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  1. #1

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    Photographic Viagra?

    I do not get out a lot, to shoot. Work and family demands most of my time. I shoot when I can but it always takes a bit to get back into the swing, to feel the presence of a good image and be able to pull it off. Lately, as money has gotten tighter (Thank You GWB) the pressure to perform has increased as color LF film is not cheap. Galen Rowell, in one of his essays, talks about needing to blow through a few rolls before getting back into the groove after being out of the field for a while. I do not want to kill a couple rolls, I want to go into the mountains and not have this anxiety. Basically I need photographic Viagra DO something to get the juices going and be in the right mind set before I jump in the truck and head into the mountains.

    I know this is probably like hunting for the magic bullet but maybe there are some exercises you folks might do to get back into the game after sitting the bench for a while. I tried the digital camera idea but I HATE THOSE THINGS and got nothing out of it. basically it was a photographic spanish fly: Whole lot of talk and no satisfaction.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    blansky's Avatar
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    I've found that sometimes soft music and candles work. Or try to have a hot bath with your camera after the kids are asleep.


    If you take the Viagra before you leave for the mountains, I would caution you to leave the camera in the camera bag, so as to not have any unfortunate or dangerous mishaps on the way there.

    Probably, I would suggest you actually wait to take the Viagra until you are safely tucked away at your mountain retreat. I would also suggest that you take more than one camera, say two or three, and make the outing really special, because lets face it, there will be a lot of you to go around. Take extra camera batteries, as they will wear down quickly. Save yourself the disappointment of being ready to go, only to find out that your cameras are unable to continue.

    Remember if the "juices are flowing" for more more than four hours you should seek medical attention.

    Good luck and good shooting.


    MIchael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #3
    jovo's Avatar
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    For me, use of the camera is far less frequent than practicing 'seeing' wherever I go. Doing this also involves rejecting a lot of what I see as worthy of a photograph until or unless the light, weather or some such fortifies what's there beyond the commonplace. It takes a force of will, in fact, to stop looking at everything I pass as film fodder. When I do have time to take the camera, I'm usually very attuned to potential images and don't feel I need a kickstart. Having said that, there are certainly dry spells in which I get zippo. But that's just as true without the camera.
    John Voss

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  4. #4
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I've found that sometimes soft music and candles work. Or try to have a hot bath with your camera after the kids are asleep.


    If you take the Viagra before you leave for the mountains, I would caution you to leave the camera in the camera bag, so as to not have any unfortunate or dangerous mishaps on the way there.

    Probably, I would suggest you actually wait to take the Viagra until you are safely tucked away at your mountain retreat. I would also suggest that you take more than one camera, say two or three, and make the outing really special, because lets face it, there will be a lot of you to go around. Take extra camera batteries, as they will wear down quickly. Save yourself the disappointment of being ready to go, only to find out that your cameras are unable to continue.

    Remember if the "juices are flowing" for more more than four hours you should seek medical attention.

    Good luck and good shooting.


    MIchael
    Michael, I think you fogot to put the tip jar out, and that was worthy. Where shall I place my Susan B. Anthony dollars I have been trying to get rid of?

  5. #5

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    Does the Photographic viagra keep you from rolling out of bed like the original viagra does?

  6. #6
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer
    Does the Photographic viagra keep you from rolling out of bed like the original viagra does?
    Better known as the kickstand syndrome.

    Yes you have to rely on the tried and true "crawling" out of bed. But be careful of over exposure at this critical time.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  7. #7
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    I know what it is you feel, and I think you may be putting the cart before the horse.

    I have had less and less trouble with this as time marches on and I recite a quote from a friend of mine, "A good life is more important than good art."

    He lives his life in a fashion that allows him to be in, for lack of a better way to say it, a state of grace. (my words, not his)

    This allows him the benefit of a 2 fold gift. One, which at any time he chooses, he can go out and create. The other, and in our collective opinion, that [we] live a better life.

    "Better" is not the same for everyone, yet there is a right answer for each individual.

    Know your tools so well you no longer need to think about them.

    Know yourself that worrisome things are set aside, if only for a time, and you can touch what is within yourself, centered, prepared to create when time allows.

    Easy to learn, a lifetime to master.

    To me, the beauty is in the journey, not the destination.

    Good luck
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  8. #8
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Rowell was right. You need that exercize to get back in the flow. Having results on film is the best way to know how you're doing. However if you don't want to blow film, just practice shooting with no film in the camera (or holders). You'll get the practice seeing a shot, setting up, composing, deciding on exposure, and increase your comfort level with the camera and its operation. If you're shooting LF, do the whole routine with holders, darkslides, shutter, etc, so that you're into that workflow and minimize those kinds of mistakes when you do get out. This will get you back in tune with both seeing as John Voss recommends, and the mechanics that get you the results. I find that I need both sides of the process to be tuned up for the best results.

    People in sports can improve their game through "envisioning" their play, but if they don't get out and practice their physical chops, I doubt the results would be very outstanding. Now which way does that aperture ring turn? Did I remember to close the shutter, cock the shutter, pull the dark slide, replace the darkslide? An athlete who has to think about the process while executing it may be amusing to watch if you're in the right frame of mind, but is probably not the one with the best performance at game time. It's the same for me personally when shooting.

    If you don't have time to get out with the cameras and shoot blanks, perhaps you could just practice seeing during the day as John recommends and then mentally envision the camera operation while your boss thinks you're poring over that spreadsheet or memo.

    If you wanted to see results and still save money by not shooting film, you could buy a digital LF back and view your results without having to save, process, or print any of it. I've been told by a number of people that digital is much cheaper than film for that very reason.

    Lee

  9. #9

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    If I'm feeling like I havn't 'done' any picture taking for a while I drive somewhere and take a walk with an Olympus Pen-EE3 loaded with something like Delta 400, and a couple of contrast filters. I find this gets me motivated, keeps me 'active' (and fit!) and gives me the chance of using some gritty little negs.

  10. #10

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    I really feel bad about a serious reply, but I find myself in the same situation all the time. Never enough time...

    You mention both roll film and LF? If you do use LF, then we might be on level ground. When I do finally got out to shoot, the first thing I do is shoot some Polaroids. It involves the entire photo process, same as film, but you get almost instant feedback. That really helps get the mind back into photography. Although if your LF is 8x10, then Polaroids may be too expensive and cumbersome. I have yet to take a field 8x10 Polaroid... But it's great for 4x5...

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