thanks for these suggestions so far, and kind words ( and pm's )
for the record .. im not in a rut, but i thought it would be a nice thread
just in case someone IS in a rut
thankfully i am distracted enough in life to not be in too much of a rut ...
and if / when i am in one, i don't usually worry about it and i keep doing
whatever it is i am doing ...
luckily i have 30 things going on at once both photographically and non,
so if i am bored, i can always paint a room, fix something that might need fixing,
cook a meal ( or 5 ) roast some coffee, have some espresso, brew some beer,
make some bread, build a camera, help someone ( with a project, with homework &c )
make something, go for a jog/bike ride or go to someplace i don't go to often ( or someplace i go to all the time ) ,
look for work, meander, observe "stuff", work on a handful of long term projects (or start another)
work on a hand-stitched book, infect my kids with photography, stare at clouds, stars or other people's photographs, people-watch, tinker
... i also have a backlog of maybe 14 years of negatives i could probably print ...
Originally Posted by jnanian
Innovate. Or travel (as I am doing now).
You will eventually regain your mojo. All artists find themselves in a rut occasionally.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
Yeah... It's natural, and expected. Creativity requires a lot of effort. Your brain needs to refresh itself, every now and then.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
i keep shooting... actually, it's the pictures that tell me i'm in a rut, wouldn't know otherwise
If you call it digging a whole, I am almost to China by now.
[ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]
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I wish I could just walk away for a while but I find that harder than working through a rut - so I just keep going, as disappointing and frustrating as that can sometimes be.
Switch formats! Seriously, if you're lugging around an 8x10 all the time, then try medium format or 35mm. Or a Holga.
Originally Posted by jnanian
The most important thing is to keep working and making stuff. Sometimes we spend too much time thinking and intellectualizing rather than taking action.
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
i know what you mean, getting stressed about "stuff" never helps anything ...
Usually I do two things.
First I look at picture books. (never really outgrew that)
Second I print all those photographs I have been procrastinating on.
If neither of those work then I pick a project. There are lots of ideas on-line. The latest one has been to walk to a street corner and look all 4 directions trying to find a silhouette photo. It does not have to be good but it does have to fill the frame. Once I find it I can move around as needed to improve the framing or the composition. Then I shoot an entire roll, or at least 4 sheets if I am using a large format camera.
So far it has worked and I come up with some interesting photo opportunities I would not have found any other way.
The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.