Babysitting Photographs pt.1 Stroller Views & Dreamscapes

Babysitting Photographs  Studies VII
Part I:  Sleepy Baby Stroller Views Dreamscapes

Click on images to enlarge
Part I : Sleepy Baby Stroller Views and Dreamscapes
Part II : On the Ground Floor Babysitting Photographs 
Part III : Symmetrical Babysitting Photographs
Part IV : Commentaries & Epilogue

The photographs you will see in this seventh project for the series entitled Studies were made for the most part in February, March and earlyApril of 2016 while my wife and I were caring for our 13 month old grand daughter, Claire.  In March, Claire began attending a day care center; a few weeks afterward she became ill with a fever that lasted over a month.  Gloria and I stayed with her, at our son's and his wife's home, while they were at work.  Our babysitting days, often stretching over an eight or nine hour period, was filled with giving Clair our full, undivided attention, plus other household chores which would help out her busy parents.

When we arrived in the mornings, the first thing we did was turn on the CD player an begin playing a recording of sacred mantra of the Siddha Yoga Path led by our meditation Master, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.  Hearing the mantra being chanted throughout the entire day reminded us that what we were doing, babysitting Claire, was a form of spiritual practice known as seva.

Thankfully, Claire would take at least one nap each day, varying in length from one time to the next.  I would usually feel so tired by that time (I'm in my 70's) that when our grand daughter took a nap, I would nap too.  In rare cases, when Claire took extra long naps, I might reach a point of feeling rested and refreshed enough to get up and consider making some photographs.  If the light was especially interesting that day I would walk quietly around the house taking photographs while Claire continued to sleep.

The photographs made during these infrequent picture-making circumambulations have yielded some interesting images which I have divided up into three parts, each with its own project page and title:

               Part I :    Sleepy Baby Stroller Views 
               Part II :   On the Ground Babysitting Photographs
               Part III :  The Symmetrical Babysitting Photographs & Corbin's Interworld of the Soul

Part 1: Sleepy Baby Stroller Views
When our grand daughter needed a nap, I would place her in a large, black stroller, with the top pulled part-way down to reduce the light level, and then slowly stroll her around the ground floor level of the  house.  As we strolled I would sing the mantra to her, along with the CD recording.  Claire would look up at me.  If our eyes connected she would not want to go to sleep, so I learned to chant with my eyes almost closed.   As we moved slowly through the space of the house she would look out from the stroller at all the familiar spaces and things on the walls until her eyes grew so heavy with the need to sleep that at times I was sure she had reached a deep-sleep state even though her eyes were open.  Certainly the power of the grace-filled Siddha Yoga manta has often put me into an open-eyed trance-like meditative state.

Eventually Claire's eyes would close and she would sleep for varying periods of time.  I would go to the nearby living room couch and rest until I heard her waking up.  However, if Claire took an extra long nap and I reached a point of feeling rested enough, I might get up and make photographs for a while as she slept.  Sometimes the winter light coming through the front windows could be quite magical and would make me want to photograph.

When I began studying all the images I had made, I noticed that several of the photographs were views looking upward.  I fantasized that these images were what Claire had been seeing from her viewpoint nestled in her stroller as she was slowly drifting off to sleep with the mantra.


There are many modes of being that are somewhere between "ordinary" waking consciousness and sleep,  between sensory perception and the realm of the Imaginal world.  They go by many names such as "the twilight zone," the "hypnogogic state," and I think the term intuition could apply here.  Henry Corbin has written much about an Intermediary realm, the realm of the Imaginal world, and the Interworld of the Soul. 

When I photograph I often slip into this open-eyed intermediary state of being.  It is as if I am photographing in a state of meditation.  I am consciously moving through space and seeing outward things as imaginal, that is to say, potential photographic images.  In this mode of perception I am seeing outward things inwardly, that is to say, through the eyes of an opened heart.  In the case of my babysitting photographs, it is interesting to consider that I am photographing just after having napped during which I was half-consciously absorbing the grace of the sounds of the chanted mantra.  I then get up and photograph with the mantra still resonating within me and in all the things and spaces of the house.


The first image in this, the first of the three collections of "babysitting" photographs, shows a partial view of the baby stroller and an approximate view of what Claire might have seen as she looks out from within her stroller as she is about to fall into deep sleep.

In the second image we see Claire's hand and the sock she is wearing that day, socks upon which has printed an image of white socks and black patten leather shoes dotted with pink spots.

The first two images form something like a prelude to the the next set of images which are a kind of visual fantasy on what Claire is seeing as she is falling to sleep from inside the stroller as I slowly push her around the house and singing the mantra to her along with the recording playing in the background.

In the third section of this first series of photographs, we first see an image of Claire sleeping inside the stroller.  Her eyes are closed, and the images that follow form yet another visual fantasy; this time the images depict what Claire might me seeing in her dreams.  Perhaps these photographs could be entitled Sleeping Baby Imaginal Dreamscapes.

The Babysitting Photographs
Studies VII
Part One, Section One

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #1 :  Stroller

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #2 :  Baby's Hand and stockinged foot

Part One, Section Two
Sleepy Baby Stroller Views

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #3 : Ceiling View and Air Vent  

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #4 : Light on Ceiling

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #5 : Front Door and Ceiling Light

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #6 : Framed Photograph on Stairwell Wall

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #7 : Kitchen Skylight

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #8 : Laundry Room Ceiling Light

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #9 : Birthday Ballon on Living Room Ceiling 

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #10 : Wall Speaker

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #11 : Separator Screens & Air Vent 

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #12 : Separator Screen & Chandelier 

Part One, Section Three
Sleeping Baby Imaginal Dreamscapes

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  #13 : Sleeping Baby In Stroller

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #14 : Dreamscape: Chinese Ceramic Design

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #15 : Dreamscape: Setting Sun Light and Shadow on Front Room Window

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #16 : Dreamscape: Tree Shadows on Laundry Room Wall

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #17 : Dreamscape: Dappled Light on Curtain

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #18 : Dreamscape: Sun Light and Shadow on Pack'N Play Netting

Babysitting Photographs  Part 1,  Image #19 : Dreamscape: Chinese Chair Design 


This project was completed and posted 
on my Welcome Page in the 
"Recently Added" section
April 15, 2016


Click on images to enlarge
Part I : Sleepy Baby Stroller Views and Dreamscapes
Part II : On the Ground Floor Babysitting Photographs 
Part III : Symmetrical Babysitting Photographs
Part IV : Commentaries & Epilogue

The Studies Projects     
Here is the list of projects that belong together under the Studies category.  The projects are listed from the earliest originating project to the present.

Studies 1994-2000
Studies II : Monk's Quirky Music 1994-2000
Studies III: Color Photographs 2006 - June 2013
Still Life Studies IV 2013
The Creative Process Studies V 2014
The Space Between Color and Black&white Studies VI 2014
The Babysitting Photographs Studies VII 2016

Welcome Page  to The Departing Landscape website which includes the complete hyperlinked listing of my online photography projects dating back to the 1960's, my resume, contact information, and more.