Yes, I think you all understand what I'm talking about. Seasoned pros, amateurs, aspiring doesn't matter. I think there is an inherent problem with the notion of growth. We always seem to be striving for growth, to become better, but in the process we also become duller and more judgmental, negatively critical of our own work, and unable to move forward in a fresh, free-spirited way. Frankly, I don't think there is an answer. Some of the issues can be set aside just by changing a few things in one's routine, but otherwise I think it is simply a matter of age, life getting in the way, becoming more cynical and negative about things, and the weight of every day's responsibilities weighing on one's shoulders. Of course, this can all be used as inspiration, but the images will always tend to reflect a more contrived, square, darker state of mind. For me, it is just amazing to see through my daughter's eyes, how life can be before "things" get in the way. I know that I cannot re-capture those days with my own, even though I do try, because I have seen so much more and the experiences of life have taken a toll, for better or for worse. It's just different and that's the reality of it.
So, my favorite exercise, being conscious of all of this, is to usually pick up my Holga and a few rolls of Tri-X. Not worrying about anything technical or being spoiled by what has or hasn't been done before. Even walking through my 1 acre backyard, which I've been staring at for 10 years, can yields surprises if I open my mind, my eyes, and think less. Yet again, what I see, of course, reflects who I am today and not who I was 30 years ago...

A tree, arm outstretched, chasing lost souls.. I can count three..maybe you can find more

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