Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dry Spell

Dry Spell

I've been going through something of a photographic dry spell recently. I had a very productive flurry of activity towards the end of last year and the first couple of months of 2007. I made a lot of progress on shooting portraits, started to discover the fun of off-camera lighting and generally learned a lot and took a lot of pictures. Some of them were published and others feature amongst some of my favourites that I've ever taken. Yet here I am in mid March and I haven't really taken any pictures this month at all. Somewhere along the line I ran out of steam. Sure I'm training for a race that is only a few weeks away and that is starting to impinge on my thoughts. Yes, the training takes up a lot of my time, as well as mental & physical energy. But I've been training for this since March last year and I managed to fit a whole lot of photography in and around it for the last three months. So that can't be it. I've been working more hours at my job too, but I was working hard over those other three months as well. So where is the procrastination coming from ? It isn't that I have a lack of ideas. There are at least three shots in my head right now that I would love to go and shoot. If I start thinking about it I can come up with half a dozen more just as I'm typing. These aren't even half-formed - I can visualise how I want them to work out and what I need to make them happen. They are interesting to me, would push me in some new directions and I think would be rewarding to do. So it isn't a lack of ideas. The thing that is slightly different from before is that all of those ideas involve other people as part of the scene or as subjects. Suddenly it isn't just my schedule that has to line up, but I need to organise someone else and time it with them and the available lighting. But even that isn't so hard to do. I feel that I'd be imposing myself on them. I know I have more enthusiasm to take these pictures than most people have to be in them. Though I think looking more inwardly, it is really a fear that the pictures just wouldn't be good enough and that I'd be wasting someone's time. But I've dealt with that with all the previous shoots I've done recently too. The thing that has changed is that I was keeping a private creative journal - just a private blog that I posted about things I wanted to do and what I needed to do them. This log seemed to push me onwards to work out the next step along the way, each day. I've let that daily journal falter and I've noticed a marked downturn in how much photography I'm doing as a result. That seems to be the key thing that has changed and that I'm going to try to return to over the next few weeks. Maybe it was all the rain last night that made me realise this. But really, it was writing this blog post - at the start of writing I wasn't sure what I thought the problem was, but now five paragraphs later, I think I've worked through the issues in my head. That's just what the personal journal helps me do too - I just start writing about things I want to sort out and I mentally order and process the issues as I go along.


John Tucker said...

Hey Gordon,

For what it's worth, when I feel like this, I usually just pick up my camera and go shoot something. Anything. Sometimes the images end up in the Recycle Bin, but most of the time I end up with something I like.

I guess I'm just a simple man. :-)

Amanda said...

Once I'm over this injury I'll help you with one of those "three pictures in your head". I promise!

Don't worry about having a dry spell with the camera. You'll get back to it in no time.