Well known British mathematician, Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman, once said, "Technical skill is mastery of complexity while creativity is mastery of simplicity."
While Sir Erik's quote doesn't specifically address photography or photographers, there's much for photographers to think about (and hopefully learn) from his words.
Photography is part science and part art. No revelation there.
Interestingly, I see many photographers painfully focused on the complexity of technical skills (the science) while too often neglecting the simplicity of creative skills (the art) both in their work and the way they go about performing it.
My ebook, "Guerrilla Glamour," addresses photography's science/art duality and strongly suggests shooters spend more of their time mastering simplicity than struggling with complexity. In other words, keep it simple stupid. In fact, that's the major theme of my ebook... plus it's about shooting pretty girls in glamorous and provocative ways, of course.
BTW, my "guerrilla" photographer theme must be catching on. Just today, I read an article on Digital Photography School's website titled, "Why You Need To Be A Guerrilla Travel Photographer – And How To Become One." I'm not saying the good folks at Digital Photography School borrowed my guerrilla theme. I'm just saying.
I'm also not downplaying the importance of technical skills needed to shoot good pics. But the truth is, especially if you're either a part-time or full-time auto-shooter, there's not as much to learn (techy and science-wise) as some would have many believe. That's the whole point of auto-this and auto-that, isn't it? To flatten the learning curve? To make the science of photography as no-brainer as possible? To automate many of the technical functions of photography and thereby simplifying them?
It's not like mastering the creative use of auto-modes is tantamount to going to brain surgeon's school. Sure, there's still plenty to learn when you're dedicated to snapping really good images, even when you're using auto-everything. So why do so many folks seem to make things more difficult for themselves? More importantly, why are they making complex out of that which is specifically and technologically designed and manufactured to be, uhhh... non-complex?
One would think all the freeing-up of photographers' brain reserves -- you know, because they don't have to dedicate as much gray matter (as they once did) to storage space for technical things -- would mean they're now able, almost entirely, to concentrate on simplicity and how it's such a big part of creativity.
I've almost completed my new ebook, "Guerrilla Headshots." It should be out this month. Like it's predecessor, "Guerrilla Glamour," it's focused on doing things as simply and efficiently, with less (and less expensive) gear and fewer technical concerns. This time out, my ebook targets headshot photography, a sub-genre of general portrait photography and something I've been actively shooting since around 1980. It's probably a genre many of you are called on, fairly frequently, to shoot as well.
The pretty girl at the top is Chayse, captured inside a warehouse and in front of a windowed, roll-up door. The warehouse is located somewhere in down-town Los Angeles. I doubt I could find it again without directions. If you've ever been to downtown LA, in and around skid-row and the produce and flower markets, you know how maze-like it is down there.