when you are in a rut, what do YOU do ?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i kind of said it all in the title, but i will say it again ...

    when you are in a rut what do you do (to crawl out of it) ?

    maybe you can give that advice here if you have any?
     
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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  3. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    One of two things work for me:

    (1) I look at my portfolio and figure out what kind of photos I usually don't take; then I take them; or

    (2) I take a break from photography and do something completely different for a while; when I return to it, my eyes feel fresher and I usually find inspiration.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2014
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Usually I find something different to do.
    So, if it's a photographic rut, I might turn a bowl on the lathe, for example.
    Or, if it's mostly a shooting rut, I may look through my old negatives to see which ones may have "improved" over time.
     
  5. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    I like to experiment. So, when I'm bored or feel things could be more interesting, I give myself a challenge. Sometimes I'll even go as far as to take up someone else's problem, and look for a solution. Stripping emulsion using household bleach was a result of one of those challenges. Developing glass plates face-down in a tray was another. But that "energy" is becoming rarer to find, as I have so many personal challenges (photographically speaking) that I want to resolve. For example . . . what do I need to do to get a one-man show at the Guggenheim?
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Me too. I've been in a photographic rut for the past year... so I've been laying on the couch watching TV. Now I'm in a rut again so I think I'll go back to snapping pictures.
     
  7. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    OP: I think this works best for me. If I constantly use the same approach it can get to where the images begin to repeat the look a bit. With that said I try my best to mix things up. Can be as simple as angle of views on old subjects. Many times, as a landscape only photog, I hike a lot and find new points of interest. Simply stated, you can not always find new subjects looking out of a car window. Yesterday, I spent only one hour hiking an area new to me in a National Park I visit weekly. I found 4 new subjects to return to in better lighting on my return trip next week. I use maps and GPS to log sites and ideas. This also breaks up the routine a bit.

    This approach in my mind could be applied in city, urban, or other areas too. Good luck.......:D
     
  8. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I've tried several different things at different times. The one that worked the best for me was just to go hiking. At least then if I didn't get any good pictures, I got some fresh air and exercise. Feeling better made me more apt to see things to photograph.
    One thing that's happened is that if I have too many things to get done that have to get done, I automatically keep thinking of way more things I want to do and projects that I want to do. So fill up your honey-do list with stuff and you'll suddenly find more inspiration with no time to follow through.
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    For me it is sort of like falling off a horse. They say, get back up on it as soon as you can and ride.

    If I am in a dry spot in my photography I load up the gear and go back to the series I have been working on and start walking or driving around in that area. For the past 12 years that I have been doing this I have always found something new to shoot related to that series. On the other hand I am always looking for the next series and I may spot something new.

    Occasionally I shoot with a friend who shoots 8x10. I call him up and invite him to prowl. We see things differently, not only the format difference, I shoot 7x17, but from a different perspective. This may be abstract, close up vs. distance, wide vs. narrow, subject matter within the series. Some times he calls me. We help each other get back on track.

    I believe it was Wayne Gretzky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Load up the gear and go take a walk or drive in the subject area that you have shot before while keeping an eye out for something new.

    ….and good luck. That never hurts, but showing up makes a lot of your own luck.

    John Powers
     
  10. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I take long walks in the countryside another good way to come out of it is to visit the next art museum (modern or old) and try to avoid the photography exhibits. Imo the light of the old masters and some of the ideas of the young artists usually does the trick.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I mate with a doe. Oh wait, you said in A rut, my bad just ignore me.
     
  12. yurisrey

    yurisrey Member

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    My escape is to exercise both the body and the mind. The first is usually done via walking/biking and the second by reading. Anything, but most often fiction. The combination of both of these things get's me out of any rut, whether its in the form of 'photographer's block' or just plain old stress.
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    If I'm in a rut I use a tow truck! But really I do other things for a while.

    Jeff
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Shoot an event and enjoy the people.
     
  16. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Lay low – so you don't get run over.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use a Hi-Lift jack [http://www.hi-lift.com/hi-lift-jacks/index.html]. I use the jack on the bumper to lift the wheels above the ruts. Then I carefully push the jack to the side so that the wheels fall to the left or right of the ruts. I repeat the process on the other end of the vehicle, pick up and stow the jack. Then I drive off. I hope this will help you both now and in the future to get out of the ruts.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    John, you aren’t in a rut, you are just resting between ideas.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When I am in a rut, I look at John Nanian's photography for inspiration.
     
  20. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    I just cleaned my camera the last time. Kinda worked for a bit.

    Sent from Tap-a-talk
     
  21. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    Keep relaxed and enjoy the downtime.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks for these suggestions so far, and kind words ( and pm's )
    for the record .. im not in a rut, but i thought it would be a nice thread
    just in case someone IS in a rut :smile:

    thankfully i am distracted enough in life to not be in too much of a rut ...
    and if / when i am in one, i don't usually worry about it and i keep doing
    whatever it is i am doing ...
    luckily i have 30 things going on at once both photographically and non,
    so if i am bored, i can always paint a room, fix something that might need fixing,
    cook a meal ( or 5 ) roast some coffee, have some espresso, brew some beer,
    make some bread, build a camera, help someone ( with a project, with homework &c )
    make something, go for a jog/bike ride or go to someplace i don't go to often ( or someplace i go to all the time ) ,
    look for work, meander, observe "stuff", work on a handful of long term projects (or start another)
    work on a hand-stitched book, infect my kids with photography, stare at clouds, stars or other people's photographs, people-watch, tinker
    ... i also have a backlog of maybe 14 years of negatives i could probably print ...
     
  23. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Innovate. Or travel (as I am doing now). :smile:
    You will eventually regain your mojo. All artists find themselves in a rut occasionally.
     
  24. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Yeah... It's natural, and expected. Creativity requires a lot of effort. Your brain needs to refresh itself, every now and then.
     
  25. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    i keep shooting... actually, it's the pictures that tell me i'm in a rut, wouldn't know otherwise :laugh:
     
  26. dehk

    dehk Member

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    If you call it digging a whole, I am almost to China by now.