Originally Posted by winger
Thanks so much for your message of hope. I have been looking in the Great Lakes Region in hopes of seeing a future even pop up in John's delightful neighborhood. Being with friends and sharing images and exploring sounds wonderful.
I can understand and own the shoes when it comes to clean out of other's homes. My thoughts are with your parents in their efforts and I have always dreamed of visiting Scotland so I hope they have an outstanding time relaxing there.
Originally Posted by jordanstarr
Your insights into how events bites into so many of these youth's lives gives rise to the fact that many things become prioities in the blink of an eye. I admire you for trying to make a difference in others lives and hope you too stay in the MoJo stream with your creativity.
Good luck, Lee!
I hope everything works out well for both you and your parents. You seem like a true model son for being so diligent with helping your parents. My own folks went through the same with my grandmother over in Sweden at the end of last year, and it drained a lot of their energy and will to do other things, which they simply had to set aside for a while.
Perhaps what you need is some time, and some pause in your life to just settle your mind around everything that's happened and changed. I had my divorce in 2010, where I moved out of my old house in September 2009, and then sorted things until about June of 2010. In those months I had very little desire for photography, and it wasn't a fun experience, so I mostly left it alone, which I think was necessary. Instead I cooked good meals, spent time with friends, relaxed, had a glass of good wine now and again, and I tried to enjoy every single moment of it.
But after a few months of stalling photography I was a bit lost, not feeling that it would come back to me, and then a couple of people, whom I'm infinitely grateful to, gave me a kick in the rear to force me to get out there and shoot a roll off, process it, and do something with the negatives. And then do it again. Eventually this reeled me in, and I found a place in photography where I am even more passionate and motivated than I ever was.
What's individual and important, I think, is the timeline in which this happens. You may well find yourself being inspired as heck one day, for no apparent reason, or you may not, but I think the advice to pause is sound, and then you'll have to figure out when and if you need a kick in the rear to get going again, and when you do I'll happily provide it.
You seem like a really good guy, and I'm sure you'll get all of this sorted out in time.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I am not familiar with your photographic interests, but do understand your feelings. As I age, and my mobility decreases, I find it frustrating at times. But what I have found, for me, is that I find the process more important than the subject. Not that the images are unimportant, far from it. But, that I can lose myself in the moment. To cease to think about my cares and situation, as I photograph. I find that I can find interesting images in my own yard. No, not grand vistas, but images I would like to capture and work with. More importantly it becomes an enjoyable challenge to find images on this smaller scale.
Choosing the light, the exposure, the depth of field, works the same for a bug, a flower, a tree, or a mountain. Suddenly I no longer think about what is past, or what is fading. I am in the moment, and doing something I thoroughly enjoy. For me, it is good therapy and more than enough.
Hopefully you will find your mojo...
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=36.790798,-90.481149
Well one thing to try is being social while shooting, hang out with other people who are taking pictures.
Camera club field trips, seminars, workshops, whatever.
It doesn't even need to be subjects you would normally shoot, in fact that's part of the magic. Whenever I do this I come back with something fun, no exception.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
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Wow, this is very true. While I have been wrapped up with all things mom and dad I am not living in the moment. For as my concept of photographygoes it is always been about being in the moment, it is there that one can really see.
Originally Posted by ambaker
Yes I too am finding my own mobility is less than I would like it. Certainly hope to be as mobile as I can for as long as I can. Please enjoy all the mobility and adventure in all ways (good advice for me too)
Lee, my thoughts are with you. It is difficult enough to face the immediate days ahead without thinking of carrying on with your passion for photography. I do not doubt that it still exists, but other concerns will make it difficult to find time or energy for any sort of self indulgence for some time. You have received excellent advice and support so far, so there is little I can add. I will say, however that you do need to take time for yourself, either with a camera or without. You need to indulge your needs in some small way.
It may be the furthest thing from your mind, but you should check out Philip Toledano's Days With my Father. Philip created a moving tribute to his father while caring for his own physical, mental and emotional health in difficult days. I am sure it was a difficult thing to undertake, but the result is a stunning portrait of love and life.
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
I agree with Matt on this one. Not to mention, that if they can id the people in the photos and you record it somehow, it will preserve this information for future generations.
Originally Posted by MattKing
As others have suggested, Lee, now may be the time for you to just go with what's in front of you, one day at a time. If it doesn't feel right to be taking photos, don't take photos. It'll all come back with renewed passion when the time's right. However, could I suggest - and I hope you don't find this indelicate - that perhaps you could take lots of photos of your parents. From what you're saying, they have limited time to enjoy their lives with you and now might be a very good time to have a camera with you when you go and visit them. I remember a newspaper article many years ago about a photographer whose husband was dying of cancer. She took hundreds of shots of him throughout his illness and even after he'd died. People were shocked but I think it was a beautiful thing to do. It was her way of dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing the one she loved. Photography was a strength she had that she didn't have to think too much about but which got her out of her head for a while (and left her with some wonderful images after he'd died).
Is this something that has any appeal to you, I wonder?
I just wanted to add that one of the things I love about this forum is the atmosphere of trust that's generated, to the extent that people like Lee can feel confident of support when it's asked for, not just in photography related matters but in very personal issues too.