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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorff View Post
    When I started with the Pentax 6x7, it was after having used a Mamiya RZ67 for a year, so the frame size and aspect ratio was something I was used to. But I was using only the waist level finder with the Mamiya, and of course the prism finder for the Pentax. I think this has had an influence on the photographs of people, because of the way of interacting with the subject, the height of the camera etc. So far I enjoy the Pentax, though, for field work and hikes. If you have had the camera for a long time, and the decline in results is something that has happened suddenly, then I think you have to think about whether there is something else distracting you. Maybe work, family or social life. Maybe you are a bit depressed and you do not realise it. That will definitely influence the way in which you look at your photographs. But I am not a psychologist, just noting that you sound a bit strung. What helps for me at times, is to stop all forms of photography and photographic reading / learning, for a couple of weeks. Stay away from all the forums you frequent, stash your photo gear away, close the books and put them into the book shelf. Then go around, and LOOK at the world without photographing it. Ask yourself what things you like in the world around you, what you find interesting, what reflects what you are aware of in yourself. Simply be aware of your world and your response to it. Then after two or three weeks, go and photograph those things that moved you.

    I find that when I photograph my children in a non-intrusive sort of way, it almost always breaks the ice for me. It is not that the photos are necessarily great, but the fact that I enjoy seeing the results none the less, makes the effort worthwhile. Eventually, when I get the opportunity to photograph other things, I have a positive mindset. I should also add that I seldom shoot CN film on my Pentax. My BW results tend to please me slightly more on average than the colour negatives. Maybe it is because it is sometimes really difficult to get the colour to gel with all the other elements in an image, while BW is forgiving in that sense.

    As a last thought, the only sure way to get no images worth keeping, is to take no images at all. The only way to increase your hit rate, is to practice. The latter must have an element of evaluation / critique and then repeating the effort with the added insight. Just continuing to randomly shoot things without closing the learning loop will probably not help you understand what is wrong with your photographs, which may more be a lack of visualising properly than faulty technique etc.
    I've only shot about five rolls so far on the Pentax, with it being sent off for long periods.

    I definitely need a break from photography and a bit more balance in my life, that's for sure. I eat, sleep and breathe it and have done for well over a year. Every single bookmark in my web browser for instance, is photography related - which really is quite worrying actually. It's one of those things though - some people will call you mad and others will admire you, with the romantic notion of "living life by your own rules". But who do you listen to? I'm sure I'm not the only person on APUG, who, in a psychologists opinion, might have an unhealthy attachment. But I'll definitely be taking a holiday... should I bring my camera?
    Last edited by batwister; 02-10-2013 at 02:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #52

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    Who's to say what's healthy and not? We're all different. It's good to listen to others' opinions regarding your lifestyle but in the end you'll be happiest doing what you love. I changed many behaviors in my life to suit others and I'll tell you right now, other than a few little things, I wish I hadn't.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    I've only shot about five rolls so far on the Pentax, with it being sent off for long periods.

    I definitely need a break from photography and a bit more balance in my life, that's for sure. I eat, sleep and breathe it and have done for well over a year. Every single bookmark in my web browser for instance, is photography related - which really is quite worrying actually. It's one of those things though - some people will call you mad and others will admire you, with the romantic notion of "living life by your own rules". But who do you listen to? I'm sure I'm not the only person on APUG, who, in a psychologists opinion, has an unhealthy attachment. But I'll definitely be taking a holiday... should I bring my camera?
    If photography adds to your stress and dread instead of dissolving it, then it is perhaps necessary to get some perspective. Take some time off from photography, and just do something different. Enjoy other things in life not for their photographic merit, but for their intrinsic worth. My wife keeps me anchored a bit, and reminds me of what is important when all I'm thinking of is whether something would look better in TriX or TMax400. I always enjoy shooting film, otherwise I stop doing it. The urge eventually returns if one waits long enough. It is pointless to produce endless rubbish for relaxation, but it is also pointless to stress yourself out over something that should be fun.

    My mindset is to photograph what I like, and to capture and show the beauty of the subject in the photograph. Others try to make good images (and some indeed manage to do so). But it doesn't work well for me. If my goal becomes the photograph itself, it falls flat for me, almost as if the whole process is contrived. Hence, I dislike competitions - they work against my photo logic. I cannot say what should work for you, but I can recommend that you figure out what you want to achieve, and what would make you happy with your photography in the long run, whether it is to exhibit, win competitions, make prints for sale, impress your friends or simply remind yourself where you've been and how far you've come. And try to figure out whether your interest lies in the subjects or concepts you photograph or in the photographs themselves. That will take you some way towards understanding how to remedy your perceived stagnation, whether you need to understand your subject or concept better, instead of getting stuck on trying to improve technique, equipment etc. Take a couch vacation first, and by the time you go on holiday, you'll know whether your camera should go or not.

  4. #54
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    I'm late to this thread, and have only skimmed the responses, but unless you are dealing with purely mechanical issues, (focus, shutter speed, etc. ) I'd like to make a different suggestion.

    Cut two or three big pieces of mat and frame some random prints from your "unsatisfactory" rolls. Hang them each in a different area of your house and tape a piece of paper beside them. Over the course of a week or so, take the time to examine the photos. With the big mat, the images will be isolated from their surroundings and you can really concentrate on the composition and elements in the picture. Take notes on the good and the bad. You may find that some of the pictures grow on you. Or you may be able to identify specific things that detract from the photos. If you can, re-shoot a picture using your notes as a guide. It's not a silver bullet, but it can really help you find what works for you in a given image.

    Don't give up. By all means, take time off, but don't walk away from something you love so much.

    Cheers,
    Tom
    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...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  5. #55

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    Thanks for all the comments. A lot of wisdom shared.

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