Heightened Awareness - jwardenphotography

Many years ago, when I first got interested in sketching animals, I met one of the top wildlife artists of the day. I wish I could remember his name, because what he told me than has stayed with me my whole artistic life.

Painting is not so much what you see, rather it’s more about what you feel.

Sage advice that has stayed with me to this day.

In her wonderful book Haiku Mind 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart, Patricia Donegan describes the haiku poem as an apparently simple, yet deeply poetic way of expressing “a crystalline moment of heightened awareness”.

Nicely said and Emily Carr, makes a similar observation.

Form is fine and color and design and subject matter, but that which does not speak to the heart is worthless. It is the intensity of feeling you have about the thing that counts.

Amy Toensing, a photographer with National Geographic, says it this way. “The essence of photography is getting what's in your heart out into the photograph”

The Road of Trials as a study of the basic elements of composition and design relates to learning and education, a study for the mind. Heightened awareness speaks to the heart.

In this now advanced section of our study on wildlife photography, we will explore crystalline moments of reflection and the intimacy of looking into a wild animal’s eyes. We will pare away complexities to discover the high art of simplicity and the secret rewards of subtleness. And, we will delve into the mysterious, the majestic, action shots and the spectacle of migration. Lastly, we will look at the possibilities of the cute and comical.

There is a lot to cover in our study of heightened awareness. Click on the folders below to get started. Each folder will have its own gallery with photographs and explanations.

John Warden


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