zen fish

I find koi carps to be magnificent animals. They possess this wonderful quality which creates peace and tranquility. They’re so completely Zen.

A few months ago, I traveled to Northern Thailand and stayed at this meditation camp for a week. Nestled somewhere between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Song, the retreat was geared towards contemplation and the Dharma. A large man-made pond provided an environment for dozens of these fish. I had never seen such large and beautiful koi carps before.

I immediately proceeded to snap away but found the making of a good image -in this case- very challenging. The reflections on the surface of the water not only made it difficult to see the fish but also confused the autofocus. Thankfully, koi carps swim very slowly and often come up to the surface in order to feed.

The pond was protected with a combination of glass and opaque material which offered a light checkered pattern with the odd dark wavy “stream”. Manual focus set at a precise distance plus just the right exposure, I just waited for that ONE fish I needed, wanted, prayed for…. That large red, black and white one who kept teasing me… Finally, she gave in and swam at the perfect angle within that dark wave, as if the Universe had conspired with me by providing all the perfect lines and reflections at that instant. Loved it!


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