Learning To See Less

The 30 Days of Black and White wrapped up a few days ago. Since then I’ve been wondering how shooting in only black and white would affect what I shoot going forward. It hasn’t taken long to realize that my entire vision, how I see, what I see and how I care to shoot what I see, changed.

One of the things I found interesting and appealing about shooting and viewing images in black and white only was how much simpler the photos became. Not so much to take, but to look at. The lack of color as a distraction left a simpler photo to see. But I like color and that intrigued me. How do I see and shoot in color that will still give me that same simpler image to look at, be interesting and still tell a story.

Minimalism. I’ve heard of and seen some minimalist photography but haven’t really studied it or understood it. So for the past few days I’ve been reading, looking at the greats in this field; painters, architects, designers and photographers. Asian art, I found, exemplifies this art form. The Japanese have a word “Ma” to describe the space between objects. Noting that the space between things is as important as those things themselves. In other-words the idea behind minimalism is to remove all the elements of a scene that aren’t relevant to the telling of the story. Simplify.

So why not head down the path that seems to have presented itself and learn a little about how to see less. I’m not sure where I’ll go with this but the subject matter seems endless. Over the past few days I’ve been driving around and trying out different subjects under different conditions to get a feel for what this approach looks like through the viewfinder.

As far as gear goes, I don’t know yet what I’ll use in terms of cameras and lenses but that’ll be fun too.

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