The Contemplative Photographic Art™ of Roger Allen Baut, M.A.

Many cultures, since ancient times, have used images to help them in their meditative and/or spiritual endeavors. One especially good example of this is the yantra. Yantra is a Sanskrit word which may be translated to mean “instrument” and as such, it may stand for symbols, or anything that is organized and structured. In the west we can see these symbols as geometric designs or patterns, such as those devised by Native Americans. In Eastern mysticism yantras are used to balance, or focus the mind on spiritual concepts. By wearing, focusing or meditating upon a yantra it is believed that one will derive spiritual benefits. It was from these meditative instruments that Roger’s concept of Contemplative Photographic Art™ evolved.

Skunk Cabbage in Bloom

As a life-long student of Metaphysics, and its affiliated subjects, he became aware of the meditative, and/or contemplative quality of art; especially photographs. As he delved more deeply into the contemplative aspect of photographic images, he saw how some of his images possessed this contemplative quality. Ever the researcher, Roger discussed this with other individuals he knew and they, too, concurred with his premise. In fact, individuals he wasn’t well acquainted with told him they were able to work with some of his photos and gain a peaceful contemplative state from viewing them.

The Pillars

He also views his images a bit differently than most photographers as he says, “I really don’t see myself as a ‘photographer,’ per se, as my work is more a gift from the universe than anything else. Sort of like the archer, in ‘Zen and the Art of Archery,’ whereby the archer and arrow become ‘one’ just as the arrow is released, so the arrow will reach the target. I really am ‘guided’ to, or intuit, a potential photo. I don’t do set-ups or take hours waiting in a spot for something to happen. They either occur, or they don’t, and I’m happy if I only get one good photo when I’m out on a photo-shoot/hike. One other really important aspect of my work is that none of my images are photo-shopped, altered, or enhanced in any way, they’re simply raw photos. The only thing I may do, depending on the photo, is crop/trim them if needed, but that doesn’t happen a lot.”

Roger defines “Contemplative Photographic Art™” or “Contemplative Photo/Art™” as certain photographs which may lead the viewer into a calm, thoughtful, peaceful, and/or lightly meditative state.

In this contemplative state an image may rekindle memories from bygone days, lead one to experience a period of relaxation, guide one to a personal insight, or provide an experience whereby the viewer comes into resonance with his or her own inner being, and from this connection, gain insights that may benefit one on their life journey. This is his intent for the relatively new concept of Contemplative Photo/Art™.

Roger’s background also includes years of study and research in the areas of metaphysics, numerology and bio-field energy work. Academically he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies (Psychology and History major with a Poli Sci minor/Secondary Education) graduating Cum Laudi with departmental honors, and a Master of Arts. Roger’s Contemplative Photographic Art™ may be found at http://chasingtao.zenfolio.com as well as his blog, which contains articles on earth changes, metaphysics, numerology and more http://chasingtao.blogspot.com