I live with a spiritual being who has the form of a dog and who has taught me to perceive the spiritual qualities of all animals. I am a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner studying in the tradition of Ati Yoga.. One of the great teachers in this lineage, Drukpa Kunley, never went anywhere without his dog. Animals gather around and are protected by spiritual masters.
I like to photograph at night. Perceptual conditions reveal the unseen. I use flash and long exposure to elongate time and thereby enter into dimensions beyond the three or four to which we are accustomed. Night photography reveals the luminosity of the day. Ordinary vision is expanded; one sees beyond the eye and is confronted by a world that transcends perception conditioned by the physical. We do not see all that is there. Our perception is limited by the dual nature of vision. Night photography opens the possibility to see into other dimensions. Night photography manifests inherent luminosity. It opens the portal to the unseen worlds. Animals see this way without design or intention, they see this way effortlessly, as their natural state. Louise Landes Levi in conversation with Felicia Murray February 2008
During my first two trips to India and Nepal which took place in the winters of 2003 and 2004, I chose to photograph in black & white. The timeless essence of location comes through more strongly without the quotidian distraction of color.
In spite of the masses of people and seemingly turbulent activity all around, the spirit of place and the changing sense of space was what moved me. These became more visible, at once under the cover of night, in myriad settings, and in the movement and character of animals and individuals
As in one’s waking remembrance of dreams, different energies unfold through the emptiness and silence of darkness. Similarly, fused moments of daytime existence reveal personal expressions of creatures encountered in urban and rural environs.
As I often use a flash with a long shutter speed, what transpires on the film goes beyond three-dimensional vision, leading one to memorable visual experiences of shape-shifting mystery. Ever a reminder of deeper awareness, I strive to elucidate details from within a complex, interwoven, sometimes overwhelming tapestry.
The presence of the ineffable, which incorporates all such immediate, often inexplicable, and marvelous elements, is what I felt and wish to impart to my viewers.