I’ve been a consistent Buddhafield photographer since about 2010, when I bought a new Canon SX210 compact. I started because I was aware of a very serious lack of photos about the Buddhafield Café, with which I’ve volunteered and worked for about 14 years. I’d then recently taken on development of the Buddhafield website, www.buddhafield.com, which had been stuck in the doldrums for a few years, but was struggling to find decent photos to illustrate the Café section. Thus I figured I would have to do it myslef! I’m not a technical photographer, so basically I just began snapping anything even vaguely representative of the Café, then moved on to snapping away at any event I was on. This has led to me sometimes exasperating the Café team (the clicks and whirrs of the camera alerting people to my predatory watchfulness), who’ve kind of grudgingly accepted it given that they’ll eventually find 150+ aides-mémoire adorning our Flickr account.
I’ve often focused on the documentary angle, recording what it’s like to work in the Café, be on a team retreat or event like the Festival, but I also have an eye open to the purely aesthetic. This can be quirky: I might find the canvas walls of a compost loo interesting, for example! I might be messing about with composition, taking detail shots of interesting conjunctions of objects. But I think it’s people that I find most interesting and challenging. I wouldn’t glorify what I do as ‘portraiture’, but I do like to capture personality and intimacy. This set of the Café team was taken at Glastonbury 2011. Here I was on the Big Fat Buddha Retreat 2012 Big and here’s our most recent event The Green Earth Awakening Camp 2013.
1. Please be courteous at all times. If you’re engaged in any kind of discussion, be as prepared to listen as you are to express yourself. Remember that there’s always a real person behind a computer/device screen, and they are likely quite different from you.
2. Think twice before posting anything that’s likely to give offence or be inflammatory. That doesn’t promote good conversation. If you’re upset at something you see here, perhaps let a little time pass before responding. Bear in mind this isn’t a space to vent our views, it’s about exploring respectfully with others what it means to be a Buddhist within our community and in the modern world generally.
3. We may remove posts or comments that are considered off-topic.
4. Everyone has off-moments, and we’ll always try to be in friendly dialogue with you if a problem arises with one of your contributions. But we reserve the right to remove posts and comments (or even suspend user accounts) when we feel these guidelines are not observed.
Whatever you contribute, we very much encourage you to think about it in the light of the Buddhist ethical precepts around ‘Right Speech’. These encourage communication that is: truthful, kindly and gracious, helpful and harmonious.
We try to keep things light when it comes to moderation of posts and comments within this shared space. And we ask the community itself to lead with this. If you have seen something that concerns you, please feel free to contact us. However, we do ask that you bear in mind the following guidelines, which will help preserve a harmonious atmosphere throughout the site:
Remember there is always a person behind the post or comment you’re objecting to. They may just be having a bad day… If you’re upset, perhaps let a little time pass before responding to them or us.
Try contacting the person first in a spirit of open, courteous engagement to see if hearing their perspective changes your own view of things, or if hearing yours changes theirs.
Take care to make sure what you are asking us to look at is actually against the spirit of the group or the site itself, rather than simply a difference of view or of personal taste. If in doubt, ask a friend and/or the administrator of the group.
The most important things about this is the first bit: we ask the community to lead with this. That means you! Thanks for helping us promote good conversations on The Buddhist Centre Online.