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i've lost all faith in myself...
Old 12-21-2016   #1
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i've lost all faith in myself...

been in a funk, have not taken a pic in ages and not a good pic in even longer...
was heading out the other day and decided to not take a camera with me...as i was leaving i heard my inner voice say to me...'well, it's ok...you have your phone with you if needed'.
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Old 12-21-2016   #2
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let's see when you purchase a second phone camera as back up, as you did it several times before.
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Old 12-21-2016   #3
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When in a funk, i find that it's actually a good idea to go out without a camera. For some reason, you are more likely to find something while not actively looking for it. Take a little break, it's okay. It's not something you can force anyway, and like I said, it can get in the way.
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Old 12-21-2016   #4
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Sorry to here that Joe. But don't feel too bad, some of us who post here (looking in mirror now) don't have an artistic bone in them. I myself just like mechanical things that make nice sounds and are clever. Old mechanical cameras fill that bill to a 'T'.


This should be my tag line.
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Old 12-21-2016   #5
lynnb
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Sorry to hear that Joe! What Frank said has some truth to it - I find that if I leave the camera at home, I tend to see pictures - and then feel stupid for not bringing the camera

I think I may have mentioned this before, but one thing to try is seek out new ways of seeing by visiting an art gallery or browsing art books and photo books in a book store or library. Sometimes new influences can help.

Or you could try walking around with a very simple fixed lens camera like a Brownie, which forces you to think differently about how to approach making pictures. Sometimes limitations can be good.

Hope you have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!
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Old 12-21-2016   #6
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Joe, don't be so down on yourself.
As we get better with photography (the technical and "artistic" sides of it), we get more and more critical of what we are producing and what you expect of your next photograph.
We also start comparing our work with the very best stuff out there, by some extremely gifted image makers, and that right there can be really depressing.
You just need to answer for yourself "How many really great pictures do I honestly expect to make in a year?" If your answer is "more than one", you're doing much better than I am.
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Book
Old 12-21-2016   #7
Charlie Lemay
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Book

Joe,
Sounds like you mightget somethingout of my book SEEING / Insights + images. Send me your mailing address and I will send you a copy.
Charlie
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Old 12-21-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
When in a funk, i find that it's actually a good idea to go out without a camera. For some reason, you are more likely to find something while not actively looking for it. Take a little break, it's okay. It's not something you can force anyway, and like I said, it can get in the way.

I agree. Taking a camera with you when you don't really feel like taking photographs is paramount to having a cross tied on your back.

Just relax into being a non photographer when the occasion demands it.
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Old 12-21-2016   #9
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I've lost all faith in you, too.

No, I'm kidding. Don't sweat it. It's okay to take a break. I'm coming back from a seven-year layoff from photography. Seven years! I moved, work was busy, life was busy.... I just never unpacked the cameras. In time I started to miss it, then I started seeing photos again and then I realized I needed to get the cameras out again. There's nothing wrong with setting it down for a while if your mind's not on it or your heart's not in it. It'll be there for you when you need it again and you can pick up right where you left off.

Once something you love doing starts feeling like an obligation, it's probably time to step back a little.
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Old 12-21-2016   #10
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we all go through cycles. sometimes I'm motivated to shoot and excited when I get a keeper. sometimes there is no motivation at all and I don't carry a camera.

I don't worry about either one.
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Old 12-21-2016   #11
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Been feeling the same for a while. Still carry the camera, doesnt come out of the bag much though. Been using the opportunity to plan and build a darkroom in my garage, at least I can print while I'm not shooting, hopefully..
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Old 12-21-2016   #12
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Do something you love, and know that this is only a phase, not endless.
Take care,
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Old 12-21-2016   #13
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What can help you get out of that funk Joe is a visit to your local library and check out some books on great photographers of the past for your inspiration.

Anything from Tony Ray Jones to Eugene Atget to Charles Marville to William Eggleston to Matthew Brady to John Thomson to Felice Beato.

Looking at the photographs of the greats in fine printed books beats looking at photos online of these same photographers.

This may help re-charge your battery and renew your picture making interest with great vigour again.
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Old 12-21-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentode View Post

...

Once something you love doing starts feeling like an obligation, it's probably time to step back a little.
A lot of truth to that I think. But I think most of us eventually get back in touch with ourselves. And we probable end up having to do it our own way.

Take it easy with yourself and ride it out. You have a whole forum in your corner.
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Old 12-21-2016   #15
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Over the past ten years or so I've hit the funk-wall around my birthday (November) that would last through the new year. In spite of the usual issues being worse than ever it passed me over. It's that time of year, highly over rated, but from time to time fun.

I've hit creative funks from time to time and often broken out by forcing myself to find a good picture after I sit and look at scene for 15 to 30 minutes. One frame, no more, then move on. It helps to have a sunny day, shadows and reflections make things easier.

Hang in there.

Remember, what causes funks is as unique as their solutions are. Study one person and odds are you will find at least a half dozen causes and fewer known solutions.

B2 (;->
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Old 12-21-2016   #16
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One way to try and force your way out is to accept a job like a family portrait. Take a picture that has to please someone else. That may get your juices flowing.
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Old 12-21-2016   #17
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I carry a good lightweight truly pocketable camera in my coat chest pocket at all times.

Chris
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Old 12-21-2016   #18
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I carry a good lightweight truly pocketable camera in my coat chest pocket at all times.

Chris
And I thought you were just happy to see me......

B2 (;->
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Old 12-21-2016   #19
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Henry Wessel said in one of his videos that he would go for a walk, maybe with someone or without, and not think about anything. But when he saw something he would say 'look at that.' At the time just snap a photo, and wait a couple of years and re-look at it and then decide.

I'm too old to wait a couple of years, but I still take his advice.

He also said that he picks his light (in his younger years) and then expose for that light. He was describing Southern California; extra exposure so the shadow are almost as light as the sunlight subject. The effect is maybe the opposite of Ralph Gibson. Just a complete flood of light. Some of these nuances give me on a down day at least a try for a good one.
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Old 12-21-2016   #20
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Are you making photos for a living, or even a business?
If not, you are doing it for fun, right?
If you are making it so serious, what's the fun in that?
Take your camera and just shoot "what ever presents itself to you"
Let the world do all the work, just do the fun part.
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Old 12-21-2016   #21
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I feel your pain Joe.
Doesn't help that today is the shortest day of the year here in Canada. I drove to work in the dark and drove home in the dark...
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No need to panic
Old 12-21-2016   #22
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No need to panic

I read on one of the forums that a photojournalist in one of the conflict zones bust his "real" camera but continued shooting with his iPhone with great success. I recently shot a school play with my Nikon D300 and just for fun took a few iPhone pix. They were of terrific quality.
The world is changing.
No need to panic.
Of course, there is also paper and pencil if you're any good at sketching, )
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Old 12-21-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
been in a funk, have not taken a pic in ages and not a good pic in even longer...
was heading out the other day and decided to not take a camera with me...as i was leaving i heard my inner voice say to me...'well, it's ok...you have your phone with you if needed'.
So? It will pass, Joe. Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-21-2016   #24
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It is my strong belief that one who's looking for inspiration in photography should go to ART gallery (as of painting, graphics, sculpture) instead studying other PHOTOWORK. Highly recommend that.

Also, in one of such periods while in DIA admiring I suddenly got an idea for the series I am shooting for the last 4 years. You just never know.
Example
http://www.fixxer.ru/photos/28024
http://www.fixxer.ru/photos/28027
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Old 12-22-2016   #25
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Lone artist mythos aside, for most humans faith in oneself is a social thing. You might consider fresh situations which put you in simple contact with others. Volunteer work, re-connecting with friends or family, or anything like that which involves conversation.

Second to this is just physical activity, long walks or anything like that.

Just a suggestion, I have no idea about your situation. But I know these fundamentals often improve my own perspective. A vacation can be huge. I went to Moab in the spring and it was seriously refreshing.

If I catch myself ruminating, I know now the fix is simple: do something like that stuff or anything which gives my mind some other interest.

Online sociality is physically lonely, and it can't really nurture the soul like a conversation or a walk, though it can certainly help us to learn and discover choices.

I was amazed at the psychological advice on youtube

On the other hand a lot of great Art has been made by deeply unhappy people LOL
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Old 12-22-2016   #26
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All of our energies ebb and flow. Enthusiasm ebbs and flows. I've found that acting only on inspiration is fatal to creativity. I've always treated photography the same way the best writers treat writing. Whether inspired or not, they get up every day and write. Every day. Emotionally up or down. Whether they produce art or garbage. They write. Photographers make photos. We can all be photograph geniuses. Nobody has to know of our failures, only our successes.

Continue to shoot photos. Every day I shoot photos. Sometimes it is excruciating, most times it is satisfying. Many are immediately deleted. Over time, the frustrating and the exhilarating are blurred by our minds into a feeling that we have accomplished something of value. It is the pursuit of the pursuit that gives us satisfaction, not necessarily the result.
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Old 12-22-2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
been in a funk, have not taken a pic in ages and not a good pic in even longer...
was heading out the other day and decided to not take a camera with me...as i was leaving i heard my inner voice say to me...'well, it's ok...you have your phone with you if needed'.
Sell everything and start painting.
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Old 12-22-2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIkhail View Post
It is my strong belief that one who's looking for inspiration in photography should go to ART gallery (as of painting, graphics, sculpture) instead studying other PHOTOWORK. Highly recommend that.

Also, in one of such periods while in DIA admiring I suddenly got an idea for the series I am shooting for the last 4 years. You just never know.
Example
http://www.fixxer.ru/photos/28024
http://www.fixxer.ru/photos/28027
Love that pictures. I don't get to see enough exhibitions locally but we try to include visits to at least some of them when on family trips. Would go to more of them, but, you know, kids...

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Old 12-22-2016   #29
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Joe
I don't know you from a bar of soap. But I know how you feel. It's a common thing - let alone when you have done nearly 40,000 posts! Rest assured that when we get to a certain age the support comes flooding in. There have been a couple of Aussies in earlier responses who have said things that I would like to second, endorse, etc.
Everything takes time.
Dan
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Old 12-22-2016   #30
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Joe we all go through this at times; especially with are long cold winters. We cannot have fall colors all year round to help us through these times.
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Old 12-22-2016   #31
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Ummmm....didn't he already hit 40k posts? Maybe having to go through it again is playing havoc with his "Schwing-Fey?"
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Old 12-22-2016   #32
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My own experience: I had severe burnout for several years. Several. Years. No pictures worth a crap for the whole time. Most of the time, carrying a camera was repellent to me. I just gave up and moved on. Then one day I had a little spark of interest rekindled. After a spell, the interest caught afire. It's been blazing ever since.

Main thing to take away from this: If photography really is important to you, eventually you'll notice that little spark re-ignite. Then...blaze on.
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Old 12-22-2016   #33
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sell digital bodies that loose value and store everything else in a box out of sight. for several of months minimum
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Old 12-22-2016   #34
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I took 10 years off from making photos... it was a good decision. Find something else that does it for you.
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Old 12-22-2016   #35
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Love that pictures. I don't get to see enough exhibitions locally but we try to include visits to at least some of them when on family trips. Would go to more of them, but, you know, kids...
Sure, i know. Have 2 of my own.
We are lucky here in Detroit, to have one of the best nation's art museums.

One late art photographer (who I consider my teacher and genius, but he is not that widely known on West) said to me this: if you learning from somebody else's photographs, this is like visual second-hand. Instead, go to the source, it's in museums. And try making your own interpretations of it...

If you are interested: Alexander Slyusarev
https://www.google.com/search?espv=2...gZKAA&dpr=1.25
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Old 12-22-2016   #36
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I tend to view creative doldrums as a symptom of a larger imbalance in my life. They are a good indicator that something else is awry. Job demands or problems, stress or worries, interpersonal issues, general malaise or unhappiness — whatever....

And I think creative blockages can be positive. We may have actually exhausted past interests and now need something new and more meaningful. Such times call for genuine soul-searching about who we are and where we want to go. Always a good thing.

My standard prescription for myself and others is to read Bill Jay's book, Negative/Positive. It covers both of the above very beautifully and specifically for photographers.

All the best, Joe.

John
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Old 12-22-2016   #37
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Mobile phone is the only digital camera I have with me if I'm going out most of the time. I also have film camera on me but at this time of the year, if no events, it is not so much to photograph. Too dark, too soon. If no snow, it is depressing.
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Old 12-22-2016   #38
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lots of great comments, many that i can relate to easily.
health is my current source of negativity these days. it seems like everything hurts...anyone who has ever suffered with near constant pain (even low grade pain) knows how it sucks the life out of you.
what's odd is that i have had tons of time to settle things in my head and have been pleasantly blessed with a peace of mind that i have never experienced before.
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Old 12-22-2016   #39
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i stopped taking photos for a while as well this year, just a short break, carry only a point n shoot for 2 months or so. then watching movies that have great photography brings me back the excitement to shoot again (Man in the High Castle did the trick to me). may be check out other visual art forms while at home. order some books from the library joe. hope you recover quickly from the funk. dont force yourself to take photos no need to pressure yourself.
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Old 12-22-2016   #40
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I need to look into this for me and my wife.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-li...i/art-20045184

Might help.

B2 (;->
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