Tip #78: You Are

Killdeer at Sunrise (Charadrius vociferus) - Stillwater, MN
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8IS L @ f3.2

There is nothing “New” about “New Age” philosophies. The view which suggests humans are natural beings, subject to the same forces that have shaped the planet, is central to the traditions of Zen Buddhism. Practiced since 6th century China, “Zen Philosophy,”  is anything but new. To suggest that you are nature and nature is you, might seem heretical to those that endorse a Judeo-Christian world view; yet the Zen view that we are all connected to nature offers valuable insight to the nature photographer.
Consider the following from the the graphic text “Zen Speaks (by Tsai Chih Chung):

A Baby fish asks an Elder fish, “I hear people talk about this thing called the sea. Just what is the sea?”
The Elder replies, “The sea is what surrounds you.”
The Baby thinks and exclaims with wide eyes, “But why can’t I see it?”
The Elder, with an air of authority explains, “The sea is within you and around you. You were born in the sea and will die in the sea. The sea envelops you, just like your own skin.”

Here Zen suggests that you - the person - are of this place, from this place and by this place. The same can be said for you, the nature photographer. We are all part of the planet, givers and takers and subject to the whims of natural processes. We are not voyeaurs, we are participants. Being one of us makes us one of them. This is my approach to wildlife and nature. I will not disrupt the life process of my subjects; I will not interfere with their survival. I see myself as a part of the world that I try to capture on my sensor, and I respect the place from which I was born. 
Just a little something to think about when you’re hoping to capture some of life's magic. 
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