Recently I was walking to work in the early hours of dawn when suddenly the clouds closed above and the sky fell. It felt like I was in my morning shower again. My clothes were soaked, my shoes wear wet through. I didn’t have a change of garments or even a towel to dry off once I reached work. I would enviability be drenched, dripping through the foyer. Whilst I was walking in the rain, the motorway onramp was adjacent to me. Figures peering, warm, dry, comfortable in their metal cages on wheels. Void of smiles resulting from the congestion of traffic. But I had a smile on my face. I was happy. Outside walking in the cold wet rain, it made my day.
It’s no lie that Minimalism is the direct contrast and was brought to light from the juxtaposition of over-consumption. All trends start from the opposite, a rebellious movement around social norms. Minimalism isn’t new, its aesthetic has been around since the 1600s from Japan. Then later the word ‘minimalism’ was coined as an art movement in the 1960s. Today it is associated with an aesthetic and the juxtaposition of hoarders. But what I am interested about the photography genre minimalism is the appeal. The need, want and visually pleasing nature of minimalism.
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Doing something now is exceedingly more important than thinking about doing something later. Success is more a product of habit than it is of skills and resources. The great masters of photography used gear that would be considered obsolete for today’s standards. If they can capture photographs that influenced people, there is no reason you can’t do the same.
As artists, we all know what good work looks like. We know it’s difficult to achieve good work, but we strive regardless. It can sometimes feel like we are Sisyphus, but instead, we never reach the peak of the mountain. The road to becoming a successful artist however you interpret it can be arduous, for there isn’t a standard path. In our hearts we know we can’t just follow a guidebook, mentor or degree to reach it. Which can be frustrating, the not knowing. The passage one must take is unprecedented, a route only an individual can charter through.
I’m sick of reading misleading titles with catchy thumbnails that use bold fonts that have nothing to do with the content except for the sole purpose of catching your attention so you click on it. We live in a world where people spend more time trying to be heard rather than focusing on what to say. Do you really think that meaningful content is manifested just to get more likes? Great work comes from the soul, from a place of meaning, purpose, a personal story, a creative exploration into one’s self.
There are many items in our creative journey that make our lives easier. Today technology and advancements in photography make our old gear obsolete very quickly. But we still cling to these obsolete artefacts. As photographers, we hold tightly to the things of the past, not because they don’t work anymore but in hopes, we will use them. Forever sitting on a shelf collecting dust waiting for someday, a day that will never come.
Pick up your camera, hold it, look at it, and ask yourself is my camera obsolete. Does it no longer achieve what I require from it? Chances are you can think of a few things your camera needs. But if you’re being honest with yourself you’re just comparing your current camera with another. We all compare, we all want something someone else has. We want abundance, more, the newest shiny whatever. But when you think about purpose, function, getting the job done. Do you really need that new camera or camera model upgrade?
Photography is about perception, not gear. Imitating or doing an iteration of someone else’s work is a quick way to a dead-end. Whilst replicating someone else’s work is a great way to learn technical skills, it’s nothing more. Instead, focus on developing your own perception, that’s the true road towards your own unique body of work.
I believe that we all have our own creative process. Our own unique way of producing our work. Be it getting inspiration, putting in the hours or through skill and discipline. The way we do something is ours and ours alone. But we all go through the same hurdles towards becoming a master of our craft. Novice, Student, Expert, Master.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method used to help you be productive by breaking down your tasks into 25 minute increments. This time management method makes tasks less intimidating or unattainable. I’m using this technique right now, to help me write this article on it and about methods for being more productive.