Simplicity, itself.

Something for Friday. The end of the business week.

There was more to these leaves when I found them. With tight framing, a little cropping and some gentle post production, I turned clutter into simplicity. I followed my minimalist heart.

Minimalism seems to be in fashion right now. My generation — Baby Boomers — was collectors. We wanted stuff. We bought and paid for stuff.

Millennials — the next powerful generation — are not collectors.

In fact, it seems that they don’t want to own anything. They are the ones who repopulate city centers so they can walk or use public transportation. They don’t want to own a car. They stream rather than collect CDs or DVDs. They try to keep their wardrobes simple.

All good things.

On the other hand, they also think that everything should be free. They really don’t want to pay for music, movies or photography. WordPress caters to them by telling them how to find free pictures for use on their blogs.

Of course, I’m being very simplistic when I describe both generations. And, there are other generations between the two. We all share certain traits because we are individuals. For instance, I’m probably more minimalistic than many members of my generation. Some members of the Millennial group collect all sorts of stuff, especially trivia like comic books and movie memorabilia. Fun stuff.

The question I have for all generations is simple. If you don’t want to pay the artists who produce the things you like, whether you listen to, or watch it via streaming, who is going to make them? We need to eat too.

I have a better question. Streaming generally costs money. Not much compared to buying the actual product. But, still. What do you do for money? From what I read, you start out working for something like a big tech company, hate it, and drop out to make some kind of art. Or, you cook or bake something. Or, you become photographers in a world where it’s almost impossible to make money. Because you want pictures for free. Because you want art for free.

See where this is headed? It’s circular. You can’t make a living because you want it for free. You want it for free because you can’t make a living.

The picture. I saw the red leaves glowing in the sun. I made a number of exposures trying to simplify the picture at the scene. I found one that I liked and stripped it down. That’s it. Easy.



Leave a Comment

  1. Hello Mr. Ray,
    Such a powerful image and thanks much for sharing your thoughts. I thought I was the only person who felt this way!

    As a member of so-called “Generation-X” I feel I can relate to both extremes as well as everything in the middle. (Now you know my age-range ;)) Even with photography…when I was growing up, even “snapshots” cost money. Each cut of film was precious. So we were very careful to not go trigger-happy with the shutter. I feel this mindset helps me today, even in this age of digital photography. I instinctively consider composition, etc. before pressing “click” and honestly don’t enjoy firing off 10 continous shots with the hope of getting a good shot somewhere. (Besides, the tasks of deleting unwanted files become tedious)

    Hope you and your family continue to do well.

    Best wishes,


    • I can tell you the best story about film use. When I was young, I was a “young gun.” I worked for UPI. Worked in Washington DC. When my rotation came up I covered The White House at the end of the Carter Administration and the beginning of Reagan’s. Sometimes, we were assigned late night picture editing duties. One of our oldest photographers was Frank Cancelleri. He made the picture of the Hindenburg when it burned in New Jersey that was made famous as the first Led Zeppelin album cover.

      He grew up shooting 4×5 film. You got it wright on one or two exposures.

      Anyway, I was working the picture desk one Saturday night. Even though Frank used 35mm cameras by this time, he was famous for shooting one picture and sending in the whole roll. On that night, there were two exposures. I glanced it and put the film in the drying cabinet.

      I called Frank and said, “why are there two frames?” He replied…

      “He blinked.”

      There you have it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a story! It must have been quite the experience working for the UPI during that time period, and to work alongside Mr. Cancelleri. Admitedly, I couldn’t help but laugh when I read “he blinked” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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