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  • Jennifer Dowd

A Sunday Microadventure: Finding Peace Through Monochrome Foliage Photography - June 16, 2024

There’s something inherently magical about Sundays. They have a rhythm all their own, a gentle pace that invites reflection and relaxation. The weather was softly overcast, perfect for a microadventure with my fur baby, Baylee. With my camera slung over my shoulder and Baylee’s leash in hand, we set off to explore a local garden. Our mission? To practice black and white foliage photography and indulge in some much-needed mindful meditation.

Finnerty Gardens at UVIC is a serene oasis nestled amidst the bustle of city life. Its paths wind through lush greenery, each turn revealing a new facet of nature’s beauty. The clouds overhead created a diffused light, ideal for black and white photography. The absence of harsh shadows allowed the intricate textures and contrasts of the foliage to come alive in monochrome.

Baylee, trotted beside me with her tail wagging in delight. Her presence always adds a layer of joy to our outings, and she has a knack for discovering hidden gems in the landscape that I might otherwise overlook.

Photography is more than a hobby for me; it’s a form of meditation. As I focused my lens on the delicate patterns of leaves and the interplay of light and shadow, I found myself slipping into a state of mindfulness. Black and white photography, in particular, has a way of stripping away distractions, allowing me to see the essence of my subjects. Each click of the shutter was a moment of stillness. The textures of the leaves, the subtle gradients of grey, the sharp contrasts—all these elements drew me deeper into the present. In those moments, nothing existed outside of the viewfinder. The worries of the week faded away, replaced by a profound sense of calm and connection with nature.

Mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment, and photography provides a perfect avenue for this practice. When I’m behind the camera, I’m not just seeing; I’m truly observing. The act of composing a shot requires me to slow down and engage with my surroundings on a deeper level.

Breathing in sync with the shutter, I let go of any lingering stress. The garden, with its tranquil ambiance and natural beauty, became a sanctuary for my mind. Baylee, sensing my relaxed state, also seemed to move more calmly, her explorations becoming more deliberate and measured. Baylee’s playful energy added a layer of joy to our adventure. Watching her explore with unbridled enthusiasm reminded me of the importance of staying curious and open to the world around us. Her happiness was infectious, and together, we soaked in the peaceful atmosphere of the garden.

There’s a unique solace that comes from being in nature, and when combined with a mindful practice like photography, it becomes a powerful tool for healing. By focusing on the details of the foliage, I was reminded of the intricate beauty in simplicity. Each leaf, each blade of grass, each petal—nature’s art in its purest form.

As our microadventure drew to a close, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. The garden, with its quiet paths and vibrant foliage, had offered us a space to reconnect with ourselves and each other. The practice of mindful photography had helped me recenter and find peace amidst the chaos of daily life.

Baylee and I left the garden with our spirits lifted, our minds clearer, and our hearts a little fuller. This casual, cloudy Sunday had turned into a beautiful journey of discovery and tranquility. Through the lens of my camera and the eyes of my furry companion, I had rediscovered the simple joy of being present.

So, here’s to more microadventures, more mindful moments, and more Sundays spent in the gentle embrace of nature. And to Baylee, my loyal fur baby, thank you for always reminding me to see the world with wonder and to find peace in the present.

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