Kusuma Dawn Hart
I am a still life photographer based in North Warwickshire. I learnt my trade as a photographer during the 1990’s with experience shooting on film and working in a darkroom. I then went on to write about photography for magazines such as The British Journal Of Photography. Today I juggle life as a photographer with being a mum to twins and volunteering as a Buddhist Chaplain.
I find the process of working with Still Life to be a meditative practice and it is an extension of my daily practice as a Buddhist. I love photographing flowers and my Buddhist name given to me by my Dharma teacher is 'Kusumavarsa' meaning 'Rain of Flowers'.
When taking photos of flowers my breath slows down and my mind is focused on a single object before me. Some times I spend several days in the studio photographing a flower from bud to decay; when we look at a flower in this way we look at it mindfully. All of our sense of awareness is on the flower, and before you know it you have lost all sense of time just sitting with the flower. Even before I have observed the flower with my macro lens I have already sat just looking at the flower. I observe its shape from different angles, I look and the way that the light dances on the petals.
A flower is never just a flower, it is an opportunity to observe your breath and generate an awareness of your own connection with the present moment. And when you take a photograph that lifts your own spirit then you know you truly are present.