At some point in the past I had all the camera gear I would ever need. I owned a few Nikons and Nikkor lenses. Had the best Windows laptop, software, tripods, light modifiers, Polaroid cameras, and all the supporting equipment as well.
I had it all, and at that time it was good. So why did I decide to get rid of everything I worked so hard to obtain?
I used most of the gear. Not everything I purchased I needed but they were used. I eventually accumulated a lot of gear.
But over time something happened. Something changed. The problem was and wasn’t the photography gear. Using the gear made my life easier. It gave me the opportunity to generate my creativity and vision into whatever I desired. My clients loved my work and paid me for my time. But slowly, I lost my passion for the photographs I was creating and the jobs I was getting booked for. The work I was doing wasn’t fulfilling anymore and I decided it was time to change things up.
I wanted a style, a process I could call my own. The gear wasn’t making me happy anymore and was becoming a burden to own, carry, use, set up, move and store.
I wanted a simpler life, a simpler camera setup, and to do that required letting go of all that. Yes, all that. I stopped using all that gear and sold them. I had been shooting Nikon for 15 years.
I switched to Canon and only then with 3 multi-purpose lenses. I needed a simpler process that would help me test my creativity.
Throughout the years I’d look to other sources besides photography for inspiration and to spark creativity. Going to museums, I’d take photos of the portraits and statues of people. We as a species are interested in ourselves and other people’s lives, then and now. I would also read up on human philosophy, art books and photography books.
It has been a busy summer of portraits, plus an art show. I am anticipating a slow fall and winter of shooting so it is time for me to re-organize again and also reevaulate my workflow.
I am going to start over, embrace the amateur mindset. Call it a reboot. I want to explore minimalism, essentialism and discover my photography roots again. The how and the why of it.
I suppose I could limit myself to
- One camera Canon Rebel T6
- One lens 1/4f 50mm
- One ND filter
- One film/preset (Kodak Panatomic X
These are the limitations I could set myself. A recipe for my new photographic journey, and eventually my new photographic style. These ingredients are the limitations that will force me to think and create.
Because I limited my gear and post-processing, I began to feel liberated. free. I no longer had to make decisions as to what gear to use or what lens to use. I only had one lens and one camera. I could only photograph using available light, so no more questions about what lighting setup I should use. Wherever the sun is, that’s what I get.
By minimizing my gear, I found happiness. Happiness in less. I started to love and create like the philosophers and artists I was reading about. I found zen. Zen in one camera and one lens.
I don’t regret getting rid of all that gear and in fact, I still have some pairing down to do but for now, I’m enjoying the set up and experimenting with it.
- Macbook Air
- iPad Pro
- Canon Rebel T6i with 18-55mm, 50mm & 75-300mm lenses
- iPhone xR
- Canon SureShot 35mm
- Minolta 7000 35mm with 35-105mm lens
- Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom