Misery, as they say, loves company. Although my circumstances are not nearly as serious as yours I too feel my mojo has slipped away. Since early last year I have been spending a lot of time getting my house ready to sell, splitting time between Virginia and Michigan, selling my house, packing, moving out, buying and moving in to another house, being without a darkroom for several months then having to build a new one seemed to consume all of my time and energy.
My personal perspective is that art is the flame of a candle and life is the breeze that always threatens its extinguishment. I have found that it is easy to lose that tenuous connection to my art, and once lost is very difficult to reestablish. I am now at the point where I am wandering around looking for scenes that inspire me to set up my gear and expose some film, but the inspiration is hard to find. I think I just have to keep at it until the mojo returns, because the alternative, quitting photography, is not an option for me.
I will keep at it until the magic happens again for me, as I know it will for you, my friend.
This is a difficult dimenma for anyone to offer true insight but...
I spent eleven years caring for an elderly parent and I did so gladly. I only went to work and came home during this entire time... and missed so much work that I was nearly fired twice. Many other difficult things transpired before, during, and after this time, the worst of which is that my own illess progressed to the point that I'm failing at work, I have trouble ambulating and I'm losing cognition and memory. I guess I let things get to me because, like you, I lost all interesting everything. I lost my love of listening to great music, taking photographs and cooking. Actually, these latter years are just a continuance of deprivation of these thngs because my ex-wife was so unaccepting of those things that gave me a sense of self-worth. I know... I shouldn't have let her control me like that.
Over the last couple of years I've bought some nice photo gear in hopes of eeking out a few final images but I just haven't done it yet. There's an old delapidated bridge a few miles form my house I want to document... maybe this weekend.
I wouldn't ordinarily open my guts for all to see in open forum like this and I don't want any sympathy... you'll just pi$$ me off. My point is that we just have to keep going. The only other choice is to give up on everything. Sometimes it's harder to not give up but... that's our personal choice.
Life can knock us down over, and over, and over again. At some point some of us just decide not to get up anymore. Again, that's our personal choice... lay there and give up... or stand up and keep fighting.
Some very inspiring words here...thanks Dan & Old-N-Feeble for your valuable insights.
Dan, you are an amazing photographer and printer. Nurture that candle flame.
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...
Dan, I too throw in with Tom, you are a great artist. Life's issues does seem to interrupt that as it has for me. Yet I get glimpses of new hope here and there. I took my father's Leica IIIF out for a roll of cheap Walgreen's 400 asa film and found it pleasant to try to be in the moment and look about me. IT has not fixed my ageing mother and father or provided all the funds to treat them as I wish I could, but it did give me new hope and a refreshing time.
Mojo returned? Can not say, but an afternoon in the sun helped a bunch to foster some MoJo.
Last edited by daleeman; 04-05-2012 at 09:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I read your post and look forward to seeing this bridge you speak of through your eyes. I think adversity, age, trials and more gives us a certain look on life that we as photographers uniquely have the ability to share in a fixed view for others to see and understand. It would be a real blessing to me to see what you see, because I would not be able to see this bridge the same way.
Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble
Its a MOJO thing. Ya got to give it away to keep it.
Thank you, Lee, but I took a long look at that bridge the other day and, while it's certainly an old relic that should be documented, there are no good angles no matter where I stand. Maybe I'll look at it again this weekend.
Like looking at blank canvas, knowing one will see it all before picking up the first paint brush.
When I look at a bridge, I first see the entire structure, before I see the bolts, wooden pegs, pealing finish and more. You will see it, and we will see the graceful old bridge that only you can see, that way.
Old trees with roots that bob up out of the rocks do that to me. I end up almost interviewing the old tree wondering how it hung onto the rocks so long on the side of the mountain before I really see the photograph that I should make.
Yep... those are valid points and you now have me thinking that this bridge should be documented in bits and pieces more-so that seeing it as a whole. Submitted as a group of images showing one thing can certainly be interesting. I'll keep that in mind this weekend as I look at it again.
I feel for you. I hadnt picked up a camera willingly since 1991 when the studio I worked for went belly up. Last month my wife suggested I look into a new dig cam for her and I got bit by the bug again. I dug out my med format equip, it was as if I was reuniting with an old flame!
I started planning things and people to shoot, started setting up a b&w darkroom and put a roll of film into the Hassy.
It still sits. I have no suggestion other than getting yourself outdoors, among people and things that interest you. You may find inspiration.
While I used to find I loved portraiture, I now mind myself in solitary quiet places doing close up work.
Don't let it wait, get outside and enjoy the spring.