Via Negativa Traveling
Inspired by Nassim Taleb, a thought about travel:
Before traveling, don't stress so much on what to bring, but focus and think deeply on what NOT to bring!
When traveling, decide what you DON'T care to do, or what you don't want to do.
When talking to locals, instead of asking them 'what to do", ask them: "What touristy and stupid things should I NOT do?"
When packing for your trip, decide what NOT to bring, what NOT to pack, what devices NOT to bring.
Treat travel as an opportunity for 'simulated poverty' (Seneca's idea). For example -- are you brave enough to leave your phone at home? Or your iPad? Or your laptop? Treat it like a fun game -- intentionally UNDER-PACK for your trip!
What are you traveling for?
Traveling is a good way to SUBTRACT the internet, SUBTRACT your worries from back home, and SUBTRACT all the silly noise back home.
For example I am about to leave tomorrow to Cuba for a week, and will not have access to the internet (this is what I am the most excited for). I wonder:
A week without internet? What will I do, and NOT do?
What camera equipment NOT to bring
Figure out what superfluous camera equipment to leave at home.
For this trip (one week in Cuba, two weeks in Mexico City), I am only bringing RICOH GR III.
Insanely lightweight is the goal
This is what I have learned from my decade+ of travel:
When in doubt, throw it out.
99% of the things we think we 'need' in travel is superfluous. Furthermore, if we truly see travel as a road to adventure, having LESS makes things more interesting. Treat it like a fun 'creative constraint':
See how little you can pack for your trip.
Minimum viable travel
What is the minimum viable amount of stuff you can bring for your trip, without any serious downside?
Let this be your guiding force!
Probably one of the best ideas which have come out of Silicon Valley is the notion of the “MVP” (minimum viable product). I am not sure who first coined the phrase, but my guess it is Ryan from BackYard Brew in Palo Alto.
Anyways the extrapolation I have is this:
What if we applied a ‘minimum viable’ design philosophy, or thinking philosophy, or life philosophy to everything?
Learn more >
Success as a photographer means to never stop shooting new photos!
If we use this as our definition for photography and art, then perhaps Henri Cartier-Bresson wasn’t a successful photographer (he gave up photography), and we can consider Richard AVEDON (died while on assignment) and Josef Koudelka (in his 80s and still traveling and making new photos) as highly successful.
Thoughts on the desire for a "perfect" and "ultimate" productivity device:
What do we really want?
Something ultralight, always with you.
Something to increase your ability to produce more creative things.
To have a device which makes you feel more powerful.
But the question is:
Can iPhone (or any device) do this for us?
Live as if today were your last day on planet earth (MEMENTO MORI), but also live as if your day (today) will be put on repeat for infinity (ETERNAL RETURN).
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/08/27/play-the-long-game/
A thought while at the gym today:
True happiness is the striving for more.
Once you got the thing, you aren’t “happy” anymore. Happiness is the joy of overcoming difficulties, challenges, the joy of battling an obstacle/opponent.
Never stop striving for more.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/08/05/true-happiness-is-the-striving-for-more/
One of the best silicon-valley thought concepts is the idea of the ‘MVP’ (minimum viable product). It is anti-perfection. It is PRO-quick iteration, and just getting it out there!
I think if we all lived more ‘MVP’-minded, we would be more creatively productive, confident, and happier!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/24/minimum-viable-product-mvp-for-entrepreneurship/
http://ARSBETA.COM - The Anti-Social Social Media for Photographers
If you desire to thrive as a photographer, #deleteinstagram and join ARSBETA.COM instead.
Why do you make photos?
“What you rappers rap for?” – Kanye West
First of all, ask yourself:
Why do you make photos?
I feel the best reason to make photos is to express yourself creatively and artistically. Or more specifically,
To ‘flex’ your artistic power. To share this artwork with others.
This is the problem with Instagram:
You start to quantify your progress and value based on the number of likes and followers you have.
I personally believe that your progress as a photographer/visual-artist should be based on your own inner-metrics. Your own ‘inner scorecard’ (as Warren Buffet calls it). The basic idea is that we should NOT use social media (Facebook/Instagram) as a tool to judge ourselves.
No. If you want honest feedback and constructive critique on your photos, arsbeta.com is the solution.
Learn more here: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/22/why-instagram-is-bad-for-photographers/
Life is about growth. Our passion is photography and visual arts. How can we optimize our own artistic growth in photography and beyond?
Becoming stronger, becoming bigger, become more powerful, becoming taller, extending your reach.
It seems that life operates on this growth principle.
What is the opposite of growth? Degeneration. Getting smaller. Getting weaker. Becoming more meek.
Why grow? It seems there is no other option!
How to grow
To grow as a photographer and visual artist:
To continue to make new photos, to gain influence, to evolve in your philosophy of aesthetics, to dig your creative roots deeper, to become more multifarious.
Learn more : https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/23/if-youre-not-busy-growing-youre-busy-dying/
A difficult question to answer:
Why give more?
First of all, it seems that the more we give, the more we receive in return. Now, the purpose of us giving isn't to receive. We give out of super-abundance. However it does seem that the logical *consequence* of us giving much is us receiving much.
Thus, don't give in order to receive. Give because you want to share your inner-dopeness with others! And keep giving without exhaustion. And as a consequence of continually giving, you will receive more. And the more you receive, the more you can continue to give!
Read more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2019/07/22/why-give-more/
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” Is this statement really true?
What if the opposite were true:
Abundance is the mother of invention.
Let me explore these ideas with you.
Are you creating this thing because you need money, or because you don’t need money?
One of my best epiphanies in life when living in Vietnam:
Wow, I will never starve to death.
I am earning money quicker than I can spend it.
Thus, I will never become broke. Thus, I can take any entrepreneurial risks in my life!