I’ve been fighting with a case of photographers block for months now. It just feels like I’ll never get past it. Nothing seems to excite me photographically these days.
Now, I realize this is normal. I’ve not fallen out of love with my camera. I still have that passion for photography that I’ve had for years but I’m just not feeling it these days. What can I do to get past this? Do I need to take a trip? No. I don’t think that will do it. Do I need a new camera? Definitely not! A new lens? No. I doubt that will make a difference either. What to do, what to do?
The fact that I’m aware of it just being a creative block is the main part. I realize I still love photography. I’m not going to sell all my gear and take up another hobby that’s for sure. I just need to ride it out but not become inactive within my hobby. Maybe I’ll start looking at more photography or find a photographer whose work inspires me. Maybe I just need a change of scenery. Being stuck at the same place all day and then having the dark cold winter nights everyday is not helping that’s for sure.
I think for now, I’ll start by looking at more photographs on Flickr and 500px. They always get me motivated. Maybe get involved in a few group discussions about the photos or specific techniques. Whenever I start talking about photography, I get all excited and my passion bubbles to the surface.
That’s it. A good place to start.
I did manage to dig out my lighting kit and do a one light portrait of my son. He likes to play on the PS3 on the weekend and I thought I’d capture the moment for him to look back on later in his life. He may get a kick out of it.
I set the umbrella up on camera left and collapsed the umbrella down over the flash to narrow the light a bit so I wasn’t lighting up the whole room. I set up a silver reflector on camera right low and bouncing light upwards to fill in the shadows on his left side. None of the angles I was trying was doing it justice so I went high on a chair for a change. I like the resulting point of view.
My Brother and I and our wives threw a 50th anniversary party for our parents this pas weekend. It took a fair amount of planning and a whole lot of secrecy and pulling the wool over our parents eyes for months. Everything went really well and they were very surprised that we could manage to cooperate for the time it took to put this all together. It was a lot of fun in the end.
Here is an updated family photo of all of us. We have never had one will all our kids in at the same time. It just never seemed to work out. Finally I have that photo. I’ll have to be sure to print one for my parents and my Brother and Sister-in-law as well for the wall.
It is official, I am the tallest in my family now. Dad was the tallest at 6’4″ but he’s shrunk with age leaving me the tallest at 6’3″. I’m taller than any one on either side of my family now. It’s good to be the king. LOL!
So, I’ve been spending a lot more time with the 17-85mm that I had all but written off. I’m sure the last time I used this lens was 4 years ago. I’m not sure why I got it into my head that it was not a good lens. I do that kind of thing from time to time. Like when I learned that I could shoot at very high ISOs in the day light to get really fast shutter speeds. Then I got stuck thinking that all my shot’s should be at a high ISO just to get that fast shutter speed. What ended up happening was poor photos with bad contrast and color.
So, what I’m learning about this lens is also something that I’m learning about myself. It is pretty good. And I’m pretty good. I don’t want to toot my own horn but my photography is pretty descent. Even if few people actually look at it. I don’t really go out of my way to promote myself these days. Maybe soon but I don’t do it right now.
Anyway, I’ve drifted from my topic a bit. I tend to do that.
Here is a photo from my playings around today that really shows off what this lens can do under the right circumstances. We were out in the yard again, boy I love summer, and I had my speedlite on the camera to test what this lens could do with some nicer fill flash. I was quite happy with the result.
Let’s ignore her mop of a hair doo this evening. It’s been hot and the play was hard! Look at her eyes, so sharp and the color is just popping out at you. Then there is her freckles across her cheeks and over her nose. They just pop as well. With the right amount of light, this lens is very sharp. Sharp enough that I’m proud to show off this example from the lens.
I have a shoot tomorrow with a young married couple with a new born. They are looking for some good quality photos of their new son and I’m confident that I will be able to produce some very good images for them with this lens and my 50mm. I’m taking all my gear. The tripod and my umbrella too. Might as well run through everything I have.
My daughter always seems to have a milk mustache. So many of the photos I take of her have it. Maybe I should hire her out to the Milk Producers PR board if such a thing exists. LOL.
I always seem to worry about what people think about my photos. Are they good enough, will they like it? I’ve come to the conclusion that it just doesn’t matter and I just don’t care. Photography is an art and I know I’ve said this before but it’s just so subjective. There are so many opinions on what is art that you just cannot please everyone.
So, please yourself. If you are happy with it then it’s good enough. Stop trying to measure up to anyone. Sure, try to make the best photo you can using the techniques you have learned but realize there is a point where it’s good enough.
Take this photo of my daughter for example.
I love this photo. It makes me smile and melts my heart. I like how I’ve placed here off to the side. I like how I’ve used a wide open aperture to blur out the background. I don’t even care that the eye closest to the camera is slightly out of focus. The other one is tack sharp. I’m not going to bore you with what lens I used or what my settings were, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling, the emotion in this photo. Such a warm genuine smile and love that touches her eyes. I’m not even worried about how many people like this. I like it.
To me this shows great growth in me as an artist. You will never please everyone. Sometimes you won’t please anyone. I aim to first and foremost make sure I like the photo. I have so many photos that I thought everyone would just love and you know what, they didn’t. Not even close. Some even went so far as to tell me the photo was not taken properly. Funny how we all have our own ideas.
So, you just go out take photos and practice, practice, practice.
I’m always excited when winter first arrives. The photos look so clean and crisp. The excitement soon gives way to being tired of the cold and having to sweep the truck off and shovel the walks but oh the bliss of the first month or so.
It’s been snowing most of the day today. The Girl and I tried to make a snow man but the snow is just too dry. She did make for a good subject though.