Posts Tagged: minimalism

Minimalism and photography

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.

Nikon 1 V1

I Like my V1 but not enough to replace it.

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).

Minimalism and photography

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’?

I know I’m guilty of a couple. Flashguns and lenses. OK you can maybe understand flashguns but lenses?

Yep. Lenses. You know how you read forums and talk to other photographers and they say you should have this and that lens. You hear (or read it) enough times and you start to believe. I got brainwashed into believing I needed a fast aperture ‘standard’ lens. So I got a 35mm F1.8 lens (for my APS-C system).

I thought it would come in handy because my kit lens was a slow zoom (F3.5-5.6). In practice I hardly used the 35mm. Lightroom is really handy for providing metadata about lenses at a glance. I decided it was time to let it go (feel free to sing that song from Frozen. Let it go, let it go… Yeah that one 😊). I did something similar with a 10-20mm zoom.

Nikon 1 V1, 30-110mm lens and Raynox adapter, total length 150mm

Nikon 1 V1, 30-110mm lens and Raynox adapter, total length 150mm

Over the years I have also had a bit more than a passing interest in macro. I’ve had three different macro lenses in the last 10 years. That’s an average of one every three years. I thought I would use them far more than I actually did. I also have a Raynox close up adapter. You can slip it in your pocket and hardly notice it. Granted the macro lenses get you closer but for what I was actually doing? The Raynox is OK. I’ve probably used it more than the macro lenses and got more value out of it.

My third lens was a zoom whose range overlapped another zoom I had. You remember you read somewhere about not doing that. Me too. Never get a lens that overlaps what you already have. I’m talking more than a few mm each end here.

So I’ve put my hands up. I had three lenses I wasn’t really getting value out of. I sold them on.

It’s funny how sometimes you can see the value in items straight away. Sometimes you don’t. I wanted to de clutter my photo gear and for me it has worked. Those lenses were hanging around longer than they should of.

Now if only I could sort out my garage….

 

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 😉

Photography and minimalism

I don’t know why but recently I am reading a lot about minimalism.

There appears to be a multitude of ways on how to go about living with less. Some say get rid of everything except the essential and most precious items. You could even consider downsizing your house. Because it’s almost empty now, right?  🙂

Others live by the ‘ if I haven’t used it in a year do I need it ?’ philosophy. Some might go along the 33 items in a wardrobe route.  The more I read the more I relate to, at the very least cutting out consumerism and waste.

I am moving more to the idea of conscious consumerism. Really thinking about whether I need something or want it. A more thoughtful route to making a purchase, not just doing research on the product. Truth be told I’ve worked along these lines in terms of my photographic gear for a while now. It just hasn’t been ‘labelled’.

The smartphone - Ultimate minimalism for a camera setup ?

The smartphone – Ultimate minimalism for a camera setup ?

Marketing departments are always trying to get us to buy the latest and greatest. To be fair western society is essentially based on consumerism. Just take a look at the fashion industry. ‘That’s soooo last week darrrling’. Mobile phones is another one that comes to mind. Although I think you could lump them in with fashion to a certain extent.

So for a variety of reasons I’m applying a minimalist approach to my photography gear. What I have now I could call a minimal kit. It also means I don’t have gear anxiety when I go anywhere. Should I have brought that lens or this etc, as it can all fit in one bag. To go ‘really minimal’ you could also look at a fixed lens camera or even a smartphone. On occasions I just use my smartphone and it can be quite liberating. Especially when out with the other half.

Like a lot of things in life – politics, religion, jobs, lifestyle – what is right for one person isn’t right for another. But we are fortunate that generally we have a choice.

Some may not like the idea of minimalism at all, some may embrace it with a vengeance.

Who knows perhaps my minimal approach to photography might manifest itself into other aspects of my life.

 

(For further reading on minimalism you could try http://www.theminimalists.com as a starting point).