Yesterday, there was a Miksang practice day in Amsterdam. They are not often organized in Amsterdam, so when they take place I am there. Like last time, we put our intention on Simplicity. Our teacher Hèlen Vink wanted to try out this intention over a longer period of time and see how it works.
What it is for sure is that it is about seeing one thing at the time, experiencing form in its surrounding space. So the elements form and space should be strongly present. We noticed that a lot of our pictures had the element pattern in them. Pattern is so overwhelming, there can be no simplicity found in it.
Andy Karr and Michael Wood describe this assignment in their book The practice of Contemplative Photography. They comment that "students often shoot pictures of telephone poles against the sky, bare trees against the sky, and chimneys against the sky." Apparently, that is a bit too literal. As you can see I shot those pictures too (didn't remember them saying this), because I felt it was quite difficult determining simplicity.
One thing that we found out is that simplicity is about looking further and looking deeper. Deeper than the obvious. Look longer and you will find what stopped you and the nature of that perception.
See here for my pictures about Simplicity on the Miksang practice day in September 2013.