As I write this I haven’t touched a camera since 23rd May. Now that might not sound particularly drastic but it’s not uncommon for me to shoot more than once a week. More worryingly is I haven’t felt over-compelled to pick a camera up, there are no withdrawal symptoms. Do I still love photography? Hell yes! I’m sure it will pass and I have had lows like this before but it got me thinking…. Can you have too much of a good thing?
I’ve put a lot of effort into my photography this year with little success, and I think this is the initial trigger for my down turn. And whether success is important is probably a discussion for a whole another time. But I’ve produced some images I’m really proud of that haven’t stood up in any of the ‘weekly’ Twitter competitions or at my club. This is a battle I have had with myself many times, enter, don’t enter, enter, don’t enter etc. If I don’t want the ‘lows’ then I can easily not enter, if I don’t enter what do I shoot for? I of course love shooting for myself and casually taking the camera out is great but competitions do give me a purpose and a focus. I love thinking concepts through in my head then trying to execute in the camera. The mere fact I haven’t been shooting means I have nothing for the ‘weeklies’ so in the short term I have solved that problem!
There is a lot of stress in my work life so I’m sure this is a factor. But usually photography is the perfect ‘getaway’ from the stresses of life but there is no burning ambition to do this which is unusual. So getting back to the point in question, I think it is possible to have too much of a good thing. I got a new camera last year and invested in new ‘glass’ at the start of this year and have been shooting like mad. And whilst I have enjoyed it I think I have creatively burnt myself out and now feel numb. I’m sure an opportunity will arise and the spark will re-ignite but I’m not going to force the issue. I’ve picked a camera in the past when not really feeling up to it and it impacts the images.
What are your thoughts? How do you get out of these photography lows? Be interested to hear your thoughts. I promise future blog posts will be more positive!