I decided to revisit my minimalism and photography post I did a couple of years ago:
Minimalism and photography. Do they go together? When people think of minimalism they tend to think of having to sort out their stuff and get rid of it. If you follow The Minimalists you will get a much better idea of the concept.
Everybody has their own interpretation of something they read and what they take away from it. At the moment part of my take on minimalism is:
Remove things that don’t add value to your life.
Adopt a conscious consumerism approach, buy what you need not what you want.
Think about using what you have before making a purchase.
Think about how much freedom you will have worrying about less stuff.
Whilst I am slowly reducing the amount of clutter I have, I’m not blindly throwing things out. There is a fine line though. The ‘keep it just in case’ pile is getting smaller in the house. Unfortunately the same pile in the garage is a more difficult task for me to tackle. I don’t know why DIY orientated stuff is harder to make a decision about. I’ve only just got rid of a steamer that hasn’t been used in about eight years. When I stop and think about it now, I can’t reason why I’ve kept it so long. The same goes for an old metal tool box with a collection of oversized spanners in it. A throw back to the days of DIY maintenance on the car. Which I also haven’t done for years. Even the wife thinks of it as a family ’heirloom’.
By now this may start to be familiar in photographic terms. How many flashguns, lenses, bags, filters, brackets [insert anything else you can think of] do you have lying around? How many of these items are kept ‘just in case’?
So that bit of text in italics above is an excerpt from the original post. How am I doing on the minimalism and photography front? Not too bad at all. How about minimalism in general? Could be better is the answer.
Now let me point out the other half is in no way a minimalist. I am still trying to do the conscious consumerism thing. That for me is working a lot better. In the past I would have been a lot more impulsive on my purchases, Now its more a question of ‘well it still works so I’m good for now’.
Of course that will only work for so long…. But I am a lot more mindful of the things I buy. There’s that conscious consumerism thing.
In terms of my photography gear I am already reasonably minimal. I have a ‘standard zoom’, and a ‘medium zoom’ as my everyday carry in a small bag set up. That covers wide angle to telephoto (24-300ish mm in full frame equilavent).
On top of that I only own another two lenses (a 35mm 1.8 DX and a 85mm Macro lens). As much as I try I just don’t like the results from anything wider than 18mm on DX. I have gone through a couple of 10-20mm lenses but I never end up keeping them.
I do go back and forth on the macro lens as well. I currently have one and will hang on to it for the time being.
My better half currently has my old D3200 (you forget how small they are) with a 18-55 and 55-200. Despite my best efforts though she doesn’t tend to use them much preferring her phone instead.
I’ve also got My Nikon V1 and a couple of lenses. I do like using it but I’ve come to the conclusion that if any of It breaks it will not be replaced. I stopped spending money on that system a while back.
What I do seem to have is a draw full of chargers, cables and other stuff of dubious usefulness. I need to sort that lot out sometime.
If you are fortunate enough to have a few lenses for a challenge try going out with just one or two. Or maybe have a look at the metadata in Lightroom to see which you use the most. You might surprise yourself which focal lengths you shoot at.
So how do you cope when your partner doesn’t share your minimalism ideas? Well like most things in life you have to pick your battles 🙂
I have to admit I’m not a full blown minimalist but starting to think about what I keep and what I buy is a step in the right direction.
If your curious about minimalism pop over and pay Joshua and Ryan a visit at theminimalists.com. You never know it may change your life 😉
( Other minimalist advisors are available).