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  1. #1
    brYan's Avatar
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    For the last couple of months I have been uninspired to photograph anything. Once in a while unusual subjects will pop up or unusual lighting may appear, but nothing that really inspires me to get the camera out of the bag! If only I could focus on a subject or theme, I might be able to photograph something worthwhile. Anybody else been in this state of mind? How do you get past it?

  2. #2
    bmac's Avatar
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    I suffered through a block for over six months... what did I do? I stopped photographing for a while, and stopped reading photo magazines and concentrated on playing the guitar. I came back refreshed and did some fun self assignments. it works.
    hi!

  3. #3

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    Some times I force myslef to get off my butt and go take pictures. But I agree with Brian, to just stop and let all the buld up drain away works better for me. I found those times I forced myself to photograph only produced mediocre negatives, which in turned depressed me more and made me want to take less pics.
    Sometimes the frustration of "seeing" the image in your mind and then looking and the god awful negative you just made builds up in me and I find I really need to get away to just build enthusiasm and forget all those missed opportunities.

  4. #4
    Aggie's Avatar
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  5. #5

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    Wait for springtime... or, try something new like learning an alternative process or something.
    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I'll usually try a different format, or do something I just wouldn't normally do, if I think I'm getting stagnant.

    If large format is becoming repetitive, for instance, I'll dust off the 35mm camera and set it on automatic or load up with high-speed film and put on a pinhole lenscap, just to remind myself of what it feels like to work more spontaneously.

    Or I'll experiment with a new film. Lately I've been playing with some mystery film--35mm XX movie stock that must be at least 30 years old. It seems to do well in Dektol and has a pretty good density range despite the high base fog.

    Or if I'm just not seeing opportunities outside, I'll retreat into the darkroom and catch up on the endless printing backlog or go back over old negatives and see if I can print them better or I might find a negative that I didn't originally like but that has become more interesting in retrospect.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Jan 10 2003, 08:10 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Or if I&#39;m just not seeing opportunities outside, I&#39;ll retreat into the darkroom and catch up on the endless printing backlog or go back over old negatives and see if I can print them better or I might find a negative that I didn&#39;t originally like but that has become more interesting in retrospect.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Indeed. As I shoot nearly all my stuff outdoors, when the weather does not cooperate and I really want to do something, I end up pulling out old negatives and usually find something interesting I missed in the past or I try those "unworkable" negatives that&#39;s easier for me to print now that I have a bit more experience doing it.

    Also, because I do landscapes, I&#39;ll sometimes try some architectural or studio shots for fun, which helps me learn.
    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  8. #8
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Brian,

    I think the advice offered by Aggie is good and worth following. Perhaps you are putting to much pressure on yourself and consequently taking away the joy of making photographs. Weston was right, there are photographs to be seen all around us. His thinking inspired me to think of the following assignment to photographers attending a workshop that I do called Seeing and Using Light. On the first day I give each student 1 roll of film and ask them to use only one fixed focal length lens, go for a walk and make a photograph every 25 steps. They can walk in any direction and they can photograph in any direction each time they stop. This assignment is always met with some scepticism but after it is completed the students generally tell me how it has helped them look and see photographs. You might like to try it.

    Photographers block happens to us all so please don&#39;t despair you will overcome it.



    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  9. #9
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Here is a letter from Michael Smith sent to a young photographer. I find it inspirational and touching. I had a dry spell (artistic juices just dried up) that lasted about 3 years once. Bearly took my cameras out at all. And the sad thing was I was living in a location that was photographically beautiful - the Atlantic maritimes in Canada. What I found was the pervasive atmosphere of depression from the locals finally got to me. I moved across Canada back to the west and settled in the BC interior. Well the flood gates opened&#33;

    Generally I&#39;m not that influenced by other peoples malase (sp), but this time I was. I will have to go back and visit during the fall and get some of those brillant colors I missed.

    Here is the link: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/letyoung.html

    Eric
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  10. #10
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    From ridiculous to sublime. Assign yourself a subject and a deadline. If you come up dry in the idea department go to www.usefilm.com. they have a whole list of photographic assignments. It&#39;s kind of an on line camera club. You don&#39;t have to buy into the whole club thing, but they do have assignments spelled out to complete. Take what you wish and do what you wish.

    Take some time and read. Three books for you. "Art and Fear" by Ted Orland and David Bayles. Two photographers tackle the whole subject of making personal art. "Mastery. The keys to success and long-term fulfillment." by George Leonard. Sounds like a self help book. It is. Of interest to artists is the explanation of the process of learning skills complete with plateaus and dry periods. Last one is "Writing Down the Bones", by an author whose name I just can&#39;t remember right now. Its focus is writing, but if you can substitute "photography" for "writing" it still makes sense.

    You will get through this. We all do.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

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