Photography is essentially an individual pursuit. When I am out with my camera, I am focused on my environment, on noticing the details of what’s in front of me, and of seeing potential compositions. Even when I am photographing with a group of people, we each end up immersing ourself in the scene, seeing in a unique way what is in front of us. The photos I end up taking reflect my vision, my experience of the scene.
Most of the time when I photograph nature, landscapes, or seascapes, I do so alone. I find that such solitude is necessary to focus fully on what is in front of me and to immerse myself in the scene, so that a vision or composition presents itself to me.
Being fully present is important not only in photography, but in life as well. How much of life do we miss, when we walk absentmindedly through our day, immersed in daydreams or absorbed by the various screens that can control our life? Spending time in mindful solitude allows us to connect with what’s important, so that we can be more present to the people and events of our life.
Jesus realized the importance of solitude in the times he went away to reflect and pray, to reconnect with his mission, to renew his relationship with his heavenly father. How much more so do we need to practice solitude in our own life, so that we can renew our sense of purpose and reconnect with what’s important to us?
“In those days [Jesus] departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)