when you are in a rut, what do YOU do ?
i kind of said it all in the title, but i will say it again ...
when you are in a rut what do you do (to crawl out of it) ?
maybe you can give that advice here if you have any?
One of two things work for me:
(1) I look at my portfolio and figure out what kind of photos I usually don't take; then I take them; or
(2) I take a break from photography and do something completely different for a while; when I return to it, my eyes feel fresher and I usually find inspiration.
Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 06-25-2014 at 08:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Usually I find something different to do.
So, if it's a photographic rut, I might turn a bowl on the lathe, for example.
Or, if it's mostly a shooting rut, I may look through my old negatives to see which ones may have "improved" over time.
I like to experiment. So, when I'm bored or feel things could be more interesting, I give myself a challenge. Sometimes I'll even go as far as to take up someone else's problem, and look for a solution. Stripping emulsion using household bleach was a result of one of those challenges. Developing glass plates face-down in a tray was another. But that "energy" is becoming rarer to find, as I have so many personal challenges (photographically speaking) that I want to resolve. For example . . . what do I need to do to get a one-man show at the Guggenheim?
"Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds — and one that can be practiced by any imbecile." – Nadar, 1856
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Me too. I've been in a photographic rut for the past year... so I've been laying on the couch watching TV. Now I'm in a rut again so I think I'll go back to snapping pictures.
Originally Posted by bdial
OP: I think this works best for me. If I constantly use the same approach it can get to where the images begin to repeat the look a bit. With that said I try my best to mix things up. Can be as simple as angle of views on old subjects. Many times, as a landscape only photog, I hike a lot and find new points of interest. Simply stated, you can not always find new subjects looking out of a car window. Yesterday, I spent only one hour hiking an area new to me in a National Park I visit weekly. I found 4 new subjects to return to in better lighting on my return trip next week. I use maps and GPS to log sites and ideas. This also breaks up the routine a bit.
This approach in my mind could be applied in city, urban, or other areas too. Good luck.......
"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care"
- Theodore Roosevelt -
I've tried several different things at different times. The one that worked the best for me was just to go hiking. At least then if I didn't get any good pictures, I got some fresh air and exercise. Feeling better made me more apt to see things to photograph.
One thing that's happened is that if I have too many things to get done that have to get done, I automatically keep thinking of way more things I want to do and projects that I want to do. So fill up your honey-do list with stuff and you'll suddenly find more inspiration with no time to follow through.
For me it is sort of like falling off a horse. They say, get back up on it as soon as you can and ride.
If I am in a dry spot in my photography I load up the gear and go back to the series I have been working on and start walking or driving around in that area. For the past 12 years that I have been doing this I have always found something new to shoot related to that series. On the other hand I am always looking for the next series and I may spot something new.
Occasionally I shoot with a friend who shoots 8x10. I call him up and invite him to prowl. We see things differently, not only the format difference, I shoot 7x17, but from a different perspective. This may be abstract, close up vs. distance, wide vs. narrow, subject matter within the series. Some times he calls me. We help each other get back on track.
I believe it was Wayne Gretzky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Load up the gear and go take a walk or drive in the subject area that you have shot before while keeping an eye out for something new.
….and good luck. That never hurts, but showing up makes a lot of your own luck.
"If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichý
I take long walks in the countryside another good way to come out of it is to visit the next art museum (modern or old) and try to avoid the photography exhibits. Imo the light of the old masters and some of the ideas of the young artists usually does the trick.