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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Feel like I've lost my muchness
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02/26/2016 07:39:11 AM · #1
The last year and a half has been all over the place in terms of, well, everything. I pretty much stopped taking photos for almost a year and even almost sold the remainder of my gear. Now here I am trying to jump back inane I feel like I have lost something. My newest shots are pretty boring and bland, I can't seem to translate my vision to the screen and thats if I even have any vision anymore. Has anyone else taken a significant amount of time away from photography and come back feeling like this? Not sure what to do to break back in, perhaps I need a side challenge or mentor? I used to love this craft so much and while there is still a flicker, the flame seems all but extinguished.
02/26/2016 07:51:30 AM · #2
Hey Josh, I can relate as I went through something similar also about 18 months ago. I broke up with my bf, 31.gif Magnumphotography. As I basically met him when I was looking for a shooting partner for challenges, and he had apprenticed for some years to a photog and could shoot a wedding on film, his advice and help in terms of photography - critiquing my images, showing my new techniques etc - he was and to an extent still is irrevocably linked with photography in my mind.

So after I kicked him out of my house in Oct 2014, I lost all desire to have anything to do with him. I pretty much quit taking photos and hardly entered any challenges for a good 6 mths or so. Also gained a lot of weight and did nothing about it.

At least, anyway, til May 2015. Slowly began to get my camera mojo back, bought a new bike, and began to work out. Just eased back into everything. Now I'm back entering challenges, writing critiques that help others do better and win challenges, working out, took up yoga.

I know what I went through wasn't as monumentous as what you did, but sometimes you do just have to roll with the tide. Just make sure to start to get up and start wading for shore.

Hope this helps...(hugs) Susan
02/26/2016 08:08:49 AM · #3
Ive started trying to be more active with photos but they kinda suck lol. I think I got so into using my studio lights that I find the natural stuff a bit more boring for myself and I just can't seem to get a groove back.
02/26/2016 09:18:37 AM · #4
Hi Josh,

I went 3 1/2 years without submitting anything to DPC. Looking closely at my profile, I can almost pinpoint it to when my youngest son was born.
You get into so much stuff, that you tend to lose the willpower to pick up the camera again.

What did it for me, was really trying to force myself into 'less than ideal' conditions for shooting. Say, shooting the red moon at 3am. Driving 30 miles to take a picture of a door. Crazy stuff, that would actually break my routine so far. And although I haven't (yet) got as many good photos as I would like, I now shoot more for myself, try out new edits, something that will not bring me back to the previous state, but to something different, which I guess is evolution of the way I take photos.

And now I just keep my camera mostly where I go, in hope to find something nice to shoot.

Take care,
Joao
02/26/2016 11:09:08 AM · #5
I think it's part of the deal with creative people, or people in any of the arts. I go through it periodically. In it at the moment, in fact :)

In addition, you really found your voice with studio light, and I cannot imagine giving that up. Maybe try some really cheap version of studio with some cheap clamp lights from Home Depot? Or try flash? Or study natural light and go with that for a bit.

Our challenge is, once we've gotten good at one thing, to not get bored. To constantly seek out the thread from the jumble, which we can follow back into the fold.
02/26/2016 11:50:39 AM · #6
What I do: keep moving. Literally. Go somewhere, do something. Take pictures anyway. Roll with what I get. Do what I can do. And--an occasional random act of kindness helps.

A lot has been written on the power of Yes. You might find it useful. I work in a call center & so I have endless opportunities to try it out. I discovered that if I can get my caller to say the word Yes out loud 3 times--for any reason--they can't vent anger on me. If I use the word Yes out loud 3 times with my caller, it builds trust. That means, then, that I can gain their willing cooperation in about 90 seconds. I describe myself as a belligerent optimist, but it's a facade & a game. I live on the edge of the Pit of Despair. I'm always trying to not fall in. I bully strongly encourage the people around me to be on their best behavior for my own good.

Hope this helps. Josh, I want you to get back in your game because I enjoy your work very much. You have the Eye & a personal vision. I'm sure you'll find a new way to express it.
02/26/2016 12:14:04 PM · #7
its easy to get lazy. There are countess times i wont bring my camera or i'll drive by somewhere and think, that would make a good picture and not bother to ever go back.

a lot of my best stuff came from when I actually put in the effort to make something or go and get something.

Message edited by author 2016-02-26 12:14:24.
02/26/2016 12:20:38 PM · #8
I've gone through several "quiescent" periods with regard to photography. I always come back to it, usually with renewed vigor. What I find that I need to ignite the flame again is a set of specific goals, usually related to one or more specific projects. Then things start to gel.
Right now I've been in a less-active mode for a year or two, and I'm just looking for that project that will get me from an ember back to a roaring fire again.
02/26/2016 02:07:46 PM · #9
I actually still have the majority of my studio gear, it's just been sitting for a good year. I am trying to clear out some space in the basement but it won't allow for as much room as I would like. Something is better than nothing I suppose.
02/26/2016 03:28:00 PM · #10
Take them outside. Strobes in daylight or evening are also very cool :)
02/26/2016 06:37:30 PM · #11
I should mention that after the breakup, I found and bought a bunch of studio stuff from someone getting out of the business. Dug up my copy of Light: Science and Magic and began reading the chapters and made myself mess around in this totally foreign realm of photography - up til then, I was doing studio only a small percent of the time. Ironically, one of the things about Ryan that drew my attention were the different types of studio shots he had in his port at the time. We did do some studio-ish stuff using flashes, but no real work with strobes, backdrops etc. All that, I've learned myself, with a little help from a lighting seminar or two.

In terms of space, I don't have much room either. However if I really, really need to shoot a full-length shot with the 50mm I can do so, though I have a much, much, MUCH smaller space than the 2-car garage (probably about 26ftx26ft) 21.gif AllenP says he uses. But I can still get good studio stuff at 22mm, using backdrops that are only about 5ft long each. Like:Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1172586.jpg andCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1167545.jpg

So you may have to get creative, but it's amazing what you can squeeze into a small space!

Message edited by author 2016-02-26 19:53:42.
02/27/2016 11:00:14 AM · #12
Good lord, if you want to do it ,do it ,if you don't , don,t.
Sell all your stuff and buy a pony.
Put it all in the loft and forget it.
It don,t matter it's a plaything .
Just do what yer want , live your own life and get over yer self in the next half hour.
All the best.
02/27/2016 11:18:50 AM · #13
Originally posted by Tiny:

Good lord, if you want to do it ,do it ,if you don't , don,t.
Sell all your stuff and buy a pony.
Put it all in the loft and forget it.
It don,t matter it's a plaything .
Just do what yer want , live your own life and get over yer self in the next half hour.
All the best.


I will go out on a limb here and suggest that it might be best that you not consider a career in the diplomatic corps or as a suicide prevention counselor. :O)

Ray

Message edited by author 2016-02-27 11:21:04.
02/27/2016 12:40:46 PM · #14
Ok .
My career as such is long over and ended in "er" but that you already knew.
;)
02/27/2016 02:06:43 PM · #15
Originally posted by Tiny:

Good lord, if you want to do it ,do it ,if you don't , don,t.
Sell all your stuff and buy a pony.
Put it all in the loft and forget it.
It don,t matter it's a plaything .
Just do what yer want , live your own life and get over yer self in the next half hour.
All the best.


Jeez I don't have that much gear, I seriously doubt it would be enough for a pony and the cost of upkeep would be crazy.
02/27/2016 02:13:09 PM · #16
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

Originally posted by Tiny:

Good lord, if you want to do it ,do it ,if you don't , don,t.
Sell all your stuff and buy a pony.
Put it all in the loft and forget it.
It don,t matter it's a plaything .
Just do what yer want , live your own life and get over yer self in the next half hour.
All the best.


Jeez I don't have that much gear, I seriously doubt it would be enough for a pony and the cost of upkeep would be crazy.

OK -- so how about taking a terrific portrait of a pony you can hang on the wall as a substitute? (Just trying to think up "reason" to shoot something ...)
02/29/2016 02:10:05 PM · #17
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

I actually still have the majority of my studio gear, it's just been sitting for a good year. I am trying to clear out some space in the basement but it won't allow for as much room as I would like. Something is better than nothing I suppose.

Maximizing Space in a Small Photography Studio
02/29/2016 02:22:30 PM · #18
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

I actually still have the majority of my studio gear, it's just been sitting for a good year. I am trying to clear out some space in the basement but it won't allow for as much room as I would like. Something is better than nothing I suppose.

Maximizing Space in a Small Photography Studio


But that photog's idea of a small space is a *small two-car garage*. That's still a good 26ftx26ft, which is tons of room. Now, if you can find something regarding turning a room that is either 7x8ft (my upstairs storage room) and 11x9ft studio downstairs...let me know!!!!
03/02/2016 06:34:20 AM · #19
Well I have 4 images currently in voting ranging from 4.6-6.5 so I guess that's a decent start to jumping back in.
03/02/2016 09:08:45 AM · #20
Originally posted by MinsoPhoto:

Well I have 4 images currently in voting ranging from 4.6-6.5 so I guess that's a decent start to jumping back in.


Wow you didn't waste time! And if you're in 6.5ish range you can't complain :-)
03/02/2016 09:19:04 AM · #21
Oh that 6.5 was very temporary lol, but I do have a 6 and a 6.2 so that's nice.
03/02/2016 11:35:21 AM · #22
Good for you!
03/02/2016 11:09:59 PM · #23
Originally posted by Tiny:

Good lord, if you want to do it ,do it ,if you don't , don,t.
Sell all your stuff and buy a pony.
Put it all in the loft and forget it.
It don,t matter it's a plaything .
Just do what yer want , live your own life and get over yer self in the next half hour.
All the best.


A pony?! I coulda had a pony?! Nobody told me I coulda had a pony!

But yeah. If the camera doesn't call to you, put it down and wait till it does. Take pictures you like. Process it the way you like. DPC rules help establish baselines for the competitions. They are not for the real world.
03/03/2016 01:48:40 PM · #24
Get one of the smaller cameras, like a bridge camera with a good zoom that you can very easily carry around, and just shoot what catches your interest as you go for a while.
That may help you zero in on new styles or subjects that you can use as a springboard to rekindle your interest in shooting.

The bridge cams are a total package to shoot from "against the lens"macro to long tele shots. They are handy, easy to tote around, and cheap on the used market since people have pretty much switched to phone cams lately.
The one I use is a Canon SX 510 from eBay for about $75. It's my 2nd one. My shooting buddy & I dunked the first one in a canoeing oops.

In any case, I hope you find your groove again soon.
03/03/2016 04:57:31 PM · #25
I've been in the same boat, just getting back to shooting. I never entered many challenges, enjoyed looking at the images everyone created. I can specifically link my loss of desire to a big move. I moved back home after spending a few years in the Asia. Going back to where everything was familiar where I didn't have the same wonder about what was around the next corner led me to now wanting to shoot. Felt like I took a step backwards in life. I've started getting over myself and just picked up my camera for a family vacation and enjoyed shooting again. What I've done so far are just snapshots really; hopefully I'll keep going with it and get back into creating something I enjoy more.

Know at least partially what you're feeling.
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