Why Digital Photography Makes You Unhappy

Yesterday … I had an epiphany.

Rewind. About a week earlier, we had spent three days holding an analog photography workshop and, still being in the spirit of this old and slow medium, just minutes earlier we had talked about the analog photography time we had planned for this weekend.

And then while I was waiting for her outside the store, it hit me right in the face. All the talk about reducing and simplifying, all the thought about limitation and constraint, all the ideas of slowing down and removing choice from the equation, it all of a sudden clicked into place with a massive *THUMP*.

I was going to post this to Britstock Photo, but I think it’s just as relevant here. We all have so much choice in life, but does it really make us happy?

Chris Marquardt has been wondering the same thing. Read his blog post, watch the lecture by Dan Gilbert (Flash required).

See if you come to the same conclusions. My epiphany came one day in a supermarket, one I’d not been to before. I was after toilet rolls, but I was confronted by literally a complete wall of toilet roll choice. It was simply too much. Between super soft, super economy, multi-ply, plain, coloured, whatever, multiplied by about a million-fold, I was simply unable to make the choice I needed. I simply wanted toilet rolls, not a lifestyle choice. I had to leave the store, empty handed.

In my case, having such a choice of toilet rolls was no choice at all. My next photo expedition will be with just my camera and a single prime lens.

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