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14-07-2009
59 post(s)
Do you ever feel that you're going backwards? I mean, do you ever feel that you used to do better work and now you don't even know how you did it and how to get back there? I guess in light of my recent frustration over my photos, I went back and looked at some of my earlier stuff and I feel it was better by leaps and bounds. And I'm not just basing this on the praise I received from so many outstanding photographers and astute critics here on this site -- though that perhaps figures in inevitably. But, being as objective as I can be about my own production, it definitely seems to have slipped a big belt notch to the flabby side in recent months and I don't quite know how to turn it around. I am NOT here fishing for compliments. That should be clear enough. Not even asking for any kind of appraisal or encouragement. I'm just interested to hear any of your personal experiences or general thoughts about this syndrome. Have any of you have ever felt this way and, if so, what steps you've taken to find your way back? Or, if not back, then at least to move forward in a different productive direction. Any and all thoughts or ideas on this topic warmly welcomed. Best, -Hugh
14-07-2009
135 post(s)
This is an interesting question Hugh. I myself have been struggling for a while now. You might remember the conversation I had with francis about this. Have I been cured of this? Am I seeing things again in a different light, with a new eye? I don’t know but I do know I’m beginning to take interest again in the things that I see around me. Do you know this feeling: “damn I wish I had my camera with me….that would be a great picture”. Well if you still have it I’m sure your photo block will be short. If you no longer “see” the interesting stuff around you….well then you’re lost in the woods for a while I think. I’ve been struggling for a few months really. I didn’t see images around me, didn’t frame things in my mind. This is coming back….albeit very slowly. I feel that in the last few weeks I took 2 “good” pictures and I know I can do better. A few years back I also went through a period like this. I can’t explain why it happens. Back then a friend of mine came up with a great idea. Have someone decide for you what to photograph and to really make it more difficult, restrict your movement to a radius of +- 100m around the chosen subject. It’s important that there’s absolutely nothing of interest to photograph. That way you really have to work and think to come away with anything remotely acceptable. Anyway, have patience your “eye” will return
14-07-2009
89 post(s)
[quote=bombilla] Have any of you have ever felt this way and, if so, what steps you've taken to find your way back? Or, if not back, then at least to move forward in a different productive direction. Any and all thoughts or ideas on this topic warmly welcomed. Best, -Hugh[/quote] I say don't force yourself, take up fishing, gardening or whatever does it for you for the moment. If this is just a hobby, and I assume it is for you, it should be enjoyable, if the mojo is gone it will come back eventually, in the meantime do something else you feel like doing. Imagine ice cold beer, hmmmm yummy, now drink it outside in minus 15 degrees, how does it feel? Wait for the hot summer weather to enjoy it again? The same with photography . I am recovering photoholik, didn't take any photos for better part of the year, now I feel like doing it again and loving it. :blah: ;-)
15-07-2009
post(s)
Hello Hugh, Generally speaking, it seems like the most natural thing to happen to a person not only in photography, but anywhere where a demand for originality and imagination exists. The best to do in my opinion is to get back and let your camera be for as long as it takes until you feel that desperate orgasmic urge to pick it up again and go out to the streets shooting everybody like a psycho. Taking distance from things is the best solution to see them clearly again. It works for me. Another thing that might be useful is to get a good depression. It seems to help creativity. Kidding, kidding... but not that much. Take care Nuno
16-07-2009
59 post(s)
Just wanted to thank you guys for your thoughtful replies to my query. I think these are good ideas. (And a good beer analogy, Nuno, haha. ) (And, yeah, right, a good depression. LOL. That shoudl be easy enough.) I definitely agree that you shouldn't force yourself, and I'm going to try to engage in some other creative activities that maybe will feed my overall spirit, which might translate later into better photos again. But I'm also thinking -- something along with the lines of what Steve recommends -- to try to do something a little different. For example, as you know, I tend to spend most of my time street-shooting (well, as do most of us here), but I think I might try to get back to basics with a tripod and a lamp or two and see if that gives me some new ways of seeing. If I have any success. . . well, you'll be the first to know about it. :p Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. Best, -h.
16-07-2009
44 post(s)
Hi Hugh, thanks for starting this topic...I have less experience than most of you here, but also deep in a crisis since a while... (+ a burn-out which should explain some of it...). So I'll take also all the good advice given here, although not for the beer,:beer: rather a good glass of red wine or ice-creams :-). I've tried to force myself to take the camera out, like feeling guilty if I didn't etc, it did not work. Sometimes I do not see at all what I could photograph, sometimes yes, but somehow the results do not correspond to my idea. I guess relaxing, doing something else instead, and completely different stuff should help...That is why having a couple of common projects on the site will be interesting, as some might be pushing us out of our comfort zone. By the way there's great stuff being posted by you Hugh, and the others, but I am just too tired to comment these days, I guess I don't have the right kind of depression :bang: Have a great summer, all. Michèle edited by njosnavelin on 16/07/2009
16-07-2009
59 post(s)
Nice to hear from you, Michèle. (But that's some gruesome emoticon you dug up. Wow!) I'm sure I speak for many here when I say that I hope you get back to posting soon. Your are missed. Take care and enjoy your summer as well. Best, -h.
18-07-2009
44 post(s)
Hehe, I love the choice of emoticons on this site, LOL. ! Thanks for the kind words, Hugh, I am missing you too, and looking forward to being back ...:looks::D
21-07-2009
post(s)
NOOOOOO.....Not the tripod! Not unless you are taking self portraits. I tried to make all these pictures with the rules, whatever. Then I got stuck. I just do things against the rules, and also I can spend hours looking for bugs to take pictures of for fun.
21-07-2009
180 post(s)
Hugh, and this is just my own view but first of all, looking back on earlier efforts from you, I think you've made a LOT of progress, so I must disagree with you (which ought to make you feel better right there). I think for example of your Cambodian work (The torture school comes to mind) and then the outstanding series on the Korean DMZ. No way are you stuck or going backward my friend. I don't see any evidence of that. Someone says - put the camera away until you really feel like shooting. All due respect, I'm not sure that's helpful. Shooting, expecially of the streetshooting ,kind, is really nothing like "writing" where you have blocks and so on. No, for years now I go out every single bloody weekend with a camera in tow, and I shoot...something...somewhere in Tokyo, even though a day doesn't go by when i'd rather be in Saigon or PP or Hanoi or Luang Prabang. FOr me it's a kind of discipline, to keep my hand in. I fear that if I put the cam away, I might never pick it up again. I guess after so many years on TE I tried to get as close to the pro experience as possible, and that means shooting even (especially) when you don't feel like it. The subjects are there, the light is there, the wonderfully diverse New York streets beckon, what are we waiting for...? SO Hugh, please believe me when I say that you've come a long way and your most recent work is strong - then as long as you enjoy some aspect of it, you've just got to keep shooting regularly - look for interesting upcoming events in the NYC and do the deed. My 2 yen anyway...
21-07-2009
59 post(s)
Hi, Farah. Are tripods against the rules? I didn't know there were rules here. Oh, well, no matter. I went out this weekend and used myself as a tripod again. I must be good for something, right? Thanks for your input. Happy bug hunting. Best, -h.
21-07-2009
59 post(s)
Hi, Francis, Thanks so much for your continuing encouragement. You've really given me a lot of inspiration and food for thought. Not just here in this forum, but through all your provocative and well-considered critiques, not to mention you prolific body of work. (Deletions notwithstanding. :PP) Of course, sometimes it's just our own heads more than anything else. And that's the real trick. Not how to get your abilities back, but how to screw your head on straight. Or crooked, or upside down, or however it was when you were creating stuff with drive. A good depression, someone mentioned. Hmm. Maybe . . . I think you're right actually. I probably won't get anywhere by putting the damn thing away. And it is painful to watch all this good summer light go to waste. So I guess there still is something percolating in there. I'll see if I can brew a decent cup of joe out of it. Thanks again, my friend! Best, -h.
22-07-2009
123 post(s)
[Good question Peter] I lost my mojo for street photography ... If by chance you find it, please contact me ... Alain -