October 4, 2011
Keeping It Simple
If you’ve read many of my blog entries, you know that I believe in keeping things simple. And I’m not just talking about the image, but my thinking, my workflow, my printing and everything else. It’s a philosophy that serves several purposes; first it allows me to stay focused on what really matters. Second, it minimizes distractions such as setting up and tinkering with hardware and software. Third, it makes things easier to diagnose and fix when they do go wrong. And fourth, it helps keep my mind clear of unnecessary clutter.
Many people feel that they cannot produce good images with just the basics, and I disagree. From my experience the basics can produce incredibly beautiful images that most people would envy. I would also suggest that the incremental improvement that these “extras” provide, is so small compared to the time/money spent that they are a poor investment. Your time would be far better spent on finding your vision than setting up programs and plug-ins, or to learn to see better rather than trying to learn to use special inks for your printer.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some “things” that will improve the quality of your work, but by far the largest improvement any of us could achieve would be to improve ourselves rather than our equipment. I tell people that if there is a place for some of these things, it’s after the basics have been mastered.
I have been a technophile most of my life and there were times when my equipment and processes were more important to me than the work I created. I always had the latest equipment and all of the newest gadgets. It was an expensive vanity and it kept me from doing what I really needed to do, and that was to find my own vision. And perhaps that’s part of the reason we do it, it’s easier to buy new equipment then it is to develop our creativity.
I feel passionately about the concept of simplicity and so I approached The Center for Fine Art Photography to see if I could teach this philosophy in a workshop. They agreed and so starting on Wednesday October 19th, I’ll be teaching a workshop entitled “Keeping it Simple.” They keep the enrollment small at the Center and so it will be an intimate workshop.
This seminar will be focusing ultimately on the image, but will also be covering vision, shooting, workflow, printing, framing, marketing and other topics. You can learn more about the workshop at the Center’s website: http://c4fap.org/workshops/2011Simple/
P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure; I have served on the board for The Center for Fine Art Photography, I am friends with the director Hamidah Glasgow and I donate my time to teach these workshops.