Stop ripping off Michael Kenna

To capture the aesthetic of minimalism is very hard to achieve in a world that is full of content and never ending clutter. As photographers how do we capture a scene in a minimalistic style without blatantly copying artists like Michael Kenna or Hiroshi Sugimoto?

Deliberate style

There are many forms that make up a personal style in photography. It could be the gear you use, the type of light, your post processing or film. Your style could be determined by the stories you are trying to tell, the philosophy behind your work, concept or message. These are a few of the things that can contribute to a unique style. But are you deliberate with your style? Do you go out of your way to get a consistent look with your photography?

Find your default focal length

Why did I pick to only photograph with a fixed focal length of 50mm? Easy, Henri Cartier-Bresson used one. But seriously the real reason I picked a fixed focal length at all, aside from sharpness and quality, is it was my default focal length. So how did I find my default focal length?

Deliberate practice

After reading the book ‘So good they can’t ignore you’ by Cal Newport I found that I personally have plateaued in my photography practice. I’m too comfortable, I find my composition natural and it comes to me like second nature when framing an image inside the viewfinder. After reading Newport’s book I found that I was no longer practising in the sense of training, or stretching my creative mussels. Cal Newport coined the phrase ‘deliberate practice’, which is exactly what I need to do.