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Empty Your Mind – Tim Layton Fine Art Philosophy

To become empty is to become one with the divine—this is the Way.

Awa Kenzo

As part of my Wild Horse Handmade Fine Art book project, I am sharing personal thoughts and the things I am doing as part of my creative process.

The actual photography is a very small part of my process. I spend much more time reading, thinking, reflecting, and planning.

When you get overwhelmed, it is easy to allow an overactive voice in your head to take over and continue with the unnecessary noise and drama. As human beings, researchers believe we have over 2000 thoughts per hour. No wonder we are exhausted at the end of the day and need to sleep.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

When you struggling with a problem, there is a natural tendency to think you need to consult an expert. While that may be true in some cases, more likely you will benefit from quieting your mind and stopping the toxic overthinking that is making you feel overwhelmed. But that is much easier said than done. Research shows that over 90% of fears never materialize, but the human mind gravitates towards the unlikely, like a moth to a flame.

The pressures and stresses of everyday life can catch up to any human being.

When you are in a slump or a creative lull, go back to the basics and stop thinking.

Don’t worry if someone will like your photography or if it will be successful. You are the judge and jury that defines success.

I offer for your consideration an old Zen proverb, chop wood, carry water.

Before “enlightenment,” the proverb is chop wood and carry water. After “enlightenment,” it is chop wood and carry water. It is easy to get carried away and think too much or overanalyze things.

Being present in the moment is enough.

I am offering a limited-time opportunity for art buyers and collectors that want to support the development and creation of our first limited edition of 100 handmade wild horse fine art books. The book will include at least 12 handmade wild horse fine art prints with acid-free interleaving vellum between each print. Each piece of artwork in the book is embossed with a custom stamp and each artwork is titled, dated, and signed. A final version of the artist statement will be at the front of the book and be hand signed. The book will be made in a lay-flat style, so you can enjoy each piece of artwork with the book lying flat. You will receive a certificate of authenticity hand signed and dated. You will be rewarded as an early supporter because you will save 50% off the final price of this limited edition handmade book. In a world where everything is mass produced and cheaply made, our handmade wild horse fine art book is a rare opportunity to support an artist that is committed to pre-mechanized 19th century handmade processes. You’ll be rewarded with a unique and collectible artwork that you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.

The secret to taking your photography to higher levels is to stop thinking and be fully present in the moment.

Being fully present in the moment naturally quiets your overactive mind.

This is how I feel when I am in the field, tracking and following wild horses. I am fully present most of the time and consumed with the chase or the stillness of the moment when I find them. I don’t want or need anything else. I am not thinking about the sea of tasks I need to do, how bad my lower back hurts, or the many other thoughts that race through my mind all day.

Wild horses are great teachers. They continually remind me to be present and focus on what is directly in front of me. The past is already gone, and tomorrow may or may not come, and I have no control over any of it.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

Allow your instincts to take over. Quiet your mind. Don’t think about anything, and allow your training and instincts to guide you. When I eventually find the horses, I typically do deep breathing exercises to help clear my mind and reset my body. Deep breathing slows the heart and helps instill a sense of calmness.

As a bonus tip, I encourage you to stay off social media and pursue your photography because it is part of your heart and soul, and think of it as a way for you to communicate your deepest thoughts and emotions.

Imagine no one has ever seen an orchid before, and it is your job to reveal the unseen to humanity.

By fully being yourself, you will naturally attract people that appreciate you and will support your work.

I share my latest work in the darkroom with you in the Darkroom Diary on my YouTube Channel. If you are interested in coming behind the scenes with me as I work, this is the place for you.

-Tim Layton Sr.