I'm sorry I haven't posted more here. I've been putting in more hours at the office and that's disrupted my photographic and blog content output. It's slowly getting better and I should be back to more regular posting soon, but I did want to tell you what I've been up to. Besides working that is.
As I approach the end of my fifth decade, I've become obsessed with de-cluttering my life. Some call it minimalism. Whatever it's called, I've realized that I simply have too much stuff and all that stuff means more decisions. More stress. I looked in my closet recently and realized that I never wear 70% of what is in there. So, one Sunday afternoon, I pulled out the abandoned clothing, packed it up and carted it all to Goodwill. My closet looks better, someone will get some use out of the perfectly good stuff I donated and the Goodwill receipt will come in handy at tax time. I'm also looking seriously at how to simplify my wardrobe choices moving forward. I'm not ready yet to do the Steve Jobs uniform, but I'm looking to more thoughtful minimalist choices.
Since I've been spending so much time at the office, one day I took a fresh look at my work space and realized how much clutter I had around me. I purged the bulletin board that hangs over my desk of all but the essential items (amazing how much stuff hanging there wasn't remotely relevant) and organized the stacks of papers on my desk into tidy little job folders that get filed away when the tasks have been completed.
I realized that during the day, I'd write notes on various scraps of paper, on Post-It notes, a legal pad or whatever was at hand. Trying to find a phone number or some reminder I had written to myself in all these different places was not only a bad use of time, but it was creating unnecessary stress. So I've started disciplining myself to work out of one Moleskine journal, listing my tasks there for the day, checking off the tasks as I complete them and doing all my note taking on its pages. I carry my Moleskine to all of my meetings and it goes into my briefcase each evening. It's amazing how much more organized I am with this simple daily journaling.
My goal of simplifying everything is extending to my photography hobby as well. As hard as it was to part with, I've sold all of my Leica gear. Most of it had appreciated considerably over the years, so off it went with the profits now resting safely in the bank. I also sold off my medium format gear, which I hardly used, as well as numerous cameras that spent too much time snuggled in their camera bags. I'm not a collector, I'm a photographer and these cameras need to be used, not hoarded.
As I write this, I think my goal here is to whittle down my gear to only those cameras that I find real joy in using. And I'm discovering that those cameras are, for the most part, simple, small, minimalist machines. It has certainly been fun to shoot all of these different cameras over the years, but now I think it's time to concentrate on and really get to know just a few and write about the keepers.
A few Sundays ago, I grabbed one of those simple little machines and headed out for a walk on Goat Rock Beach in Jenner, California. Here are few shots made with my Pentax ME Super and the slowest of the Pentax standard prime 50s, the f/2. The gray, overcast day was not kind to my Kodak Ektar 100 film.