Nice to know it doesn't get any easier! I've not been working since finishing university in August and spent much of the last 6 months studying photography. I know that once I do find work, that this, more than making photographs will be the most difficult thing to find time for. Studying and thinking photography, I find, uses up much more of my mental resources (and time) than simply going out making images or printing, even with real artistic intent - which for me, is the realisation of all that thinking and studying. If simply taking photographs and printing is your main concern, rather than any artistic goals that require really 'thinking photography' (both pre and post-shoot), then finding a few hours to... relieve yourself, as it were, I find is never the problem. The dilemma occurs when attempting to fulfil goals within your hobby, rather than simply enjoying the process. I think my goals just happen to be massively aspirational, because of my age and my dedication to this as a potential life - which may or may not come to fruition. I think artistic goals are determined and restricted by your lifestyle, whatever it might be. My problem is focus, which is a result of how much free time I have to procrastinate. If my life was clear cut and organised around work and a family, perhaps I'd be more focused with an allocated spot for photography - my time to shine. All I can really say is, with all the free time in the world, it's still a headache.
Dearest 36cm2: you see, when you hold a BS in Accounting and have passed the formidable CPA Exam, the world comes beckoning at your doorstep, offering its fulsome largess in the form of the "free time" to do what you wish to do. You see, I am very important and am entitled to rise above the mere hoi polloi. You see, dearest 36cm2, when you have achieved what I have achieved, you rate, and create, and suffer no ill fate. It is not a mere matter of having the time, but, instead, having the world provide you with its offerings, so impressed are they.
And dearest 36cm2, perhaps you ought to thank your lucky stars that the business world has not shunned you. Your 'taxed toleration' for the "administrative trivia" that you must suffer causes this queer to think that perhaps you are not seeing (or seeking) life as you should. Perhaps more creativity, with the time you have, would dissuade you from focusing upon your dire 'loss'. Remember, you actually get a paycheck at the end of the week and get to buy that extra roll of film. At the end of your hectic day find 20 minutes to photograph something that will provide you with potential for future creativity. Yes, 36cm2, armed with extension tubes, even your exploration of a mere speck of dust can provide an interesting dimension, apart from the more mundane. Oftentimes, we fail to see what is already there.
Try being persistently unemployed in order to discover just what rancor frustration is capable of fomenting. No unemployment, no welfare, no freebies, no 'entitlements due to my sorry lot in life, just hearing the anger of the 'culturally deprived' who dislike their so-called dire situation (who happen to receive a handsome paycheck at the end of the work week).
NOTA BENE 36cm2: I hate you not, but I wanted to apprise you of your need to correct your skewed perception. Besides, oftentimes, creativity comes directly from frustration. - David Lyga.
+1. Well said David.
Originally Posted by David Lyga
Shoot more film.
There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.
its a juggle ...
just enjoy things as they come your way ..
you will find things to photograph that you might not have realized were there all along ..
most of my photographs taken from the car window started as i rode shotgun to pickup/drop off
our kids at pre school. after 6 or 7 years and a thousand + exposures,
i got good enuf / kept at it that the images became a body of work i have been thinking of publishing ( ...one of these days ... )
and it all started while i was staring out the window wishing i had time to make some photographs in the midst of the tedium of life with small kids ...
be present, be observant, and enjoy the little things cause they are what life's actually about ...
good luck !
Last edited by jnanian; 03-03-2012 at 11:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
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That's my response too.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
A great question that I use when asked to do extra work is "ok, so what do you want me not to do so this new task can get done?"
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size." Albert Einstein
If I'm asked to stay on late, I usually ask "what's in it for me?". I don't see why the company's shareholders should benefit from my free time.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Well, the very first thing I'd say is don't ever think of family as an intrusion in your time. If you haven't done so lately, fall down on your knees and give thanks that you have them!
Business, now that's another thing Since taking on a managerial role, I've had all manner of bizarre things to deal with. Yesterday I lost an employee to lung cancer and a student had an emergency appendectomy, and that capped off a week in which I had to deal with some $1M+ financial and personnel issues of the usual make-or-break variety. That's a bit atypical but... yeah, the day job(s) can be a lot to handle. All of my predecessors had major health issues after a year or so. For whatever reason I am doing fine, probably because I proceed with the faith that I was chosen to manage this stuff because I am the sort of person who can do it without wigging out. Which means that it's just a matter of calling timeout and finding my strategy... and putting one foot in front of the other.
So for me, photography is a form of mental oasis- a place to go when I want to set things aside and clear my head... while kind of chipping away at those other things subliminally, in the background. And I suspect that the reason why I can deal with the above-mentioned issues is that I have that place to go and collect my thoughts. For me, it is very beneficial just to dip into APUG a few times a day during a break, engage in some banter, think about something other than whatever stress just arrived in my inbox... and just let the earth rotate without me for a few minutes. And when I have time, the most relaxing thing I can imagine is to set up a still life or whatever, or just jump in the car and chase some warm light through the hills, with a bunch of loaded cameras in the back seat. Quite therapeutic.
I suppose that what all successful multi-taskers have in common is their own mental oasis, whether in the form of photography, writing, music, sport etc. I've known quite a few people who did lose sanity over relatively minor things, and all I can say is when the stakes are really high, you need a very clear head. You cannot get bogged down in the situation. What's so great about photography is that it's all about finding the right perspective. Photography really trains you to keep "the big picture" in mind.
+1,. Like any good North American, I compartmentalize my life: from Monday to Friday, I work (generally 12 hour days), hit the gym for an hour, and sleep, with little time for anything beyond reading my newspapers. I could complain about the long hours but I am still climbing the ladder. The weekends, however, are mine, and mine alone. The cell is put on mute and the volume on the land-line is turned off; I only check each periodically in case of emergency/expected calls from family or friends (work be damned!) I allocate one day for errands/household chores/pleasure reading/messing about (usually Saturday) and the second for photography-related activities (weather will sometimes change the order of things). What I do not waste time doing is parking my a** in front of a television set...EVER! Life is too short - and there are way too many more interesting things to see, do and shoot - to sit around being passively entertained into a stupor.
Originally Posted by Jerevan
Whether the goals are photography, or anything else... I'm spending quite a bit of time lately trying to pare the goals down to soemthing closer to reasonable. That is becoming the only way to stay sane. At work they once said we have to "do more with less". That time is long gone. We did that, then had to "do the same with less". Nobody wants to admit that even THAT time has passed and the only sensible thing is to admit that we might have to "do less with less". There is only so much time and energy that we have.
Originally Posted by 36cm2
So getting more direct... my focus has been on my family, followed by keeping my job and doing the best I can at it. Photography only happens when there is free time from both of those, which is infrequent.