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Ever have a time of being totally

RipleyExile 18 1.6k 17 England
5 Jun 2007 1:34PM

Quote:Anyone else have times like these?

Yep. Currently in month 2 of not even getting my camera out of it's bag! Not been in the gallery for a while now either, just commenting on the odd photo here and there from my favourites and members in the forum like yourself.
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
5 Jun 2007 3:30PM
to be honest, you've sometimes got to just drive sowewhere with the kit and just let it happen - as in plan nothing, just park somewhere safe and new, walk and see what you find.

I've spent 3 years donig that and I know teh area really well, got shots that are odd but varied and kept my enthusiasm up.

Buying kit is another way, but that's got diminishing returns.

Discovering is the best.

My shot from Pontefract racecourse last night was an example - hardly touched the camera all weekend, then decided the sun was going to set nicely.

Jumped in the car - headed east on the M62 - got off at XScape (for no apparent reason) - drove towards ponte and saw people in the racecourse.

Pulled over, did some florals, trees and spotted a lake which I never knew existed!

If you've lost inspiration, just try that approach.

You may get nowhere, but having tried at least gets you out, dusts off the cobwebs and gives you something to post.
SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
5 Jun 2007 3:45PM
My photography alternates with my writing - but one solution fits both - which is to stop agonising about it. The more you convince yourself that you can't hack it any more, or you can't find the inspiration, the less happy you become.

I'd echo Ade's advice .. discovering is the best. Sometimes you'll turn a corner and wham! a picture hits you right between the eyes when you least expect it. And if it doesn't, well it will. It's just a phase .. and it's the internal editor at his or her worst. I have a very vocal Internal Editor who gets (metaphorically) locked in the cupboard when she starts to get particularly unhelpful or unkind and tries to block my creative urges ..

stevekhart 15 4.5k 3 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 3:52PM
Shouldn't that be...

Quote:My photography alternates with my writing / drinking / sleeping

SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
5 Jun 2007 3:53PM
Err .. I'll allow the sleeping bit .. 8-]

The drinking bit is a myth. Ask Bri. 8-]
stevekhart 15 4.5k 3 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 3:57PM
yeah, right! Smile
SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
5 Jun 2007 3:59PM
S'true 8-]

Meets are a different kettle of kippers of course. But ordinarily ...
eddieali1961 17 97 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 4:30PM
I have just gone through a spell where I was taking pictures and deleting them as i just could not take anything decent and was getting very frustrated.
I did not even bother to go out with my camera for weeks and all that i have posted are old pictures revamped in photoshop.
Then all of a sudden on Saturday the sun started shinning and I grabbed my camera and went to Jesmond Dene in Newcastle and took some great shots. I felt like I was reborn.
Hang in there it will pass.
joolsb 16 27.1k 38 Switzerland
5 Jun 2007 5:59PM
I have found the easiest way is to not stress about taking crappy pix. The problems come when you are always striving to create your best ever picture and because you simply can't do this every time you go out, you get frustrated. Been there, done that!

It's far better to see your time with the camera simply as practice. After all, practice is crucial for any artistic endeavour - so why should photography be any different?

This way, when things don't work how you hoped, you can put it down to practice. And when the next big opportunity does appear, you'll be better prepared to make the most of it!
Carabosse 18 41.6k 270 England
5 Jun 2007 6:12PM
Unless you are a professional and depend on photography to keep a roof over your head, the activity should always be enjoyable.

The minute it becomes stressful you need to reassess what you really want to do with your spare time.
samfurlong 15 2.5k United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 8:45PM
I guess I am lucky then to do photography as a job and love every minute of every day (good job too, the hours involved!). One thing that always helps me is knowing where my pictures will end up - I usually know I am shooting for (for example) the Times / Mail / Guardian etc.. and so I have a bit of direction given me as every paper has their own house style so that has to come through in your work. Pictures taken on spec also have to reflect this (but to a lesser degree), before the job I have to thin 'right, who am I gonna pitch this to? Who's most likely to use these pics? and then I shoot predominately in a style they will like.

I suppose what I am saying is that if your photography needs a kick up the ass then I would advise having a goal in mind rather than randomly snapping away at all and sundry.
Think of a project - a book (it doesn't ever have to be published), a calender for next year (you don't have to limit yourself to crappy, cheesy chocolate box shots and you don't have to actually make the thing - just challenge yourself to come up with a set of 12 nice pics on a theme), an exhibition.... you get the idea. What i am saying is have a end result in mind rather than a random collection of pics you have taken for no particular reason. It will give you focus.
You could use a weird lens, only use natural light, shoot in mono, shoot only people / action etc.. Eliminate variables and strip your photos back to the basics, one camera, one lens and reconnect with your subjects. Forget about multi wireless flash systems, image stabilized telephotos, wireless transmitters, umpteen million filters, tripods etc...
That's another good one - if you are a slow, considered photographer then ditch the tripod, crank your ISO up to 800, open the lens to 2.8 and do and do some snapping (well, not literally snaps but a snapshot style) try some candid stuff, try some abstract stuff of whatever you find in the street, set your photography free.
On the other hand, if that's what you normally do then get the tripod out, stop down, slow down. Try a landscape or two, try some traffic trails, try the same but with people in a local shopping centre or something, try some architectural stuff. Later this month there is a blue moon (i kid you not), get the 600mm (if you have one) and tripod out and see what you can get
You could find a place (preferably one you are not that familiar with) and see how many different pics you can get out of it in the space of an hour / morning / day / week etc...

Hell, that should be enough ideas for one day surely!

Oh yeah... ALWAYS keep your camera in the boot of your car, some of my fave pics have been totally unplanned grab shots. I literally NEVER go anywhere without having 1 body and a 70-200 in the boot, seriously I even put it in if I am just nipping in to town to get a haircut. Get into the habit.
andytvcams 18 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 8:53PM

Quote:Oh yeah... ALWAYS keep your camera in the boot of your car, some of my fave pics have been totally unplanned grab shots.

And you can earn a few quid as a press tog.
Tutterzzz 14 160 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2007 10:45PM
Thanks for the support off everyone.
I havent touched my camera now in about 1 and a bit weeks apart from today to get my CF card out to upload some old pics to the pc

I do have alot of stress on me at the moment, I've got my GCSE's, I've been trying to sort things out with the college I'm going to, trying to loose weight but its not going to well!, and I'm trying to think how to sort out a career for the future and also maintain my social life at the same time, Its the most stress ive been in for a while.

I'm also finding it increasingly hard to get to sleep at night, I'm ending up with about 3-4 hours sleep per night and i almost fell asleep today after waiting for my English exam to finish.

Thankyou all again though for giving me abit of extra confidence, I'm now planning an outing on saturday night for some night shots with my friend and I've got a good feeling about it Smile
Squirrel 14 471 7 England
5 Jun 2007 11:16PM
Tutterzzz. We all have times like these where nothing goes right. Put the camera away and come back to it after the exams. It sounds to me as if you are trying to do too much. I would think that the most important things are the GCSE's. Those results are what the colleges will look at. Forget losing weight I've had a look at your picture and frankly I've seen more fat on a chip! If anything you need to make sure that you have a good balanced diet, and cut down on the caffine. As for the social life, if your friends are true to you they should understand that for the next few weeks you need to apply yourself to otherthings. I know you think "who is this old bat who sounds like my mother" but take it from me I've been there. Good luck with the exams.
Regards Squirrel
akh Plus
17 1.2k 5 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2007 10:09AM
This type of thing is quite common and happens to us all from time to time. Sam has given you some good advice as has Squirrel. Get your exams out of the way first - you will soon have the summer holidays available to concentrate on you photography. Try here for some further advice - podcast 'Getting out of a Creative Rut'.

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