Photography and Spirituality

A stand of trees amongst the stone and glass of the Shell building on the corner of Flinders and Spring Streets in Melbourne, Australia.

I am not the first to say that, perhaps, the nature of our existence is the search for meaning. But perhaps we can best find meaning through a greater sense of connectedness.

I believe that God is a name and a concept given in an attempt to define that which is undefinable. And through the need for definition belief structures have been formed and rules established to uphold and live in accord with those beliefs.

While I despair at the loss of ritual and the deeper understanding of myth in our modern world, I’m also worried about the splintering of different religious groups, some of which seem to be all about the notion of wealth creation and the accumulation of power. Religion that seeks to dominate seems, to me, to be in direct opposition to its original purpose.

If only folks understood where words written in holy books actually came from.

Spirituality provides a break away from structured man-made religion. The practice and appreciation of art is, for many, a way to connect with the divine without the need for definition, rules and formal methods of worship.

The god of the old testament was the god of the way, not the god of the city state. Perhaps this is why indigenous people, who still have a strong connection to the land, often lead a more spiritual life.

Of the various genres of photography, I find that it’s landscape photography that helps me best bridge the gap between what I know and that which I seek. But that’s not to say that I don’t find solace and connection in the faces of those, young and old alike, that I photograph. In fact whether it be wood or metal, skin or stone, it is the transforming and transitory nature of light that provides the luminance (i.e., the intrinsic brightness of a celestial object) that lights the road ahead and provides me with all the courage I need to continue my journey.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru