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The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes

Book Launch

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
8:00 PM–9:30 PM

Photography is not just a mechanical process; it requires learning how to see. Join photographer and author Andy Karr as he celebrates the launch of his new book on contemplative photography, in conversation with illustrator, cartoonist, and children’s book writer Mark Alan Stamaty. In a multimedia dialogue that will include photographs and illustrations, Andy and Mark will explore the creative process, perception, and the sources of creativity.
The Practice of Contemplative Photography is a book that shows how to fully connect with the visual richness of our ordinary, daily experience and offers a system of training that draws on both Buddhist mindfulness practice and the insights of master photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
“This is not your usual’how to be a better photographer’ book. It takes you into deeper water. It requires investigation and commitment to areas new to you. Among other things, you will think about perception in new ways. If you read this book with care, and without skepticism, it will radically expand your thinking, seeing, and photography.” – Jay Maisel
Andy Karr is a writer, photographer, meditator, and Buddhist teacher, who trained with two of the founding teachers of Western Buddhism: Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind) and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior). Andy’s second book, written with Michael Wood, The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes (Shambhala Publications, April 2011) teaches the most essential photographic skill of all-clear seeing. His first book, Contemplating Reality, a series of investigations into the nature of mind and the phenomenal world, was published by Shambhala in 2007.
The cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty is the author-illustrator of ten books, including the children’s books Who Needs Donuts? (1973, 2003), Alia’s Mission (2005), Too Many Time Machines (1999), Small in the Saddle (1975), Minnie Maloney & Macaroni (1976), and Where’s My Hippopotamus? (1977). In 1977-1978, Mark’s panoramic centerfold cartoons of Greenwich Village and Times Square for the Village Voice attracted widespread attention and were sold by the Voice as posters. He then created a series of comic strips for that paper, including MacDoodle St., which was later published as a comic strip novel. In 1981 the success of Washingtoon in both the Washington Post and The Village Voice leading to syndication in the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Austin-American Statesman. From 1994 to 1996, Mark was the political cartoonist for Time Magazine. From 2001 to 2003, he produced the highly praised monthly comic strip Boox for the New York Times Book Review. His cartoon reporting has covered a variety of events for GQ Magazine and The New Yorker, including men’s fashion shows in Milan, the 2001 Baseball All-Star Game, the Washington Redskins’ training camp, the Madison Square Garden 1992 25th-Anniversary Concert honoring Bob Dylan, the buzz around Washington during President Clinton’s grand jury testimony, a UFO convention, and many more. Mark has created covers for The New Yorker, the New Republic, the Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and others. Presently, his work includes fulfilling a two-book contract with Knopf Children’s Books and a variety of free-lance assignments.