Try making small proofs (4x6 or 5x7) from a full roll of film, then pin them up around the house where you might see them during your normal day.
But don't pin them up right way up. Have them upside down, or on an edge. That way if they catch your eye as you pass, you are not seeing a subject that you took a photograph of, you are seeing objects that are collections of line and tones. This might inspire you to print from some of the frames in a different way, picking on details, or abstracts. This in turn may inspire you to look at the same old fodder in a different way, sparking your desire to shoot again.
"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision" - Maxi Jazz
Forget the photography, give up thinking about what you "think" you should shoot.
Then go do something you want to do, visit places, events or whatever, maybe don't take a camera, then you'll suddenly find that something will inspire you to shoot images again and give them a purpose.
I see so many great pictures when I haven't got a camera with me!
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
come up with some sort of "project"
you might find a little more purpose ....
and even then, you might find yourself in a rut ...
i've been in a rut for 15+ years
I also have been in a similar vein of thought; decided to go back to basics and pulled out my old 6x9 folder and visit a place out of town. Just shot for the sake of shooting.
Maybe set yourself a project - something that will take some effort to research and put together and give yourself a timeframe to shoot. I'm currently still shooting a "lamp post" series - all old style or "quirky" and all in b&w.
On a visit to the EU I shot post boxes - the official versions, not private mailboxes.
Tried a fire hydrant series - but that got really hard when I moved back home to AU - they aren't as interesting as the ones in the US and all look the same.
I'm also trying to find a way to shoot old car hood ornaments - *very* rare here in TH, but when I go back to AU for a visit, will attempt to get it to coincide with an old car rally.
Have a couple of shots of scripts from Porsche on my site - another little project I set myself that continues today.
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Dont worry about being in a funk. Leave the high tech gadget on the shelf, and stay out of the DR. Go out and be a tourist for a while, and just enjoy the time without any self-induced pressure. Next, find a cheap P&S camera, and just shoot snaps of nonsense,dont think about what you shoot, only shoot for the fun of a moment. Let the 1-hour lab process them for you. Set the prints out everywhere throughout the house, and just ignore them. At this point, human nature takes over, and you look them over, and start to "see" what they are all about, and you may be excited to grab the do-it-all off the shelf, and be motivated to play with it instead of thinking you have to "create art" every time you pick it up.
Originally Posted by aste
Its alright to not want to pick up your camera(s), mine sit for extended periods, when something strikes my fancy, a-shooting I go. Stop "forcing" yourself, and just enjoy life.
BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"
Thank you all for the very encouraging replies. I'll be taking your suggestions to heart.
I go through periods like that. Just takes time to get out of that funk.
We're supposed to feel inspired?
Peter Marshall: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
Paul Lynde: Make him bark.
I just came out of a creative slump, and like you I got gazillions of advice of how to get out of it. One of them was 'just do it'. So I forced myself to bring four rolls of film to the local conservatory and just photograph plants the way I see them, in black and white. When I got back home I immediately forced myself to process one or two rolls of it and look at them, scan them, organize them. If I had had a darkroom up and running, I would have contact printed them and potentially printed a couple.
The idea here was to do something I hadn't done before, and force myself to explore the camera and what's in front of it again. I shot nearly everything wide open.
I'm still working those negatives, six months later. It will come back to you.
It also helps to leave the camera behind a little, go do something else that doesn't involve photography. Sooner than you think, you will see something that you want to shoot and you're off on your merry way again.
I hope that helps.
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".