One of the new (to me) blogs I found recently is John P. Weiss. I enjoy his writing and his photography. This post appeared in NetNewsWire today, and I enjoyed it.

I have felt the attraction toward minimalism, but I haven't made any effort toward achieving it. I think I understand "the liberty of constraint." And I struggle with the affliction of acquisition.

You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you.

I find a new passion, and because I'm fortunate enough to possess the resources, I begin acquiring stuff.

I got into retro-computing, because it recalled the joy I felt with the Apple II when computers were new and wonderful (and mostly useless), but full of potential. I started living on ebay, buying machines, software, books. I had a pretty nice collection, content to limit myself to machines after the //e.

When we got ready to move to our new place here, I realized it wasn't going to be possible to relocate all that stuff to the new place.

Wiser people (people with more patience anyway), would have put it all up on ebay. I gave it all away. I didn't want to spend any more time thinking about it, so one insomnia filled very early morning, I posted on the Apple II group on Facebook (this was in 2019) that the first person who replied who could get to my house on Saturday could have it all for free. Within literally seconds, I had replies. First guy said he was interested. Second guy said he'd be there. Second guy got the lot, because of reading comprehension. (Then criticism ensued about how I handled getting rid of my stuff and my responsibility to "the community." Sigh.)

Turns out it basically filled a Ford Explorer to the gills. Kid drove from Tampa all the way to Ponte Vedra on bald tires. Hope he was able to make good use of it. Thousands of dollars of stuff.

If you can't be a minimalist, you have to maximize non-attachment.

Today I'm sort of in the same mess, what with my new-found "free time." I read a piece about how a Nintendo Wii is now officially "retro", and Mitzi had a Wii in the garage, and now it's in my office. My Wii U plays Wii games, but the Wii can play GameCube games! And the packages have been showing up at a pretty good pace of late.

The liberty of constraint in my case is my office. It's rather small, and we are approaching that limit. May have exceeded it.

As to photography, I have, in the main, constrained myself to one camera manufacturer: Olympus (now OM System or OM Digital Systems, not sure which). I have two Fuji compacts (an X20 and an XQ1), which I've been thinking about selling. I wanted to see what the fuss was about with the X-Trans sensor and Fuji film emulation. It's nice, but it doesn't speak to me. Mitzi likes to sell stuff on Facebook, so maybe I'll give her a 20% cut. The two of them should bring a few hundred bucks combined, based on what they've sold for on ebay.

I have a ridiculous number of Olympus bodies that use the four-thirds sensor, most of them using the micro-four thirds lens mount. I'm not a "completist" as a collector, though. Some of them I like the form factor of the body (E-PM1. Worst shutter sound ever though.), some I liked the color (Red E-PL6. So red. Yeah, you're not stealthy with that one.) Anyway, I have more cameras than I could possibly need. I shoot regularly with five or six of them; chiefly OM-Ds, but also the PEN-F and the E-PL10.

My lens collection is similarly absurd, but perhaps somewhat less embarrassing. I have dupes of some because they came with cameras. I tend to favor the small primes when I'm out socially. I like the big, heavy f1.2 primes for low light or subject separation.

It's nice to have choices, but I know if I had to pick 3, it'd be the Lumix 20mm/f1.7, the mZuiko 45mm/f1.8 and the mZuiko 14-150/f3.5-5.6 zoom. I'd miss the 300mm focal length for birds, certainly 400mm on the big 100-400mm zoom. If I could add one, I'd probably add the 8mm/f1.8 fisheye because most of the OM-Ds can de-fish in-camera with 3 choices of angle of view (not the E-M10 Mk4).

You know what they say, "A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind." I have clutter everywhere. I suspect I have undiagnosed ADHD, because my brain is almost always running around like Golden Retriever with a bad case of the zoomies. I have learned that the inner voice is an unreliable narrator, and I am working on being still; but I'm like Popeye, "I am what I am."

I don't pursue minimalism as an aesthetic, either in art or in life. I'm verbose, I like color, contrast, shapes and shadows. I don't know what I'm doing, I'm making all this shit up as I go along. I try to pick up good tips where I can, and I've had some success with that.

But I can appreciate and admire minimalism.

When it's done with restraint, of course.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 08:48 Sunday, 8 January 2023