Simplicity isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it’s manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential. ~ Jonathan Ives design philosophy, Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson
Join us over at Flickr in the Photographic Simplicity group.Read More
Patricia Turner begins this post with a quote on simplicity.
Take time to listen to yourself. Become familiar with the voice that speaks directly from your heart.
She then challenges us to pick one image from the last year that is our “icon of experience – the one image, that if all others were lost, most represents our voice as an artist.”
What a fantastic exercise and, while the year is not yet over, it’s a good lead-in to my December focused on simplicity.
When I looked over my images from the last year (my first living in Niagara-on-the-Lake), I realized that I had covered a lot of ground – and taken a lot of pictures.
Photography has definitely become so much a part of me that it is almost like breathing. I carry my camera (or at least an iPhone) with me almost all the time. There is no burden to photograph daily (and sometimes I don’t), but most times I do.
I am in the habit of seeing.
My year was made up of two distinct areas. First, I set a goal of photographing my new hometown in all four seasons. Since I was at home (without a car) for much of the year, I achieved this goal.
Yet, I also had the chance to travel – to Florida in February, Western Canada and U.S. in May, New York City in November, as well as several trips to Indianapolis and Toronto. And my travels always inspire my photography.
Choosing one image was not easy. I finally came up with 34 favourites, which you can see in a set on Flickr.
Each has special meaning for me, which might not be apparent to someone viewing it for the first time. Most, but not all, fall into the categories of simplicity or abstract – not at all surprising really.
In the end, I chose the image above as my icon of experience (or expression). To me it represents gracefulness, movement, and newness (green). It reminds me of my town and the constant breeze. And, it shows my love for abstract photography – taking the labels off and seeing familiar subjects in new ways.
I hope this inspires you to discover your own icon of experience for this year. Please let me know if you do.Read More
While this image dates me, this date 50 years ago remains one of my most memorable childhood memories. I posted this picture on my Facebook page and got lots of responses from people about where they were.
I remember our principal, a nun, interrupted our class to tell us that President Kennedy had been shot. We got on our knees beside our desks and prayed for him and his family. And, we were in Canada.
How about you?Read More
Freeman Patterson and Shampers Bluff, New Brunswick remain two of the biggest inspirations of my photographic life. Watch the video below to see how Patterson made sure the place where he lives will never be developed.
Nature is a constant inspiration to the human spirit. ~ Freeman Patterson
Aaron Siskind (1903-1991), according to John Paul Caponigro in this article, Literally Abstract, was the preeminent abstract photographer. Born in New York City, he was part of the abstract expressionist movement there in the 1950′s.
Siskind’s images are riddled with poetic gesture, but none of the gestures in his images are made by hand or by him. ~ John Paul Caponigro
They are the actual subject, yet a new way of seeing ”the thing itself.”
It’s not surprising then to find that Siskind studied literature and wanted to be a poet. However, while photographing on his honeymoon he discovered the artistic possibilities of this medium.
See samples of his abstracted images from nature and architecture at The Aaron Siskind Foundation.
I have always been drawn to similar subjects – graffiti, rust, peeling paint, frayed materials, weathered wood and roads and walls – that when abstracted are transformed from ordinary to extraordinary.
Below is a short clip of Siskind himself (1981).
We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect… but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs. ~ Aaron Siskind, Brainy Quotes
Learn More about SiskindRead More