Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind".  It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. 

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki

Sometimes we have a beginners mind because we truly are beginners.

Gatherings and seminars on photography are so inspirational.  My last was sponsored by the nonprofit Through Each Others' Eyes.  They create international photo exchanges and teach photography to at-risk kids.  Last week I attended a TEOE - sponsored travel photography seminar.  I learned some great stuff.

I was especially excited to learn about time-lapse photography from Dennis Scully.  I'd been talking myself out of studying the topic for several years, but now I'm inspired.  The day after the seminar I took off for a ski trip in Utah, and loaded the app "Lapse It" on my iPhone.  Here is one of my first attempts, created with the beginner's mind, out the window at Deer Valley Resort while drinking hot chocolate.

The trick, though, is to have a beginner's mind whenever we're doing creative work, and perhaps other times as well.  We try things and look at things differently, and sometimes come up with a new interpretation of a familiar form.

Here are a few of those.  I'm always percolating ideas for more. 

San Clemente (CA) Pier with fisheye distortion.

Impressionistic desert holiday lights

Detail, Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park.
Thanks for stopping by.  I'll be on a desert road trip next week; stay tuned...

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