My current interest in photography involves creating "mandalas," which are created by duplicating a part of an image and then digitally manipulating the duplicated parts until they simulate the symmetry of a traditional Indian mandala. A mandala, from the Sanskrit word meaning "disk," is typically a geometrical figure that represents the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. In Western depth psychology, mandala-like images that appear in dreams often refer to the dreamer's search for completeness and self-unity. Below are some of my most recent mandala creations.
This is nothing more than a piece of rock covered with lichen, which I then duplicated, rotated, and layered until it formed a symmetrical mandala shape.
Another rock covered with lichen that I duplicated, rotated, and layered in order to create this almost translucent atmospheric image.
Diamond in the Rough
This is a tree stump that I happened upon while walking in the woods, which I then duplicated and rotated until the four corners of the image aligned in the center, forming this intriguing diamond shape.
I shot the center of a stained-glass window in our house, duplicated it several times, then began to rotate the individual layers until I achieved this "mystical" eye, which reminds me of the Indian god Krishna (which, etymologically, means "black").
Another tree stump, this time duplicated only once and placed back-to-back with the original to form this striking image. Tree stumps in particular make a good basis for what I'm trying to achieve given their concentric rings and generally cracked surface.
I was wandering around my wife's studio and happened upon a folded-paper project that she had pinned to the wall. I photographed a corner of it, turning it into this mandalic pinwheel.
This image began as a photograph of a metal tube that emitted light out of one end. I focused on the light-emitting end, duplicating and manipulating it until I found the right balance to create this octagonal mandala.
A slender piece of wood is the basis of this mandala, which was duplicated, rotated, combined, etc., more than several times to arrive at this quite angular image.
This began as a photograph of cloud reflections off the surface of a pond. After manipulating it into a mandala-like image I added a red square which I duplicated, rotated, and changed its color several times, each time reducing the resultant image in size.
The tip of a conch shell duplicated several times and rotated until it reminded me of the multi-armed Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance. Some call Shiva's dance the Dance of Destruction, others the Dance of Bliss. In any case, it symbolizes the cosmic cycle of creation and destruction, as well as the earthly cycle of birth and death.
Stand before the altar in a stone church in medieval Europe and look up. What do you see? More than likely you'll see that you are standing beneath the "Crossing," the place where the Transept intersects the Nave perpendicularly before the Apse, creating the image of a cross in the vaulted ceiling. Hence, the name of this mandala.