Lost my mojo

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Perry
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#1
Not been on here lately as kind of lost my mojo with the camera etc.... even more so when the dark nights started.

What do you do to try and rekindle the love of photography, my wife has started work 3 evenings a week, so once the kids are in bed my times my own, but what could I do indoors to try and improve my camera skills in the evening ?

Just looking for some inspiration really.

Any ideas welcome
 
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Ian
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#2
Still life?

Get an anglepoise lamp, the dining table and an interesting subject. Flip your camera to B&W mode so you can just work on tone and how light affects the surface. Use a tripod and experiment with different focal lengths & apertures.

For subjects: Food (eggs, peppers, potatoes etc) can be interesting (look at Edward Weston's work with a cabbage leaf!) and you might have some unusual nicknacks lying around that might be nice to have images of. Keep it simple - no need for complex still life scenarios. Just one thing & one light.
 
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#3
If you don't have one already a tripod or proper flash ( or both ) is very good for indoors or winter nights.
 
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Andrea
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#5
I sympathise about your mojo; mine does a runner a couple of times a year and the winter months are definitely a challenge. The suggestion of tabletop photography is a good one; it's something I used to avoid but taking part in the 52 on here meant I needed to give it a try and it can be really good fun as well as a learning curve. As already mentioned, a tripod is a must, but if you don't have a flash you could start with something as simple as a couple of LED torches and get going.

In fact, if you're looking for something to inspire you to pick up your camera on a regular basis and get you thinking, you could do worse than give the 52 challenge on here a go. It's a new theme every week, which you can interpret however you wish, and you'll get feedback and encouragement from the other people taking part. If that sounds interesting, have a read here and ask any questions etc.

Good luck :)
 
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p3ryg
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Perry
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#6
Thanks for the ideas so far, I have a tripod but no off flash, I do however have 2 lights on stands that I put the white umbrella in front of (great description I know) these are on permanent and not triggered.

I could get in to the 52 week challenge again as I did start but couldn’t keep up and lost track. At least that would give me reason and thought each week.
 
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Andrea
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#7
Thanks for the ideas so far, I have a tripod but no off flash, I do however have 2 lights on stands that I put the white umbrella in front of (great description I know) these are on permanent and not triggered.

I could get in to the 52 week challenge again as I did start but couldn’t keep up and lost track. At least that would give me reason and thought each week.
Sounds like you're set to do some experimenting with those lights! I hope it gets you inspired again, and if you want to give the 52 another go it starts again next week so the timing is perfect (y)
 
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Paul
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#12
Always a bummer when this thing happens ....
Do your kids have any interesting toys/models you could shoot?
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#13
Don't worry about it. Unless your income depends on it, it's just a hobby (expensive pastime!) so find something else to keep you occupied. If you have a compact camera, keep it in a pocket just in case you get sudden inspiration (or use your phone). Keep your eyes open for that inspiration and get back to shoot it if possible. Trying to force it may be keeping it away.
 
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David
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#14
Not been on here lately as kind of lost my mojo with the camera etc.... even more so when the dark nights started.
You're far from alone! I haven't picked up the camera for months - just don't feel like it at the moment. It's happened before, it will happen again, but I know, sooner or later, I'll get the bug again. As the adverts say 'as soon as it stops being fun, stop!'

In my experience, the worst thing to do it try to force it. It will just make you like it less.
 
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Ned
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#15
I think this stems for having photography as a hobby per-se.

Technical aspects of figuring out a shot and playing with settings will only ever have a limited shelf life for most people and the way to keep it sustainable is for photography to be part of other interests. For example, I don't really say photography is a hobby, but I do like travel, and I do like documenting the year at the allotment, I do like capturing harvest at the vineyard and pretty soon I will love capturing the lives of our first children. That said, I haven't picked up the camera in anger for a coupe of months and that doesn't bother me at all as I've been busy at work and doing up the house.

Not only does this approach keep you interested but it also yields better photos, the people who get the best wildlife shots are the ones who love wildlife, the people who get the best travel photos are those that love travel, the best wedding togs love people and weddings.

Unlike many hobbyists, these people tend not to obsess over gear as that is only a small part of the overall enjoyment, an observation of many years on this forum is that it is the kit obsessives who tend to end up getting bored. The people who do stay find interest beyond the just gear.
 
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Sam
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#16
Hello there, Perry. Actual photography indoors through the dark winter nights might be a challenge, but lights and flash and other bits and bobs will give you options.

Last year I looked deeper into macro photography to help keep my general interest alive and well. It's an absorbing subject, although in my case I prefer daylight and reflectors. But flash is important too. If nothing else reading up on it and watching a lot of online videos helped keep my enthusiasm sparked up a bit. It can be inspirational watching others putting the work in and getting good results.

Just recently I watched a video about landscape photography. The photographer shared photos she had taken using a wide angle prime and an extension tube. That's one way to get close. I've a 35mm f2 lens that focuses close so I'm looking forward to trying that soon, but outdoors.

I hope you find something creative soon to get stuck into. It's a common problem keeping ourselves proactive beyond all the gear, theory and knowledge. Life can easily try to get in the way. Good luck!
 
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Graham
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#17
My advice would be....don't feel obliged to use your camera and kit just because it's there...you'll do your best work when you feel motivated and inspired...I used to take my best kit with me wherever I went (to the annoyance of my wife) and wanting to capture great images became the focus (pun intended) of many a family outing. I don't shoot as much nowadays but still enjoy it just much because I've taken the pressure off myself....
 
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Alex
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#18
Hi. I'm a new member. I've lost interest in photography many times. With me it's lack of time and also trying to find new things to do to improve the quality of my work. I like the pictures I take but I think they still look amateurish, when I'm aiming for professional. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 
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Ian
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#19
Any ideas would be appreciated.
It's often about vision. The technical stuff can be learned on YouTube, here, and various other places. But the art of seeing an image before you press the shutter (or even get the camera out) is the bit that needs the most practise. Taking photos about things rather than of them. I walk the same route (for exercise) every day. However the scenery always looks different. Different times of the year, different people out & about, different colours to the trees, different plants... I always try and picture different photos every time I go out - whether I've got a camera with me or not. Often - not taking a camera can improve your vision loads. It's a very narrow "project" that keeps me focussed.

For example, if I take my camera to the beach, with no real plan, I'll probably come back with a load of average photos of nothing (waves, patterns in the sand, pebbles, dunes, cloudy skies, rocks, maybe a 10-stopper). No clear subject, no clear objective, no clear vision. But if I go out with the specific goal of *something*, I'm far more likely to return with solid images. That's why I suggested the lamp idea above - simple but directed mini-project. Wandering around the house at night with a camera, looking for things to jump out is a waste of energy. But wandering around the house at night with the goal of representing "me in my house" or "my (un)tidy life" could inspire a lot of ideas. @Manxmaid suggested a 52 above and this is another great idea for a developing photographer. My issue with it was that it was just too fast (1/week) for me to deliver anything meaningful. I think a 12 would be better (1/month) and it was tried once I think... @sirch is running a monthly thing (link) which I'm toying with the idea of having a go at.

Finding time can be difficult - esp this time of the year if you work full time because it's dark, and the weekend is chore time (for me anyway). All you can do here is make time for yourself. Don't try and squeeze it in with family things (walks, events etc - although take your camera by all means!) but make time for you so that you can practise and try things without trying to keep other people happy. Sometimes acceptance is the answer because there simply aren't the hours in the day.

Welcome to TP Alex. I hope you enjoy it!
 
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6,929
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Ken
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#20
Hi. I'm a new member. I've lost interest in photography many times. With me it's lack of time and also trying to find new things to do to improve the quality of my work. I like the pictures I take but I think they still look amateurish, when I'm aiming for professional. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Practice. Take lots of pics - hundreds.

It doesn't matter what your hobby is, the secret is practice.
 
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Graham
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#21
What about trying that cool liquid photography, you know where liquid is hitting the water and it's lit/coloured etc. I always enjoy these kind of photos and must be rewarding to learn.
 
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Steve
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#22
Mojo laws have their own pace and space, & it's not something to stress about. After all, you do have a life ... :).

I don't feel that you should force things - they come (or not) in their own time. Forget about indoor stuff. Maybe explore your processing skills instead.
^^^
This.

I do a lot of "reprocessing". Being a perfectionist I like to get everything just as I want it. That can take time and tastes evolve so I am going through all of 2016-17's "keepers" again - weeding out the dross and improving the ones I really want to keep.
 
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p3ryg
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839
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Perry
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#23
^^^
This.

I do a lot of "reprocessing". Being a perfectionist I like to get everything just as I want it. That can take time and tastes evolve so I am going through all of 2016-17's "keepers" again - weeding out the dross and improving the ones I really want to keep.
Not a bad idea at all
 

sirch

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#24
@Manxmaid suggested a 52 above and this is another great idea for a developing photographer. My issue with it was that it was just too fast (1/week) for me to deliver anything meaningful. I think a 12 would be better (1/month) and it was tried once I think... @sirch is running a monthly thing (link) which I'm toying with the idea of having a go at.

Welcome to TP Alex. I hope you enjoy it!
I've done the 52 for 3 years on the trot and it is great for keeping you going because it is well supported by a good group of people. I'm taking a year off this year because I want to create some time and space for other things I want to do. The advantage of the monthly "Takes On" challenge that Ian linked is that it is a lot more flexible, you can submit one image or more, you can shoot several photos over the month or go out and a set in one day, you can just pick the months you want to do and dip in and out
 

sirch

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#25
Hi. I'm a new member. I've lost interest in photography many times. With me it's lack of time and also trying to find new things to do to improve the quality of my work. I like the pictures I take but I think they still look amateurish, when I'm aiming for professional. Any ideas would be appreciated.
As @kendo1 says paractice but also feedback. It can be painful but post pictures on here and accept the feedback you receive, it really will help you improve.
 
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8,835
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Jeremy Moore
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#27
I think its part and parcel of being a photographer - at whatever level.

Personally I've been at it for so long now that I don't get that much of a kick from just going out and about with a camera. I need a project of some kind to give me the motivation that I need. Winter can be tough in that conditions can be dire for the landscape photographer (like the last month or more.....) and it some times feels like having to start all over again. But that can be a good thing; Onescreativity continues to develop evenif the camera is in a bag at the back of a cupboard. Coming back to photography after a long hiatus can bring a new spark to one's activities.

On a more parctical level, have you any digital files you can reprocess as others have suggested?
 
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1,087
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Lee
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#28
I think its part and parcel of being a photographer - at whatever level.

Personally I've been at it for so long now that I don't get that much of a kick from just going out and about with a camera. I need a project of some kind to give me the motivation that I need. Winter can be tough in that conditions can be dire for the landscape photographer (like the last month or more.....) and it some times feels like having to start all over again. But that can be a good thing; Onescreativity continues to develop evenif the camera is in a bag at the back of a cupboard. Coming back to photography after a long hiatus can bring a new spark to one's activities.

On a more parctical level, have you any digital files you can reprocess as others have suggested?
I have to slightly (politely) disagree ;) Late sunrises, lie-ins!, frost, mist & fog, low soft light, snow, moody skies....... I much prefer the 'winter' 6 months compared to the summer ;)
 
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#31
52 does sound daunting and I’d definitely not last long if I tried it.

What about doing a 12, and aiming for one outstanding photograph a month.
 
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Chris
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#32
I’m very much in the “don’t force it” camp - lost count of the times I’ve charged up the camera batteries, chucked the gear in the car and headed out only to return home without even switching the engine off!! For me it’s been a case of not knowing what I want to photograph so without that the actual use of the camera just doesn’t happen.
Rather than trying to make yourself use the camera to do something that doesn’t grab you how about using your new found “me time” to read books or watch DVDs about photography. Not the “how to use a camera” types but more of the why people take pictures of what they do and the types of subjects they do or books on composition.
Maybe getting some inspiration on something you’d want to use your camera for - a subject or technique - would be more effective than getting the camera out and hoping for the best......
 
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Chris
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#33
I have just been watching the latest video from Thomas Heaton who talks of something similar and had a bit of an epiphany. Whilst some may say set yourself a challenge or learn a new skill, I am going to go against this and say stop trying. What I mean by this is stop looking for pictures and start enjoying what is around you. Like everyone over the years I have hit a number of slumps mainly due to not being happy with my images, this has resulted in purchases because we all know a new lens or camera is what we need right? Either that or setting myself challenges which works for a while, but then something gives or I feel disappointed and the slump sets back in.

I am now enjoying my longest spell without losing my mojo, how have I managed it. Simple. First I decided to isolate myself from the photography world to detox. What I mean is I stopped reading forums, looking at Flickr and posting images, next I focused on what I enjoyed. I just enjoyed being out in the world, going for walks, holidays, spending time with family. All the while having a camera with me, just in case. A lot of times the camera never made it out of the bag, but guess what, I didn’t care. Then something happened I spotted something that caught my eye, out came the camera and I started clicking. These were some of my best pics (in my opinion). What I did next however is what I think made the diffference for me, next time I went out, it was with the same approach, enjoy the world and if it happens it happens. I am now enjoying my photography more than I ever have, I have taken some of my best images. Am I creating the story that everyone is now talking about? No, but guess what, I don’t care. I am happy. My bank manager (wife) is also happy, because is appears to have assuaged my GAS :)

For me photography is about doing something that makes me happy, not about doing what the industry says we should be doing, after all, it is a hobby. I don’t make money from it. What’s wrong with a photograph simply recording what we see and portray a mood.
 
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1,087
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Lee
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#34
I have just been watching the latest video from Thomas Heaton who talks of something similar and had a bit of an epiphany. Whilst some may say set yourself a challenge or learn a new skill, I am going to go against this and say stop trying. What I mean by this is stop looking for pictures and start enjoying what is around you. Like everyone over the years I have hit a number of slumps mainly due to not being happy with my images, this has resulted in purchases because we all know a new lens or camera is what we need right? Either that or setting myself challenges which works for a while, but then something gives or I feel disappointed and the slump sets back in.

I am now enjoying my longest spell without losing my mojo, how have I managed it. Simple. First I decided to isolate myself from the photography world to detox. What I mean is I stopped reading forums, looking at Flickr and posting images, next I focused on what I enjoyed. I just enjoyed being out in the world, going for walks, holidays, spending time with family. All the while having a camera with me, just in case. A lot of times the camera never made it out of the bag, but guess what, I didn’t care. Then something happened I spotted something that caught my eye, out came the camera and I started clicking. These were some of my best pics (in my opinion). What I did next however is what I think made the diffference for me, next time I went out, it was with the same approach, enjoy the world and if it happens it happens. I am now enjoying my photography more than I ever have, I have taken some of my best images. Am I creating the story that everyone is now talking about? No, but guess what, I don’t care. I am happy. My bank manager (wife) is also happy, because is appears to have assuaged my GAS :)

For me photography is about doing something that makes me happy, not about doing what the industry says we should be doing, after all, it is a hobby. I don’t make money from it. What’s wrong with a photograph simply recording what we see and portray a mood.
Chris, that is exactly what I've been doing for quite a while now. Me & the other half get out whenever we can to local woods, hills, cities/towns. I have my kids every other weekend & once they are awake in the mornings they don't complain too much ;) We done two walks yesterday morning - I've got two photos I'm really happy with, one seems okay but I have to blend exposures yet & I've a pano to stitch together so at the moment that's anyone's guess to how that turns out ... ;) That could be one image per mile :) I can live with that.

I have saved all my buying for 2018 for December though. CV40/1.2E & CV21/3.5E - those two along with the FE85 make a nice lightweight kit.
 
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#35
Chris, that is exactly what I've been doing for quite a while now. Me & the other half get out whenever we can to local woods, hills, cities/towns. I have my kids every other weekend & once they are awake in the mornings they don't complain too much ;) We done two walks yesterday morning - I've got two photos I'm really happy with, one seems okay but I have to blend exposures yet & I've a pano to stitch together so at the moment that's anyone's guess to how that turns out ... ;) That could be one image per mile :) I can live with that.

I have saved all my buying for 2018 for December though. CV40/1.2E & CV21/3.5E - those two along with the FE85 make a nice lightweight kit.
We are off to Yorkshire Sculpture Park tomorrow, somewhere I have been wanting to go for a while, I will have my A7rii, and probably either 35mm Art or 55mm f1.8, I can't decide which, part of me finds the 35 a little too wide, but the 55mm a bit too long. Your CV40 images have got me thinking although I'm not sure I could live without AF
 
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Ken
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#36
Off to the Loony Dook tomorrow :)

Some friends are taking part so a chance of a few shots. One of the drum crews from the Samhuinn Festival will be banging so a few shots of more friends.

It's been a roller coaster of a year for me, after a bit of a drought, and it looks likely to continue.
I'm off to Balquidder to fit a bathroom in a day or so, just before a forecast of snowfall. Loch Voil is rather nice at this time of year.
And then it will be back to Edinburgh and the new start of Fire Club, and then I'll be getting ready for the Beltane Fire Festival with all that entails: practice sessions with 20 groups of performers, fire, drums, acro...

Hopefully I won't have any work to do :)
 
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Sam
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#37
I have just been watching the latest video from Thomas Heaton who talks of something similar and had a bit of an epiphany. Whilst some may say set yourself a challenge or learn a new skill, I am going to go against this and say stop trying. What I mean by this is stop looking for pictures and start enjoying what is around you. Like everyone over the years I have hit a number of slumps mainly due to not being happy with my images, this has resulted in purchases because we all know a new lens or camera is what we need right? Either that or setting myself challenges which works for a while, but then something gives or I feel disappointed and the slump sets back in.

I am now enjoying my longest spell without losing my mojo, how have I managed it. Simple. First I decided to isolate myself from the photography world to detox. What I mean is I stopped reading forums, looking at Flickr and posting images, next I focused on what I enjoyed. I just enjoyed being out in the world, going for walks, holidays, spending time with family. All the while having a camera with me, just in case. A lot of times the camera never made it out of the bag, but guess what, I didn’t care. Then something happened I spotted something that caught my eye, out came the camera and I started clicking. These were some of my best pics (in my opinion). What I did next however is what I think made the diffference for me, next time I went out, it was with the same approach, enjoy the world and if it happens it happens. I am now enjoying my photography more than I ever have, I have taken some of my best images. Am I creating the story that everyone is now talking about? No, but guess what, I don’t care. I am happy. My bank manager (wife) is also happy, because is appears to have assuaged my GAS :)

For me photography is about doing something that makes me happy, not about doing what the industry says we should be doing, after all, it is a hobby. I don’t make money from it. What’s wrong with a photograph simply recording what we see and portray a mood.
Excellent post, Chris. Worth reading twice! (y)
 
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p3ryg
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839
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Perry
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#38
I have just been watching the latest video from Thomas Heaton who talks of something similar and had a bit of an epiphany. Whilst some may say set yourself a challenge or learn a new skill, I am going to go against this and say stop trying. What I mean by this is stop looking for pictures and start enjoying what is around you. Like everyone over the years I have hit a number of slumps mainly due to not being happy with my images, this has resulted in purchases because we all know a new lens or camera is what we need right? Either that or setting myself challenges which works for a while, but then something gives or I feel disappointed and the slump sets back in.

I am now enjoying my longest spell without losing my mojo, how have I managed it. Simple. First I decided to isolate myself from the photography world to detox. What I mean is I stopped reading forums, looking at Flickr and posting images, next I focused on what I enjoyed. I just enjoyed being out in the world, going for walks, holidays, spending time with family. All the while having a camera with me, just in case. A lot of times the camera never made it out of the bag, but guess what, I didn’t care. Then something happened I spotted something that caught my eye, out came the camera and I started clicking. These were some of my best pics (in my opinion). What I did next however is what I think made the diffference for me, next time I went out, it was with the same approach, enjoy the world and if it happens it happens. I am now enjoying my photography more than I ever have, I have taken some of my best images. Am I creating the story that everyone is now talking about? No, but guess what, I don’t care. I am happy. My bank manager (wife) is also happy, because is appears to have assuaged my GAS :)

For me photography is about doing something that makes me happy, not about doing what the industry says we should be doing, after all, it is a hobby. I don’t make money from it. What’s wrong with a photograph simply recording what we see and portray a mood.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a clear and precise post, it had made a lot of sense and also made me think about what I want to achieve from my photos. You’re right I should be enjoying time out and “if” that moment happens for a photo opportunity then take it, if not don’t worry.

For that reason I may have a rethink on the 52 week challenge as I have a feeling I would be taking pictures just for the sake of taking pictures and not putting any thought into it.

Thank you again for opening my eyes and clearing my mind.
 
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Chris
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#39
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a clear and precise post, it had made a lot of sense and also made me think about what I want to achieve from my photos. You’re right I should be enjoying time out and “if” that moment happens for a photo opportunity then take it, if not don’t worry.

For that reason I may have a rethink on the 52 week challenge as I have a feeling I would be taking pictures just for the sake of taking pictures and not putting any thought into it.

Thank you again for opening my eyes and clearing my mind.
You're very welcome (y)
 
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Lee
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#40
We are off to Yorkshire Sculpture Park tomorrow, somewhere I have been wanting to go for a while, I will have my A7rii, and probably either 35mm Art or 55mm f1.8, I can't decide which, part of me finds the 35 a little too wide, but the 55mm a bit too long. Your CV40 images have got me thinking although I'm not sure I could live without AF
I'm starting to settle in with the lens a little now. I personally love it! MF is okay if the subject is fairly close and not running around!! Otherwise it pays to magnify and take that extra time ;)
 
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