Today I went to the Dutch town Enkhuizen with a Miksang girlfriend to practise contemplative photography by ourselves. Enkhuizen is an old fishing town on the Waddenzee and by the looks of the town, it has a rich past. We visited another Miksang girlfriend who lives there and together we took our cameras and walked around town with our intention on Simplicity.Simplicity: form and space or an object in space. I noticed I had difficulty getting into this intention: Enkhuizen is a town where I've been only once before and I was trying to get more familiar with my surroundings. Also, I was looking more at the pretty old houses, gables, doors and shops than at form and space.
Michael Wood describes in his book The Practice of Contemplative Photography a simplicity assignment. Simplicity versus complexity. "The purpose of the simplicity assignment is to examine the relationship between form and space, where the experience of the form is heightened because of the space around it."
One of the girls thought that the above picture was not about simplicity as the pattern of the brick wall was the first thing she saw when she looked at this image. I notice that my eyes go mainly to the number 5 and it's also the first thing I saw when I looked at this wall.
Below are more examples of what I consider Simplicity. I may or may not be right as I don't have an authority close at hand to discuss this. Maybe you can feel it for yourself when you look at these images.
I remember one of the former Miksang Contemplative practice days when we were fiddling with this theme. This was last December (see blogpost over here) and then we decided that Simplicity was not easy to master. It takes a lot of practice and today we had a lot of fun doing that.