The Adventures in Seeing Book is Here
We all enjoy those times in life when we take in something rare and special – a sunset over the ocean, the view from a mountain peak, or the first blooms of spring. These times add richness to our lives and we’re grateful for them. However, there’s a different kind of richness and satisfaction that we can experience every single day. The Adventures in Seeing book will help you to do just that. It’s a practice in being more aware in each moment.
It was during a photography workshop in 2001 that I first realized how much more there was to see than at first glance. I stood in a field of fall plant decay, not knowing what to photograph. The instructor, Freeman Patterson, advised me to get down on my belly and put my camera right in the middle of the broken and brittle plants. Looking through the viewfinder from this perspective, I discovered a whole new world.
There are times that we all feel the way I did that day – overwhelmed and helpless – not knowing what to do next, not seeing any possibilities. We can learn to see below the surface of our lives and connect in a much deeper way.
It was through mentors in seeing – writers like Thomas Merton, John O’Donohue, and Mary Oliver; and photographers like Ansel Adams and Minor White, that I noticed they all shared common habits or contemplative qualities. These were people who lived rich, full lives doing what they were born to do. They were pillars of pausing in the midst of their days – with openness, humility, and acceptance. Their attention was always focused with a sense of curiosity and wonder. And, they saw possibilities everywhere. Their lives were full, yet focused on what was most essential, especially having meaningful relationships.
“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But, and this is the point – who gets excited by a mere penny? If you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.” ~ Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Pause. Focus. Connect. The secret ingredients to a good photograph and a good life.
These mindsets or habits serve as antidotes to the judgments and beliefs that normally filter our experience. Life becomes fuller, richer and more meaningful. The Adventures in Seeing online workshop and now the book, were designed to use the camera as a tool for cultivating these habits.
You’ll practice the 9 habits through 45 photographic exercises or “calls to adventure.” I hope you’ll be inspired by my own personal story about how this workshop came to be. There are also quotes from workshop participants, as well as stories about my mentors in seeing. The exercises can be completed with any type of camera, even a smartphone.
In Section 2, you’ll learn to focus with intention and go deeper by bringer your curiosity to the table. You’ll find that wonder can be experienced anywhere.
In Section 3, you’ll learn to simplify, see more possibilities, and develop stronger relationships.
You’ll discover that ordinary, everyday reality can be quite extraordinary.
“Adventures in Seeing is more than a book about photography. It’s an invitation to live with more awareness and appreciation. Kim Manley Ort’s premise is that the camera is an agent for slowing down, opening our eyes, and seeing possibility all around and within us. Every day indeed can be an adventure in seeing. The world will be better off for Kim Manley Ort’s work and wisdom.”Jeffrey Davis
“Adventures in Seeing made me look inside and outside in new ways with my heart and my camera. As an artist and a poet, I use the camera for composition and inspiration. With new insights from Kim’s book, I will see the world in greater detail, with more curiosity and power.”Norah Oulahen
“This book’s a delight … a fresh and beautifully evoked pathway of loving life. Gift yourself by immersing in the journey … Kim Manley Ort is a wise and expert guide!”Tara Brach
“Adventures in Seeing is a beautiful guide to using photography to grow personally, emotionally and spiritually. Give yourself – or those you love – the gift of this book!”Tara Mohr
Do the Exercises with a Group
If you take a week or so to do each exercise, at the end you’ll have almost a year of consistent practice and a visual record of your expanded awareness. As a bonus, you’ll experience more consistent joy and gratitude in life and in your photography. This will have a ripple effect on everyone you come into contact with. Why not do them with a group?
Beginning January 1st 2017, we’ll be doing each exercise weekly in a private Facebook group. Join in anytime and see what others are posting. Search for an exercise using the hashtag #calltoadventure1, for example. Share your experience with others. The only price for admission is to buy the book.
If you’re not on Facebook, start your own group either in-person or online. Invite a few friends to join you in doing the exercises each week and sharing the experience and the photographs with each other. Let’s start that ripple effect of seeing our everyday lives as an adventure.
Have questions or comments? Contact me below.