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Limiting Your Inputs – Tim Layton Fine Art Philosophy

A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Herbert Simon

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.

As a military general, Napoleon (1769-1821) purposely delayed responding to mail for several weeks. He took great pride and joy that the supposed “emergencies” simply resolved themselves and didn’t require his attention or response.

Napoleon wasn’t a neglectful leader, he learned to be highly selective about who and what kind of information he allowed access to his mind because he knew the cost.

Even though I am intellectually aware of the importance of limiting inputs and protecting my time, I always benefit from this reminder because, over time, I tend to lose sight of this simple but evasive principle.

I share this because it may be a helpful reminder for you.

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.

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.

HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO MY WORK?

Leading by example, I decided to share my personal thoughts about how limiting input applies to my current work and project.

I am focused on creating a handmade wild horse fine art book, which is the first of my career.

In my artist statement, I share the narrative for this project, and I stated that part of my process is to read books and research information outside of photography.

I have been researching stillness and stoicism, which is how I landed on limiting input. During my reading and research, I stumbled upon Napoleon and his strategy of limiting his input.

When I think about my current wild horse fine art book project, I realize I need to narrow my focus even more.

I am currently working my way through testing various types of prints using my calotype paper negative. By being still and limiting the distractions in my day, I have more time to think more deeply. This is a great example of less is more. Less input and distractions produce more meaningful opportunities to take my project to higher levels.

I will pull back a little bit on the variations of printing variables within each type of artist proof that I am creating.

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.

Beyond the scope of my workflow, I am also limiting my exposure to my mobile phone and email. I am now checking my email and phone first thing in the morning before I head out for my morning walk and then turning it off until lunchtime. The same goes with checking email too.

I am already benefiting from limiting these distractions, and I believe over time, I will likely go to a once-a-day checkpoint.

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.

-Tim Layton

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  1. Pingback: You Are What You Practice – Tim Layton Fine Art Philosophy – Tim Layton Fine Art

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