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I just acquired the 1976 Minolta AutoPak 110mm film camera and I am loving the simplicity. Add one AA battery for exposure and flash, then load my Lomography Metropolis 110 film and I am off to capture 36 exposures in all it’s retro glory.

Lightweight, fits in my pocket and I love the minimal design.

Goodbye Medium

We’re writing today to notify you that the Medium account associated with this email address is at risk of being removed from the Partner Program. As outlined here, Medium has created new eligibility and activity requirements for writers to maintain their enrollment in the Partner Program. If you have fewer than 100 followers you may be removed from the Partner Program.

Currently, your Medium account does not meet this requirement. You will have until February 23, 2022 to reach the 100-follower requirement, or your account will be removed from the Partner Program. Your existing metered posts will be un-metered and you’ll no longer be eligible to earn on them.

Medium was a great platform to publish articles and get paid based on views. But then they changed the algorithms and buried posts for those without a huge following such as myself.

Not a problem. Medium doesn’t care, I don’t care and it is one more platform I get to delete.

Minimalist iPhone

I’ve been looking for an everyday minimal carry and to reduce dependency from an iPhone for some time. I want to limit distractions, I don’t want to carry my iPhone with me everywhere, until I do. But I want the freedom of choice sometimes to leave it at home but still be able to communicate if needed. Then I realized, I have a perfect, minimalist iPhone on my wrist- the Apple Watch series 7 with cellular capability.

With the Watch I can make/receive phone calls, text, e-mail and receive notifications from employees all while leaving the iPhone behind.

I can leave my wallet behind and simply scan my Watch over a pay terminal for transactions via Apple Wallet. Eventually, my state’s drivers license will be digital so no more wallet and physical cards to keep up with. Availability sometime in 2022. Not holding my breath.

Music and podcasts stream well thanks to the AirPods connectivity.

What does a photography enthusiast do without the use of his powerful iPhone camera? Bring a physical camera instead. Duh.

Now that I have this realization, I cannot wait to test it out. Sure, I’ll take my license while driving about, but when I am on a walk, a hike or a photo walk? No more phone weight or distractions. Watch me.

Happy Trails

Anyone else notice the continuing trend of athleisure wear? I’m not one for jumping on to band wagons but I am for utility, comfort and looking good while doing it.

One of the many things I want to do this year is to get outdoors, explore more trails, hunt for geocaches, and grab fresh air because these four walls close in on me while working from home.

I grabbed the new Nike All Conditions Gear trail shoes and dry-fit shirt in anticipation of getting outside more. Just like Apple, Nike is a luxury item with excellent quality materials that last. Leisure, luxury and the outdoors, apparently is something more of us can do with during these pandemic years.

It’s time to take this outside. Happy trails!

Zen and the Art of Photography Pt 2

After my previous post I have thought of even more active practices to apply a mindset for more purposeful photography.

Thirty-Six Exposures

36 exposures waiting for something beautiful

When shooting digital images in the past, I would try to capture anything and everything with little to show for it. Using a 35mm film camera, you have only 36 exposure of film in one roll so every shot has to count. Digital is cheaper than analog so I can snap all I want, but with film, you have to be more intentional, more deliberate. Setting a limitation of only 36 images with my digital camera is a good thing. I can relax, focus on the present and focus on those images I want.

One Camera, One Lens
In the past, I would walk out with a camera and multiple lenses because “You never know when you’ll need it.” How many of those lenses were used- only the one. How liberating and relaxing is it not to think about that extra weight carried in the camera bag? Again, setting out with limitations creates intentionality.

Simply The Workflow
Shooting in jpeg as opposed to RAW format produces smaller images and faster transfer times to speed up the process. Removing Adobe Lightroom from the workflow allows me to work faster. Apple Photos app has improved to a degree where no other software is needed. However, if I want to process images even more, I have Pixelmator. Both are tied into the Apple photo ecosystem and allows you to focus more on what I want to do, such as make more images.

Delete Social Media
Followers, Likes and heart emojis do not ascertain your photograph’s worth. They do not reflect on what the image means to you. I publish photos without expectations or delusions of grandeur on my own websites because it makes me happy. With your own website you control the aesthetics, no algorithm, no tracking and no advertising. This is Zen.

Also, publish your work digitally, in the form of an e-book or portfolio. It is a better way to distribute to your website followers and loved ones in a .pdf format than print is. This is the way.

Less Gear, More Comfort
Instead of investing in that shiny new camera or lens, put your money into yourself such as a good pair of shoes. When I plan for a photo walk or hike, I want to enjoy the experience, in the moment without discomfort. If possible, donate your unused gear to someone just starting out. New photography from other budding artists is always a good thing.

Airplane Mode
The desire to check your notifications, read email or catch up on the latest news in your feed distracts focusing on the here and now. Your image quality will be affected. Be present in the moment.

Seeing your image materialize on photographic paper in a darkroom is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in photography. Likewise the experience when reviewing on your digital device. Apple Photos displays images much like an analog contact sheet. On an iPad it is glorious to swipe through, favorite, delete, edit and save. Looking at each image with intentionality is a rewarding experience after all your time and effort.

Reconnect with yourself in the outdoors while shooting. Focus on your breathing while focusing on your image, then snap. Create opportunities to get out and enjoy your surroundings, there is beauty in everything now go find it.

More Practices To Be Discovered
That’s it for now, but until next time- This is photographic zen. This is the way.

Zen and the Art of Photography

After studying but putting forth little effort into the zen philosophy last year, I think I will attempt it again this year. But what if I can apply those principles into something I enjoy such as photography? I can create a hybrid of the two and enjoy both even further.
There are more than seven practices of course, but these seem to be fundamental and can be applied to photography.

Having a camera is a passport to explore the world with different perspectives. By keeping an open mind and seeing your subjects differently we can open up new opportunities and more rewarding images.

Sure, I desire to fly towards exotic destinations and capture those epic scenes, but reality says I must be present in my current situation. This requires the discipline of focus. Likewise if I try to capture all the things around me, I will capture nothing of consequence. Focus on the moment, the subject and the outcome for best results.

I am generally an optimistic person but I haven’t been lately. Staying positive in all situations makes me and those around me better. I can get frustrated if a scene or shot doesn’t go my way. If I remain calm, slow down and focus this will lead to happiness with my photography and my life. Fun fact: zen is dependent on happiness.

Seek beauty in all things
Admittingly, this is a challenge for me. I’ve been disappointed in shooting my current surroundings because they were boring, over-shot, repetitive, and wanting more. If I slow down, focus and stay positive. A good photographer sees something in the moment that no one else does. All things do have a certain beauty in them.

Live in the moment
This can be applied under “Focus” as well. A general acceptance of the here and now. An acceptance of myself, and of others. Minimizing distractions and enjoying where I am currently.

Minimalism or simplicity
I’ve done what I can do minimize possessions and to simplify my life, why not do the same for photography? Why not minimize distractions in the viewfinder and focus on something simplistic? This can include simplifying subjects or a scene, simplifying your gear and enjoying the process.

Walking meditation
A lot of issues can be solved with walking. It offers clarity, strengthens the mind and the body. Taking a camera along for a photo walk affords a lot of opportunities. Your mind and body are clear, so now too your images.

Practicing the art of zen photography emphasizes who we are and is reflected in the images we make. Do I make the world around me a better place, am I a better person for it and do my images reflect this? I don’t know but I am eager to apply these practices the next time I go out with the camera.