I like simplicity and symmetry. I would even go as far as to say I am a minimalist. I blame my grandmothers house for this. She is a collector of crap, just piles upon piles of clutter in every corner of her home when I was a kid. Worthless items and trinkets and paperback romance novels covered in a layer of thick dust. (I also blame her for my allergies but that is another trip to the Ear Nose and Throat specialist altogether).
I hated it as a kid, it was like chaos in a box. My grandmother is an awesome lady but a zen master of organization she is not. The woman cannot throw anything away. Her Cherokee name should be “Woman who never knows when she might need that Garfield cookie jar someday”. Her collection of nick-knacks, dishes, and worthless junk makes me itchy all over*. I figure this is why I hate crowds and doll collections and curio cabinets filled with spoons from around the world and blown glass menageries. Let’s not get started on rear car windows filled with stuffed animals, because we will be here all day. (Pay no attention to the photo below of my dog camouflaged in a sea of polar bear plushies because it’s beside the point!)
I now realize how this affects my photography. I find that it is hard for me to photograph images where there is a lot going on in the background. Hard to focus on what I am trying to capture. I tend to gravitate to blank canvases. This is why I love shooting the beaches in California back home, just lots of big open sky and an infinite horizons.
It just undoes the knots in my soul. It uncomplicates me by feeding my need to be without clutter, because a clutter-free me is a better me… have I mentioned that I hate clutter? I find that there is no shortage of wide open space here in Colorado. I can’t get enough of the sprawling rolling fields of winter’s white, spring’s green and late summer’s gold.
Just a giant blue sky and the only clutter to be found is those pesky clouds littering the sky. I can spend hours on the back of my horse with camera strapped to my back taking it all in.
…And sometimes just downloading mental pictures is all I need to cure the woes of the day.
*I still love you Grandma!