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  1. #1
    aste's Avatar
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    Photographers block, or where the heck did I lose my inspiration?

    I have a brand new roll of film loaded in the FM2. It's been sitting at frame 1 for a couple weeks now. It wasn't long ago that I had a backlog of film to develop. Now, I have to burn a roll of 120 (because it's only 10 frames) just so I have something to develop. Nothing gets printed. Nothing's worth printing. The 35mm just sits. It goes with me everywhere, but it sits.

    I'm absolutely bored. Not with photography. Definitely not with film. I love the process. I'm bored with the subject matter.

    I look at the photos I've made so far and they are getting pretty good technically. The compositions aren't even all that bad, either. But, I look at them and think, "so what? What's the point of this photograph?"

    They don't say anything to me. And, I look around everyday and all I see is fodder for the same crap that doesn't speak. So, the FM2 sits in my bag, on frame 1, waiting for me to find some sort of inspiration.

    I'm not sure why I'm posting this. I think I just need someone to tell me this is normal, and maybe give some suggestions on working through it.

  2. #2

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    I'm kind of in the same situation. I'm filling the void by learning new techniques/processes/etc.

  3. #3
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    It's normal.

    The usual suggested remedy is going somewhere different so you can be in a different environment. That's valid, but personally I take the tact of trying accept that some regret is inevitable, but it's better to regret the photo you shot than the photo you didn't shoot. Not every shot, or even every roll, is going to be inspired, but unless you've made up your mind to take a break, it's better to shoot less inspired for a while than to not shoot at all and feel bad about not shooting.

  4. #4

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    Yes, it is normal. It goes away in a while. Or it does not. Anyway it is better than being high on "I'm the best photog of the world!". Trying to change the usual subject might help.

  5. #5

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    If the subject matter is boring, maybe you just need to get out of your "comfort zone". If you don't normally do people pics, try doing some portraits. Memorial Day is coming up, so get yourself to some activity that the American Legion puts on and make some pictures. Try this: Put a 50mm lens on that Nikon and get really close to some ordinary object. Sometimes the best ideas come from looking at the work of others.

    Regards,
    Dave

  6. #6

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    That's when I retreat and process pictures/film, do some prints of things you normally wouldn't print, or do photography that you hate so you love getting back to what u normally do..

  7. #7

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    I get the same way sometimes, and when that happens I just get in my car and drive a couple of hours away and see what I find.

  8. #8
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    Posted wirelessly..

    I know the feeling; I'm in a similar rut now myself. Shooting half-frame has helped a little.

    You might try going out without a camera. I've done that, and almost immediately I was inspiried. I see millions of things to photograh when I don't have a camera, or run out of film.
    Those who know, shoot film

  9. #9
    Laurent's Avatar
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    I feel less alone... I'm in a similar situation now. My darkroom is unused, the cameras sit on the shelf....

    I try to cure this by getting away from my cameras for a while. I have so many things to do in the workshop, like fixing all my lathe's issues, so this used the hours I had recently. Then I'll turn a ring to adapt my Nikkor 135 on the enlarger without the 50-39 ring, etc... I might do a few film tests (I've been contemplating this for a while)

    I know it'll come back, and I know part of it is my current laziness, and the fact that I need to get out of my village for some nice subjects I've scouted (but I HATE using the car for this, may be I should build a trailer for my bicycles)
    Laurent

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

    My APUG Blog

  10. #10

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    Happens to me all the time. Often I've spent ages on a particular project, after a burst of enthusiasm, and took a lot of negatives - only get as far as the proof prints. Then I get overcome with the 'what's the point of these pictures?' syndrome, too.

    What I felt helped was looking at it the other way around. Instead of searching for an interesting subject and then taking the photograph in the hope that eventually I'll carry it through to some sort of finished picture, I start by deciding what picture I want. Maybe: What would look good hanging on the wall in the dining room? Decide on the picture, then work backwards, finding the subject and then deciding on the process, film, camera... I found I maintained my inspiration much better this way, when I had a very clear idea what I was trying to produce at the end. I suppose it is what a lot of studio and still life photographers do. "Today, I am going to make a picture of 'X'..." rather than "That's interesting, let's photo it..."
    Steve

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