Beginner’s Mind

Rollback © Harold Davis
Rollback © Harold Davis

Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism that is often translated as “beginner’s mind.” Beginner’s Mind means having an attitude of openness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject or working as an artist, even when working at an advanced level, just as a beginner would in the best case analysis with a capable and flexible guide.

In the context of my own practice, and the way I teach students to approach their own art and photography, I take Beginner’s Mind to mean to approach my art with humbleness, playfulness, and experimentation—and to be prepared to happily fail.

I am now engaged in playing with a new body of work that involves my photography of flowers for transparency, LAB inversions, photography of pure light though colored liquid in glass bottles, and post-production. 

Over on my Instagram Feed, I was asked about the image shown at the top of this story: “I love this and I am so confused. Please explain how?”

That’s okay, I’m confused too about how I got here, and where this ride is going to take me next.

I didn’t want to be rude, but I didn’t want to explain the technical side of this work yet (if I ever am ready to do so). I replied, “Thanks for your interest! This is a new set of techniques I have started playing with, and I am not ready to share the ‘how’ yet. In the meantime, enjoy the magic….xxxooo.”

So, yes, please enjoy the magic.

Related story: Tacked to a Virtual Wall.

Scrolling Around © Harold Davis
Scrolling Around © Harold Davis
Climbing the Columns © Harold DavisClimbing the Columns © Harold Davis
Climbing the Columns © Harold Davis

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. What a wonderful, creative mind you have. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Aw shucks! 😳

  3. Hello Harold,
    I bring you greetings from London where Spring has sprung and the vaccination programme is going great guns.
    Can you give me some more information about how you create the curled effect as in your image entitled “Tacked to a Virtual Wall”?

  4. Hi Justin, thank you for writing! We are doing pretty well here also with spring in full bloom, and quite a lot of vaccinations.
    The curl effect is created via Photoshop compositing. I don’t always remember the precise steps I take in making a given curl, but you can find a great many resources on how to do this by searching for “Photoshop curl page effect”.

    Very best wishes, Harold

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