Auckland-based professional photographer A.B.Watson has had some sort of Damascene conversion. He’s gone right back to basics. Read on…..
“I had everything I could ever need, all the dream gear. Broncolor lighting, the latest professional Canon cameras and all the faster canon lenses. I had the latest Apple laptop, tethering equipment, software, c-stands, tripods, light modifiers, Polaroid cameras, all the gear I could have ever dreamed of.”
But he decided to drop all his clients and fashion work and concentrate on the basics.
“I stopped using all my gear. I put away the Broncolor lighting and all the beautiful Canon glass and picked up a rangefinder. I needed a simpler process, a guide, a set of basic rules that I could bend and push my creativity against.
“Abundance is the death of creativity, so I chose one camera, one lens, and one process. My photography gear dwindled down to this and nothing else:
- One camera (Leica M)
- One lens (50mm Summilux)
- One 10-stop ND filter (no tripod)
- One film/preset (Kodak Tri-X 400)”
As a result of this drastic pruning, A.B. found happiness: “Happiness in less. Joy in serendipity and accepting what nature has to offer. I started to love and create like the philosophers and artist I was reading about. In a scene I was enlightened, I found zen—zen in one camera and one lens.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a story like this. I think many of us would love to get back to just one simple camera. John Shingleton and other Macfilos contributors adhere to the philosophy, although John has supplemented his X1 with a Leica Q.