We have all done it, looked at someone else’s work or life and thought that would be nice to have what they have. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. But there is one thing that we are forgetting in our moment of envy, that someone out there wishes they had what we have. Our brains are really good at bringing our baseline of emotions, desire and stress to an equilibrium level. This is why lotto winners aren’t happier in their lives after reaching financial stability.
It’s one of the main draws of landscape photography, being one with nature at peace away from it all. Away from the grind, gossip and insecurities that come from society. But is this solitude being destroyed by the need for a social like? By other creatives replicating what they have already seen.
Focus on what’s important… pun intended. I’m not addressing lens focus or how to get sharp images. I’m sorry if that is your main concern right now in photography. If that is the case just google search tutorials on autofocus, zone focusing or micro-adjustments. When I state ‘focus’ what I’m expressing concern about is what’s the purpose, meaning, emotion or reason for your photographs. What is the function of your photographs aside from displaying an aesthetically pleasing visual?
It’s a humble experience to find your first camera. The camera that started your journey and curiosity in photography. I was curious to find that almost nothing was different from my old camera, regarding specs. The only main thing that changed was that whole film into digital thing, that’s about it. So if the only major change in a camera that was released in 1976 to my current camera was the conversion to digital. Why was my photography so different, from inception to present? It made me wonder, I pondered over this revelation, till it came to me. The most important thing to a photographers development was their experiences.
Debating over cameras is like debating over chopsticks and forks. They all do the same basic things, the rest is just measuring minor extremities. A $5,000 car and a $50,000 car both can get you from point A to point B. One just costs more while it massages your ego. I feel that most photographers are missing what is more important than how big their lens is. What is more important is the idea, the meaning, the story behind your work? What are your images about, what are the conveying to the viewer? What are you trying to communicate?
I had everything I could ever need, all the dream gear. Broncolor lighting, the latest professional Canon cameras along with all the faster canon lenses. I had the latest Apple laptop, tethering equipment, software, c-stands, tripods, light modifiers, Polaroid cameras, all the gear I could have ever dreamed of. I had it all, and at that time it was good, better than good it was extraordinary. So why did I later decide to get rid of everything I work so hard to obtain, and only after a few years after having it?
For most of us, we end up reasoning by analogy because we’ve had the ‘why’ question beaten out of us. Naturally, we are born with reasoning by first principles, but our parents, guardians, teacher and mentors eventual put their foot down and say something like because I said so. Our curious mind and quest for reason and answers are destroyed by an authority. Do as I say, because I said so, don’t question me, I’m the chef, your just the cook follow the recipe.
I only use one camera body and one lens, because I only have one voice and one point of view. Most photographers use a variety of equipment and effects to best capture a subject. To say something unique and different for each moment. Wanting to tell a story in a unique way from everyone else. But is this necessary, isn’t your point of view enough?
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.