Sometimes it seems like this techno-photo-centric world we are in is racing along at a break-neck speed. Newer cameras, faster lenses, more powerful and innovative software, coming at us faster and faster, with so many pundits and others in the industry touting the virtues of the ever newer thing. Can we just catch a breath?
Where do you rest? Where do you find moments and time to really sink deep into the tools of photography gear and software you have and simply explore a purer experience of photographing? Along with and included in all of this rapid change is an underlying fear of being left behind, of missing out on all of the innovation. I talk to many photographers and students who all talk about these very same things.
Recently, with the start of a new year (hey, what better time?) I've started opening the dialog to ideas of slowing it down, simplifying gear and processes, of finding a resting place. But this is not about inactivity or giving up on technology per se. I think a more human pace to change is what is needed. I don't expect those who have vested financial interests in keeping things moving at warp speed to slow things down. This is something we as individual artists can choose.
The fear of missing out is a powerful motivator for most of us. Technology thrives on this and counts on it. I think it's funny that with all the admonitions to be fearless in pursuit of your dreams, in casting off from the shore and heading into the unknown seas of photography, no one talks about applying that philosophy of no-fear to every aspect of our photographic journey. To me, that means not being afraid of not having the latest greatest new thing.
Taking the time to breathe, metaphorically speaking, and not run after the cutting edge all the time is more human, more natural, and more vital to our well being. When it comes to photography, if you really look at images over time, actual images are not so much better now, maybe a bit different in some respects, but photography is still photography.
I'm taking more of a Zen approach to more and more areas of my life, and how I look at my gear and image processing, as well as my photography in particular is a part of that. Simplifying, taking time to breathe, and experiencing the process of photographing in a fuller, deeper way is my intention going forward. Find your own resting place from all the nonsense racing around you, and just simply do your photography. And fear not: your images will show the difference.