Photography according to Thoreau

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Articles | No Comments

DSC3495

Who knew that Henry David Thoreau would be the author of the best photography advice you would ever get? I didn’t until I read it on an old t-shirt, the one I’m wearing right now, in fact. Yet I have been following this advice for many years.

“Simplify, Simplify, Simplify” is what Henry David wrote. I have to admit that I don’t think Thoreau was thinking of the creative arts when he came up with this and I am certain he didn’t have photography on his mind. None the less it is very important advice.

How so? I remind myself of this adage all the time when I photographing- when I am composing a photo simple is always better than complicated. When I am packing my gear taking less that I will use a lot is much better than taking more that I will use less. When processing my photos doing less is better than doing more and enhancing less is a heckuva lot better than enhancing more. When choosing gear going for the simplest design is always better- easier to use, longer lasting- than gear with lots of bells and whistles.

And for me when I’m teaching, simple explanations without lots of big words and absurd examples is better than the too often excessive verbiage that I often read and hear.

Keeping it simple isn’t always the easiest approach but it is the best. A simple approach, a simple outlook, a simple mind, a simple life. Very Thoreau. Very good for photography.

Leave a Reply