, these are beautiful. I liked that I had to look really hard at that single photo, I couldn't see anything on my phone, but here on the computer, that moon-ness suddenly emerged, an exciting experience.
    I am also looking at what I consider to be key words that you've used in this post - soothing, refreshing, clear, delightful. These are very interesting choices and in some way that I can't explain, they actually paint a very clear picture of what I might also interpret as suchness.
    I haven't made my images yet, but here are a some photos I took earlier in the year which I think come close to expressing the suchness of the subject.

    Tomatoes
    toms.jpg

    Apricots
    apricots colour.jpg

    And here's a curious thing. Although apricot - the colour - must surely be part of the suchness of apricots, to me this black and white image, with its softness, and light, and delicate freckling also captures the suchness of apricots.
    apricots blackand white.jpg

    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  8. #8
    Meitou,

    I will post more later, but must say that the tomato photo took my breath away! Seriously.
    Just had to tell you immediately!
    The apricots, both color and b&w are wonderful as well. But the shock of those red tomatoes! Really you got the suchness of red there too.
    Bowing to your deep understanding of beauty...

    Anne

    ~lahst~

  9. #9
    Those tomatoes do look delicious!

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  10. #10
    Well temptation has landed in my lap this afternoon - a bowl of persimmons given to us by our neighbour. I personally don't like them, but my husband loves them. Perhaps I'll try to pay homage Mu Qi with some photographs before he eats them all.
    Thank you all for your kind comments, they make me feel that I'm on the right track and what I'm doing is making sense to someone other than myself

    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  11. #11
    Just to say sorry I have not been joining in lately - have been ill for a month now while on holiday
    will hopefully get back on track soon.

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    sat today

  12. #12
    Hello Jinyo.
    So sorry to hear you've not been well. Please join in when you are better.

    And no rush either. We are going a bit slow as Ango time means lots of reading. We don't want anyone to feel overwhelmed.

    Wishing you a fast recovery. And look forward to hearing from you.

    Meta to you!
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    Hello Jinyo.
    So sorry to hear you've not been well. Please join in when you are better.

    And no rush either. We are going a bit slow as Ango time means lots of reading. We don't want anyone to feel overwhelmed.

    Wishing you a fast recovery. And look forward to hearing from you.

    Meta to you!
    Anne

    ~lahst~
    Thank you Anne - much appreciated.

  14. #14
    We will dedicate our Zazenkai this weekend with Kyonin to your health, Jinyu.

    Gassho, Jundo

    ST+Lah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    I hope, you're feeling better soon, Jinyo.

    Anne, oh yes, the moon. That's really a great example of suchness.
    Magnifying your stitches on the screen made them visible. Beautiful.
    They remind me on astro-photography, the long exposure times for collecting one photon after the other.

    And Meitou, I can nearly feel the softness of your b/w Apricots.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  16. #16
    Get well soon Jinyo!

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  17. #17
    Hello,
    playing with water, some flashlights and a magnet valve.
    Hundreds of beautiful drops, already gone when looking at the frozen moment in the picture.

    IMG_0467.JPG

    IMG_0488.JPG

    IMG_0555.JPG

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  18. #18
    Jinyo, as Anne says, we aren't going anywhere, take care of you and join us when you can,

    Kotie, these photos are so pure and beautiful, I can almost hear that water drop! I think this is one of the gifts also of black and white images - there is very little distraction from the subject in terms of background etc. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Hello,
    playing with water, some flashlights and a magnet valve.
    Hundreds of beautiful drops, already gone when looking at the frozen moment in the picture.

    IMG_0467.JPG

    IMG_0488.JPG

    IMG_0555.JPG

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    This is great!

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  20. #20
    Kotei,

    As though the water were alive! Which I guess it is....Stunning. Thank you for sharing.
    Yes water. Yes gravity.

    Deep bows.

    Anne

    -~lahst~

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    -Playfulness: the wonder of it all and the fun and magic of creativity expressed in beauty.

    IMG_0120.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    -Playfulness: the wonder of it all and the fun and magic of creativity expressed in beauty.

    IMG_0121.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    the concept of no-rank – that lack of superfluous decoration which strips something right back to its suchness, its mysterious self.
    IMG_0122.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post
    the concept of no-rank – that lack of superfluous decoration which strips something right back to its suchness, its mysterious self.
    IMG_0123.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post

    'Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler' Albert Einstein.
    IMG_0124.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooperix View Post

    [W]hen thought is in bondage, the truth is hidden...Master Jianzhi Sengcan


    -Playfulness: the wonder of it all and the fun and magic of creativity expressed in beauty.


    'Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler' Albert Einstein.
    IMG_0126.jpg

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  27. #27
    Here is a fun one.

    IMG_0127.jpg



    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  28. #28

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    Black and white is a ton of fun. Simple and elegant.

    B83D87A6-E16C-4371-9BAF-CDC1D3F3FAD7.jpeg


    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 09-29-2019 at 03:09 PM.

  29. #29
    Hi, thank you everyone for kind wishes. Not much change, but I do at least have the opportunity to mentally drift

    Anne, Meitou, Kotei and Jishin - the images are stunning.

    I think its interesting that so far we haven't taken the human presence as a focal subject but are inspired (perhaps more) by the natural world?

    I'm not sure why but I tend to freeze a bit around the expression 'suchness'. I think there's a danger (for me) that I could become goal driven - like
    trying to force a certain quality in my work or using it as a marker of judgement/value.

    just some thoughts,

    Jinyo

    sat today

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyo View Post

    I think its interesting that so far we haven't taken the human presence as a focal subject but are inspired (perhaps more) by the natural world?
    What could be more human than this fellow?





    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  31. #31
    Hello,
    Jishin, I especially like the image of the emu (or ostrich?) with that quote. quite perfect.
    And the lion and leopard. Do they each have a blue and a brown eye?
    And those dogs! what fine portraits. thanks for posting. dogness.

    Jinyo, glad you joined in and I am intrigued by your noting the lack of a human presence in the images. That should be a challenge to someone.
    Also, I agree if we put too much pressure on ourselves to get whatever we are doing JUST RIGHT, then we lose so much of the freshness. I guess its best to approach our artwork with no mind/ no judgement, complete freshness and maybe that's how suchness arrives? that's what JDL advises anyway.

    Any writers/poets musicians out there, we'd enjoy hearing from you as well. A different perspective.

    deep bows
    Anne

    ~lahst~

  32. #32
    Thanks Anne!

    I was just playing with the eyes. I made one blue. Kinda of fun. :-)

    I am not sure if its an emu or ostrich but its cool looking.

    I am lucky to have 6 fine models (3 german shepherds, 1 dobbie, 1 aussie and one mut) at my disposal for portraits.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST

  33. #33
    Hello all

    It has taken me time to reply to this because of Ango but I really enjoyed this chapter. Suchness is such a pivotal idea to Zen and stands against the often negative perception of emptiness (sunyata). Although all things are empty of self, they also contain the suchness of the hear and now and capturing that moment is a very beautiful thing. We try and do exactly that in haiku writing, and again in photography.

    In looking through JDL's own photography and verse collection Making Love With Light, his ability to capture that suchness is immediately apparent from pond ripples to a decaying tree. These are moments in time which demonstrate the impermanence and beauty of life.

    My dog, although totally daft and willing to do almost anything for a rawhide bone, is so completely herself it is noticeable. She is 100% filling the essence of dog in her own way with no preconceptions standing between her and her suchness of being.

    I really like the line 'If in the land of the Buddha there remains the distinction between the beautiful and the ugly, I do not desire to be a Buddha in such a land.' and this is my take on it: https://postimg.cc/8J2Rr37s.

    This is a poem hopefully reflecting a constantly moving landscape:

    coastal mudflat
    the ebb and flow
    of sandpipers


    (Blithe Spirit 28(3))

    It seems to me that the Japanese idea of wabi sabi includes space for both what we might term the ugly and beautiful in a conventional way and, in fact, almost requires it. Beauty becomes even more precious when we become aware of the slight fading around the edges due to impermanence, and is only there because of the processes that are forever ongoing and we can halt for just a moment through an attempt to portray it in art.

    Thank you to Anne and Meitou for continuing to run this beautiful conversation and exploration. In the sometimes frenzied activity of Ango (at least from the organisational side!) it is a lovely resting place just to be and enjoy everyone's artistic expression.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  34. #34
    Just a bird.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    What could be more human than this fellow?





    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    So much more than human Jishin - love him !

  36. #36
    Thank you for your kind words for the water drops.

    Jishin, I needed some time with your pictures for seeing beyond the impressive "black-background / sharp foreground" effect.
    I especially like your apes and monkeys and lions. What a presence.
    I like your b/w excursions, too.

    Beautiful merging sandpipers and wave flow, Kokuu.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  37. #37

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    That’s an awesome umbrella Kotei!



    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-02-2019 at 12:15 PM.

  38. #38
    Count Dracula.





    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  39. #39
    Another pretty bird.



    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  40. #40
    Vulture?

    How do you get the amazing contrast on your pictures, Jishin? Is it a filter?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  41. #41
    coastal mudflat
    the ebb and flow
    of sandpipers

    Kokuu


    Hello, me again.

    So many thoughts on the images (the color drop Kotei!! count Dracula, Jishin!!), that finely stated haiku, the discussion that I will probably only get to only a couple.

    Wabi sabi is that place between perfection and imperfection that is perfect and complete. The concept is of course brilliant, because nothing is completely one or the other. Thanks for bringing that into the discussion, Kokuu.

    Beauty becomes even more precious when we become aware of the slight fading around the edges due to impermanence
    For years I could not look at a beautiful rose knowing its ephemeral nature and until I realized that beauty is always in the moment I denied myself that gift of seeing. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the dead flower rotting and going back to the earth to be reborn as another rose. I learned from him. That even in death there is beauty and perfection.

    Good art deals with these issues, beauty, truth, life and death. My favorite haiku poet, Santoka Taneda, had a way of encapsulating all these.

    In the heat of the day
    crying or laughing-
    only one

    or

    Wet with evening dew,
    I slept.

    Gassho

    Anne

    ~lahst~

  42. #42
    So many beautiful images here, all of them expressing how we see the suchness of something.
    Kokuu, your remark about your dog and her being her absolute self really ties in with Jishin's glorious portraits of animals and birds, which in turn echo the quotes from Anne. I really like the photo of your plant - life and death and everything in between contained in that one image.

    Jinyo this is intriguing to reflect on

    I think its interesting that so far we haven't taken the human presence as a focal subject but are inspired (perhaps more) by the natural world?
    I wonder why that is, is it perhaps because we find it so difficult to step outside of ourselves? Can we ever see the suchness in ourselves or would that need to be left to someone else to portray us? Even then any portrait would be bound to reflect the other person's opinion of us, tempered perhaps by affection or other feelings. This is so interesting to me and something perhaps we could all think about some more - maybe accompanies by an image of ourselves or someone we are close to? I don't know that I could convey any kind of essence of myself in a photo - in a drawing perhaps.

    This has also got me thinking about how hard it is to remove ourselves from the act of creating. I've been thinking a lot about the Jundo posted in the thread about Kyonin's visit to Japan regarding the monastery at Antaiji and how Muho Nolke described his battle with sitting very long sessions of zazen which he found agonising- he knew he had to decide whether to continue sitting or leave, and I felt he meant leave his vocation, not just the monastery. He decided he would continue to sit even if it killed him - and at that point, the decision made, he realised the struggle was done, he need not be involved, the sitting would be the sitting. I admit I've been thinking about this all day. When in the process of creating something, I'd like to be able to somehow to remove big ego driven judgemental 'Me' from the process and in a way I think this is what we've been getting to in all of these prompts. I think this is why I express myself better in photography - there is a subject which presents itself and a mechanism which captures and reproduces the subject - I do very little except act as go between and push the button. I'd like to be able to bring this same ethos into a painting, where there is a subject and materials with which to reproduce the subject - my hand and arm being required as the physical enabler of the the materials. My paintings are non-figurative however, so is this possible? Lots to think about here.

    These are just some random wandering thoughts but it's surprising how productive they can be for me. Thanks for bearing with me, I have a couple of photos to put up which I'll do tomorrow, if my computer is on better behaviour than it is at the moment.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah

    Last edited by Meitou; 10-02-2019 at 10:15 PM. Reason: moved video
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  43. #43

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Vulture?

    How do you get the amazing contrast on your pictures, Jishin? Is it a filter?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    I use Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom does not damage the image after you mess with it like photoshop and you can always go back to it and start from scratch again or pick up where you left off. I shoot in raw mode and this saves a lot more info than jpeg format. Then it’s a lot of editing. Each picture is different. I like black background portraits and I use gradients. I like to paint the subject then make the exposure as bright as possible. Then I make the picture as dark as possible and the subject Pops. I then use gradients to blend the foreground subject and dark background. This is the general editing technique I use. There is a whole lot more to it thought. In the case of the vulture I didn’t think that the 100 % black background would work because of the birds feet. I solved the problem by lightning up the plants in front of him and voila! A pretty vulture!

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-04-2019 at 04:17 PM.

  44. #44
    I wish I could find people for models but it gets pretty messy. Need to get permission to post pictures from the model. But....

    IMG_0545.jpg

    Wife, son and a pug! No legal paperwork needed.



    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  45. #45

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Vulture?

    How do you get the amazing contrast on your pictures, Jishin? Is it a filter?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Before and after.




    The lion I struggled a lot with. He was very far away and I could not get a very good shot. I had to crop a lot and lost a lot of pixels. I had to shoot through very thick glass and this did not help either. I am not happy with him but I don't have a lot of lion pictures to choose from.

    The Zebra worked out nice. I like pure black backgrounds and it was easy in this case. The Zebra was close and I had a lot of Pixels to begin with. In both cases I shot with a full frame but a crop camera would have worked just as well. The Zebra came out pretty cool since the black stripes blended in with the background.

    The technique with both is to paint the animals first then overexpose them. Then darken the whole picture and the subject pops. Lots of other techniques like gradients and all of the other sliders such as color, texture, clarity, etc. Sometimes I will start with a filter then adjust but I just prefer to begin from scratch and adjust each slider because each picture is different.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-04-2019 at 02:25 AM.

  46. #46

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Vulture?

    How do you get the amazing contrast on your pictures, Jishin? Is it a filter?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Here is another one.



    This one was trickier because of the birds wig. I had to very carefully paint over it, painted the rest of the bird, then overexposed then underexposed the entire picture and voila! Pop! Lots of other things in between though. The editing process for each picture can take one hour. Fun but not easy.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-04-2019 at 12:29 AM.

  47. #47

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8



    This one was a difficult one. I spent an afternoon shooting by a local lake and got a few ok shots. This guy was very far away. I had a long reach lens (very heavy), fast shutter speed and was shooting handheld. Very difficult. This is the best I could do. The editing techniques were the same. Not a lot of detail to work with and had to crop some to see the bird. It still turned out ok (in my opinion) because of the contrast of white to black which helps to make up for the lack of detail of the bird. Plus it’s pretty zen. Just a splash on the canvas with the rest unused, like the bamboos in the corner of a Japanese painting and nothing much more.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-04-2019 at 03:06 PM.

  48. #48

    Zen of Creativity Chapter 8



    This tiger was a blast. He is from the Albuquerque Zoo and this is the first time I found a tiger in a zoo that cooperated like he did. I knew that his stripes would blend in with the black background that I like to use in portraits and could not wait to get home to work on him. He is awesome. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Last edited by Jishin; 10-04-2019 at 03:36 PM.

  49. #49
    Brilliant! Thank you for sharing, Jishin! The tiger is incredible.

    In Zen terms, I sometimes think that the fabled one breath images produced by ink brush painters or poems that appear spontaneously without needing editing can be held up as the gold standard for 'Zen' art. However, I know myself that whereas a rough draft of a haiku is more raw, sitting with it and letting it almost edit itself can produce something that is more reflective of the moment.

    Likewise, would you say the same about your images, Jishin, that you are trying to produce a photo that captures more of the essence of the creature or moment? Or is it a purely stylistic consideration?

    What do others feels about their work in terms of raw freshness and later re-touches, edits etc?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  50. #50
    Btw, this is a lovely little book on the subject of Wabi Sabi which I enjoyed: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42190.Wabi_Sabi

    I think there is a follow up volume also.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •