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  1. #21
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    One of my photography mentors taught me to not lift my camera unless I see something that moves me personally. That's another important ingredient that puts us in the zone of creating from the heart.
    Sometimes it's quite interesting to take an object that we like to photograph, and come back to it many times. Taking a photograph of something that we love, and know how to photograph can sometimes help.
    The only time that I will take a picture is if I can see it on my wall. If I can not see my self hanging the image I will not shoot it. I have shot too many rolls that when it comes time to do something with the negs I just end up throwing them away because they are useless subjects.


    I do find the art of composing and shooting an image almost as good as the final product. I like the task. It's relaxing, the rest of photography is shit work. At least for me.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    I've upended my photographic concerns so much, that I've almost had to start again from the ground up.
    This reminds me of Tiger Woods. He was constantly changing his swing and he paid for it.

    There was a thread in one of these forums, maybe even here, about using a, non-film is it now, camera to learn or in your case re-learn composition/lighting etc.. You need a little immediate feedback. But wait at least 2 or three days more and look at the pictures again. This ought to tell if it's you and any grandiose dreams your thinking up about how good they actually were. The thing is we all take crappy pictures and I'm sure we all wonder what we were thinking. I've done it a million times, ok not a million, but a hell of alot. I'm at least a few thousand towards my 10,000 bad images as noted by Saint Ansel.
    W.A. Crider

  3. #23
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    Gary Winogrand had a huge delay between exposing a roll of film and looking at the contact sheet. I think the delay was something like at least three months or so.
    The great Ralph Eugene Meatyard was said to have piled up film for six months or a year. He would then go into a multi week frenzy of developing and printing. He stated that this was to give himself space between the creation and the revealing of what had actually occurred, not what he had hoped, fantasized, etc.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    When I sent out my latest roll of colour on Monday for processing, the feeling of "these could be great, my best yet" was particularly strong. Then the snow came and I panicked about the possibility of lost mail, wondering if the universe was having its way with me. Anyway, the negs arrived this morning, a day earlier than usual and low and behold, they were terrible, strange, "what the HELL was I thinking?" bad.

    The anticipation is always intense when I send off my colour work and during the week long wait, I begin editing the unseen images in my head, thinking about books, exhibitions, changing the world. You can imagine the downer then when I actually see them and they aren't anything like I imagined. This rollercoaster of emotions is becoming a little too much, perhaps even having an affect on my mental health. I haven't made a single picture I've been happy with for over a year and I can't stop beating myself up about it. Has anyone else had such a long span of fruitless results? I'm incredibly hard on myself with photography, but it's getting a bit silly. I've forgotten how to just enjoy it, it's like my life depends on every image I make.

    Am I losing my mind?

    NO, I don't think you are losing your mind. But I do think you are not quite in touch with reality.... Even a well known pros, I mean world renown pros, often say if they made ONE great image per year, they did well. So what's the chance for common folks like you and I doing better than that? It's normal and quite natural to be quite excited about the last shooting and do some "mental exercise" about what you might do with the great image. But, if you are really having that much of anxiety attack over it, it's not healthy. If you are dreaming about great sales, exhibitions, and so on, for every single roll, you need to set your expectation for yourself right.

    To me, every "terrible result" is a appointment but also a chance to really evaluate what I did wrong and formulate a plan for the next time. So it's always a mixture of positive and negative. Even great image has something to improve upon. So, I never have a fruitless result.

    Do I have long stretch of no keepers? Yes. I'm in one right now.

    I wish you learn to relax more. If it's too much for you, set down your camera for a while and do something else.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    I used to say to the bride and groom on their return from the honeymoon: "Never mind I'll get it right at your next wedding"

    I have been in hiding for many years now

    pentaxuser
    Two out of three weddings in Britain end in divorce, I've often thought it would be more profitable to photograph divorces
    Ben

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    low and behold, they were terrible, strange, "what the HELL was I thinking?" bad.
    How so? I think we all go through regular periods of feeling like this. And if we respond to the blahs, they can be parlayed into fruitful growth for us as artists, photographers etc.

    Can you put your finger on that 'thing' that results in your negative assessment of your past year's output? Perhaps it can be narrowed down to the exposure, the development, the composition, the subject matter...?

  7. #27
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    I've gone through a great shift with my photography over the last year, with my subjective concerns (from the natural landscape to public spaces) and significantly in terms of my aesthetic sensibilities. I have a problem keeping productive and to an extent, forget that actually learning to work (or see) in a new way requires some consistency. I've upended my photographic concerns so much, that I've almost had to start again from the ground up.
    I've gone through a transformation in how I shoot too. For the longest time I shot mostly landscapes of water, woods, and urban scenes. Portraits too, a few figure studies, and odds and ends. Mostly medium format and some sheet film, but very little 35mm.
    Getting a Leitz enlarger I started being very interested in 35mm, and impressed with how good the quality of my prints were, I started shooting more 35mm. Then I got a Leica camera, and I felt like I wanted to explore other types of photography, like candids, street photography, and so on. I will do more of that, but I've had to reconnect with my past again in order to get back to a balanced approach of what I want to photograph, and this adjustment period has meant a lot of inconsistent output, which has confused me a lot. But gradually, by just sticking with it and practicing a lot, I have come to terms with how to align my expectations. So I'm becoming much happier with the results as the pieces are starting to fall back into place. It took a while. More than a year.
    "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

  8. #28
    Grumpyshutter's Avatar
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    Just give up on film and go D!&!t&l, then you can have instant disappointment and never need to print a picture ever again...

    Only joking.

  9. #29
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    Two out of three weddings in Britain end in divorce, I've often thought it would be more profitable to photograph divorces
    Now that is a forward thinking plan.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #30
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    You can imagine the downer then when I actually see them and they aren't anything like I imagined.
    As for the photography: When this happens, do you know WHY the actual pictures don't look like what you imagined? Is it composition? Exposure? Something else? Without some idea of what is going wrong, you cannot make corrections and we cannot advise you. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    This rollercoaster of emotions is becoming a little too much, perhaps even having an affect on my mental health. I haven't made a single picture I've been happy with for over a year and I can't stop beating myself up about it. Has anyone else had such a long span of fruitless results? I'm incredibly hard on myself with photography, but it's getting a bit silly. I've forgotten how to just enjoy it, it's like my life depends on every image I make.
    As for the mental health issues: It's probably better if this forum does not advise you on this. However, (since you asked) if photography is not only not enjoyable, but causes you anguish, quit doing it. It's not worth it.

    Others have jokingly suggested a digital camera, but I would seriously suggest one, if you really want to pursue photography. However, to my first point: if after taking a picture and getting the instant feedback, you still don't know what to change, it won't help your problem.
    David
    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

    http://www.behance.net/silverdarkroom

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