View Full Version : Time to recharge my mind some...
I am a long time photog who will photograph any noun any time.
I have a very nice collection of RFs (about 100) ranging back 70 years. I have converted my commercial work to digital (Took 3 years) but will alway shoot film for myself.
Anyway, the time has come like many serious photogs where I have hit a creativity rut. I am just not feeling it right now. I always have a camera on me, but don't feel compelled to use it as often.
(FWiW I am a 38 year old married male, who works as a financial executive on wall street)
So, I am hoping to fix my problem by opening up to you all on my quest to 'get my groove back'.
Here is what I am doing:
1. Put ALL cameras away except for my OLYMPUS XA
2. Read more fiction and non business related books (I real alot)
3. Trek more (Both in CT. and NYC)
4. Talk to more strangers, and photo them.
5. Let the world and its photos happen (let them come to me)
6. Keep a daily diary of my day
I am doing this in order to simplify my life, see more of the world, talk to more people and enjoy there company, and maybe be able to see more clearly.
I will be using the Olympus XA because it is portable, and incredible. I will be using Ilford XP2 film (at ISO 250ish).
Each week I hope to post a few images for you to see. I am actually getting excited about doing this. So, maybe it will work.
Thanks for listening and hope to hear from you any comments or experiences you have had.
Mark - this is almost too easy. You're about an hour away from one world-class mind-recharger.
Put you, a backpack and the XA into a car. Head up 87 to New Paltz. The people watching and opportunities for street shooting are both good in town and on campus.
Then, head about 5 minutes out of town into the Shawangunks and, specifically, the Mohonk Preserve. It's like leaving New York state - the scenery, architecture and rock formations are breathtaking.
I wouldn't limit myself to just the XA though. Your mind will be recharged as soon as you get there and you may miss having some of your other gear. I carry a Kata Rucksuck there with a compact RF, an SLR (digital or otherwise), an ultra light Velbon tripod, and at least a pair of lenses. Makes a nice, light, but versatile outfit.
Plenty of places to stay up there as well if you wanted to make a weekend out of it. Nightlife is good and your significant other would enjoy it as well.
I think having the goal of posting a couple images a week is a good one. I do too much reading and talking about photography and not enough shooting myself. That is my self criticizm. But I do take a lot of pictures. It always helps to have a go to subject, for me that is my son. The poor little guy is going to hate seeing me with a camera at some point in the future, but it works. Kids are great subjects. Even if there is someplace that you can go and shoot repeatedly. Different times, lights, angles, a happy place.
Something you may do to recharge on creativity is set projects: porches, staircases, flowers, hands, musicians... Just choose something you want to say using a particular "language" and go for it. When you amass a series of 5 or 6 good images out of this project, then move on to another. You'll have some fun! Why not? Do two simultaneous projects too!
What started me going again was discovering digital. Maybe you have already, but if not, you might consider trying it. To have the same control over your results with film, in practical terms, you need to restrict yourself to B&W and spend a lot of time in a darkroom that's really dark. Of course, you can go "mixed" too - shoot in film, then scan, but again, its more work, and lots more expensive if you take many pictures.
Just a thought, John
Welcome Marksct! We recently addressed a related subject, so you might scan back a week or so...
It looks like you have your path well-planned, and I'd say it's going to work! Just a couple more comments:
Make that weekly posting a firm committment. Many photogs do this and call it "PAW" for Picture A Week. Make sure to take enough shots in the week that there's one good enough (or not too embarrassingly bad!) to post publicly.
Similarly, it helps to keep shooting even if the output isn't so great. You "keep your hand in" so to speak, and make it hard to create excuses not to shoot.
Yes; talk to more people! I have to fight a tendency to reticence. It's easy not to "bother" someone and just walk on by when something interesting might have come about.
This will take a few minutes, so another suggestion is to allot yourself extra time for transit, for errands, and plan for just a walk around the block.
I was going to suggest shooting on the train, if that's part of your daily routine, but I hear there's an attempt to stiffle that in the interests of security. Photography is dangerous!
Keep your eyes open and looking all the time! Richer life experience, and fun...
i started to recharge by buying fixed lens rf cameras off the internet and in town here and then decided to sell off all my medium format stuff and buy a bessa r. this has done the trick for me. all i can think about is shooting!
i carry one of my little rf cams everywhere i go and plan regular shooting sessions with the bessa.
next i think i will plot out some projects and then move on to a paw.
i'm lovin' it again!!
Mark, I will be looking forward to seeing your photos posted here. Good luck!
here goes a vote for a paw. I started mine last year, feeling guilt of having too many cameras and taking almost no pictures.
May sound a bit exagerated, but that thing can change the way you see things.
Of course there are good and bad weeks, but I think that's also part of the normal evolution of a project like that one.
And overall, when you look back, you find that somehow you can rebuild some moments of your past looking at your paw shots.
I think that even if it's only for that, it's really worth to try it.
Good luck !
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