PHOTOGRAPHY SLUMP?

For the first time in several weeks, I rode my bike from Bolsa Chica, through Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, all the way to the Balboa Pennisula…and back without taking any pictures.  I realize this is a ride I’ve taken dozens of times this summer alone.  But on every previous ride, something or someone always caught my eye.  A sailboat glistening against the gorgeous blue water, a street entertainer who seemed unusually talented, or even an American flag that mysteriously seemed to be flying upside down.  But this time…nothing!  And what about the time I was photographing a pair of dogs?  Oddly enough, when I looked at the shot I had actually taken – well, there was so much more going on than two dogs being walked by their owner!  I still hold to the position that I did NOT see what was in the background of that shot.  Click here to see those shots!

Am I in a photography slump?  Have I lost my eye that seemed to notice anything at all that contained even the least amount of interest?  No…surely not. 

So Monday comes, and I decide to take a drive around my community to find something to photograph.  Nothing! 

I remove my camera from my backpack to determine if this problem is a camera issue.  Nope.  My camera is in perfect working order.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I must, indeed, be in my first photography slump! 

What should I do?  How can I “snap” out of it!  Surely someone can offer some help!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy these night shots of Long Beach, California.

The majestic Queen Mary now resides in the Long Beach Harbor.

When you consider her maiden voyage was in 1936, she’s still quite impressive. 

With its colorful lights and reflections, the Long Beach skyline presents a beautiful scene on most any evening.

Please help me – – – – – – – – FAST!!!

I’m glad you stopped by.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

Advertisements

~ by photographyfree4all on September 29, 2010.

46 Responses to “PHOTOGRAPHY SLUMP?”

  1. I think your skyline photo is awesome. Maybe to get out of the slump you could.. take pictures of something you don’t normally, like your feet. haha! Or maybe some pictures of your new bike. Or .. you know, do something different. Or maybe you need inspiration, you could look around some other photography sites and try to mimic something that you like or find interesting. Just some thoughts, if I think of more, I’ll share.
    What else do you like to do? listen to music? read? maybe do that and draw inspiration from something else.

    Like

  2. I always find editing my photos, leads to me getting out of a slump. Or doing something completely new with my little boy that usually helps. x

    Like

  3. photography slumps happen all the time. it has a lot to do with being oversaturated by visual content.

    best way to solve it is to take a break. enjoy seeing the world without thinking about how you’d frame it. enjoy your other senses — listen, smell, and touch things rather than just look at them. soon enough you’ll find the tickle to pick up the camera again.

    something else that helps is to force a change of pace and change of scenery upon yourself. take a weekend to drive somewhere new (you live in california so there should be no shortage of drivable destinations!). bring the camera along but don’t plan on taking any photographs. either you’ll soon see something that re-inspires you, or you’ll have a wonderful, relaxing weekend … a win-win scenario.

    you seem to be very good at relaxing and having fun, so just keep doing exactly that

    Like

  4. I totally understand the “Photo” slump! I have been in that at times myself. Winter seems to be the worst for me, but what I found was that I needed to force myself to visit other areas. We are so safe in our own surroundings that we don’t want to leave. I love your blog AND your photography is outstanding! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Like

  5. You just need a new view. When I get in a slump/bored with what I have been taking I get out my map book, or sightseeing book and pick a new place to explore. I always have fun and it seems to revive my verve for subjects through the view finder. Hope this helps you! ~ Lynda

    Like

  6. I’ve been there, done that. I don’t know what it is, but there have been times that I haven’t been able to come up with anything that i would want to publish.

    Those are great night shots, by the way. I have never been tempted to do night stuff. Just a lack of drive to go do it, I guess. Sometimes I have to be motivated more.

    Like

  7. One more thing about motivation. Toby over at threestatesplusone put up a post today about Texas. It has motivated me to put up a post about San Angelo. So, I guess MOTIVATION is the key.

    Like

  8. Thank you for your kind words, Shutter! You are the first to respond and I appreciate your comment. Believe it or not, I actually have a shot of my feet – but, I never thought of posting it! 🙂 I think you’re right about something different. Maybe then when I return to this familiar ride, I would see it with new eyes! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll come back, soon.

    Like

  9. It’s interesting that you should mention editing, Kerry! I have just begun to familiarize myself with PS Elements 8, which I purchased several months ago. I think I shall devote more time to learning a few of their techniques. Maybe I’ll even post some of my experiments! Thanks for your comment – I really appreciate it! I hope you’ll stop by again, soon.

    Like

  10. John, I really appreciate the time you have put into this comment. I think there is some merit to what you and some of the other comments have said. But, I like you’re idea of not only going someplace different, but to go with no intention of taking pictures. Have your camera with you, but don’t worry if nothing appeals to you. It’s like – no pressure! This is very good advice. Thanks for your help! I hope you’ll stop by again, soon.

    Like

  11. Wow! Thank you, Debbie! I was just saying today that I like going to the same place because I know where to park, I know where to eat, and I know how much time the ride will take! The consensus seems to be to get out of my comfort zone and go somewhere new. Thanks for your wonderful compliments about the blog! I really appreciate them. I hope you’ll stop by again, soon!

    Like

  12. Oh, so soryy!!! Look at me misspelling your name all this time, Debby! 🙂

    Like

  13. I’m so glad you added this comment, Lynda! Maybe I need to buy a new sightseeing magazine. I am really beginning to think there is something to this idea of getting to a new place. Even though I have three bike trails that I ride, I often ride the Huntington Beach trail because it is my favorite! Thanks for your help!

    Like

  14. It’s funny, but night photography has really caught my attention. I think the additional challenge of low/no light is very interesting. I think I’m going to try a new bike ride this weekend. Maybe I’ll get some shots, maybe not. But, at least I’ll be seeing new scenery! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Bob!

    Like

  15. I’ll be looking for that shot, Bob! Stay motivated!! I will!!

    Like

  16. WOW! I don’t know how I could have missed it, but WoW! I love your new header shot! What a stunner! I recall you saying that you were changing it, but I’ve been to busy to get on the net and really check on what’s happening with my friends I’m following… Glad I stopped in to catch the ‘view.’ ~ Lynda 🙂

    Like

  17. Thanks, Lynda! I’m glad you stopped back to let me know that. Not too many have mentioned it so I was wondering. Stop by often!

    Like

  18. You probably just need a break from shooting. I find that editing helps me too. I often find photos that I’d overlooked or forgotten later on. Looking at other photography blogs or even Flickr inspires me a lot.

    I think it’s important to just enjoy your surroundings without thinking what kind of shot it would make. I have to turn off the shutter in my mind sometimes. 🙂

    You will be shooting again soon, I’m sure.
    Ms. Pearl

    Like

  19. Sometimes I think to myself, “Today I will take shots knowing that I will convert them into Vintage or Black & White or HDR Style photos”.

    Going out with a style in my head helps me look at the same stuff but in a different way…. this might help you out.

    Like

  20. Thank you for stopping by and leaving this comment, Ms. Pearl! I appreciate your suggestions. I have learned that in order to be produce exceptional photography I have to become a good photographer and a good editor! They really do go hand-in-hand! I must spend more time working on my editing skills. And, maybe through that – I’ll see things differently. Thank you for your comment. I hope you’ll stop by often!

    Like

  21. this is a great idea, MJ! I really hadn’t thought about that, but I think I’m going to try it! I’m really glad you stopped by and left this comment today! I hope you’ll stop by again!

    Like

  22. You’ll be back in no time! So many great ideas from people. Lovely picture of the Queen – you had a wonderful series of her images awhile back – very vintage.

    Like

  23. You are not in a foto slump you have just over done it a bit. Some of your pics are very good and some I wonder why you put them on. . . were you just trying to fill space up because you post daily? Who says you must post daily? If you have nothing who cares the next time you go out Presto it will happen. Relax and stop thinking your blog is a job and you will be fine. Good luck stay positive

    Like

  24. Wow! You have a great memory, Dawn. I did post a series of photos in a vintage style a while back. These didn’t translate as well because they were night shots. So, I decided to use them here. Thanks for the encouragement. I hope you’ll come back, soon.

    Like

  25. Thanks for this comment, Jack. I like it that you’re a straight shooter! And, maybe I do need to consider that I have been a little ambitious with my posts. Your comment causes me to stop and consider just that. So, slow down…relax…that does sound good…

    I really hope you’ll stop by again, soon!

    Like

  26. I love the Long Beach skyline. I have yet to conquer the night world. You have taken a great photograph here! Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. We often find things when we are not looking or paying attention. You are doing awesome.

    Like

  27. I think your inspiration level is in tune with the environment, and the beauty you see around you. I know, living in Colorado, because I am always here, that I can get bored. Maybe thats where you are….In any event, I was going to ask you earlier, about your photo poll. Would you consider us your fellow bloggers, to submit a photo maybe once a month? Or whatever so we can all inspire each other, and share insight etc? I know, just coming to your blog, I am getting some good information that is helping me, in my photographic endeavors. What do you think? Elena

    p.s. thanks….

    Like

  28. Thank you for your comment, martina! This Long Beach skyline is a personal favorite of mine. Sometimes, I think I got lucky! But, I’ll take it. All these comments have really encouraged me. Thanks!

    Like

  29. i think that’s a fantastic idea, Elena. In fact, I’ve begun to research ideas about how something like that can work. I’ll keep you posted if I can figure something out. I really appreciate your comment and your kind words. I hope you’ll keep shooting and keep coming by for a visit!

    Like

  30. Ohhh, slump…I have been out of commission the last few days due to Strep throat, today was the first day since Sunday that I could get out and do something. Now, I don’t recommend you going out and getting strep or anything…just saying!

    Ha, but seriously, I think there have been some excellent suggestions already, perhaps trying following a “photo assignment” for a few days, focus on that (I follow/participate in “The Daily Shoot”). I also really like the idea someone said about trying something new, new is (or can) be a good thing!

    Like

  31. Quite honestly, when I am in a true slump, I got out and shoot photos of mundane things. Like what? Houses, gutters, telephone poles, brickwork, old things [ANYTHING old], peoples’ feet, street scenes, moonrise, sunset, bugs, whatever.

    I had an instructor once who would go to auto junkyards and wander around: the resulting work is always a plethora of the unexpected. She preferred to go on overcast days in order to 1) evoke a certain pall and 2)take advantage of the muted light.

    Another idea is to choose 3 totally random words, write them down, then flip a coin for the first two, discarding the loser….flip again, discard the loser. Don’t allow yourself to say ‘I don’t like that one’: just USE IT!
    Think on the word but don’t dwell on it….just go out and look for it in any way, shape, or form, which the word’s meanings may involve, allowing the infinite to urge you along. In other words, don’t let yourself get stuck in a belief that the word represents only 1 thing or idea: B-E-N-D its meaning to include other concepts and perceptions. Your end results will surprise you.
    A couple of years ago, 2 friends and I formed a short-lived group and did exactly what the above describes. Our process was a lot more involved for choosing a word….I just simplified it for you. Examples of what we did with our voted-on words can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/2ndWednesdayClub

    Good luck with your block………I expect it will melt away quickly!
    All my best-
    Sam

    Like

  32. The skyline shot is gorgeous!

    Slumps happen. It’s usually a sign you need to take a break and just enjoy life without the camera for a little while. 🙂

    Like

  33. Thanks for you help, David! I’m sorry to hear about the strep – but, glad to hear you’re feeling better! The daily shoot idea seems like something worth exploring. Thanks for that tip! I hope you’ll stop by again, soon! Stay well…

    Like

  34. Thank you for such an encouraging email, Sam. In fact, just reading your comment has given me an idea. I hope you’ll check back soon, because I’ll be posting some shots if my idea produces any decent results – we’ll see! Thanks for stopping by and helping with this comment!

    Like

  35. Thank you for this compliment, Robin! I really appreciate it. I think there is something to becoming a little obsessed with photography every minute of the day. I’ve been taking a few breaks this week and simply enjoying my surroundings without the pressure of finding a shot somewhere in those surroundings. Thanks for stopping by.

    Like

  36. I think we all go through this… and then all of a sudden your back on track. Your work is beautiful and boy do I wish I could write like you!

    No worries…you’ll be motivated to shoot again after a nice break from the camera.

    Like

  37. Thank you for these kind words of encouragement! You know, this may be the best compliment I’ve received about my writing. I do love to write and it seems to mesh pretty well with a photography blog. Thanks for stopping by!

    Like

  38. Oh boy. It is no secret that I’ve been in a slump, a BAD slump, myself lately. I read through all the comments and there are some EXCELLENT ideas! In response to Jack Weeks…I can certainly relate to the feeling that the blog is a ‘job’ and takes allthe fun out of shooting. I think that is exactly what has happened to me. I’ve always tried to post my very best shots and lately. I’ve not seen things worthy. I am hard on myself at times. So, I’ve been stepping back and NOT shooting with the hope that I will get inspired and BOOM! my mojo will be back and my slump will be a thing of the past.

    Good luck in getting your mojo back! 🙂

    Like

  39. Actually, because of my love for writing the blog really is something I look forward to doing. I think for me it could be a combination of several things. But, I’ve already begun to implement some of the suggestions and I do believe I’m making progress. Thanks for adding your comment to this discussion, Milkay! I really appreciate it.

    Like

  40. @TracyMilkay – miss your blog posts! I hope you’ll be posting again soon.
    To both of you: I’m taking an inexpensive online photography class ($30) that lasts for the month of October called picture fall. The instructor sends you an email prompt each morning of something to take a photo of that day, and you interpret as you will. Might be something to think about for getting out of a slump! I’ve got a post and a sidebar badge about it over at my place if you want more info.

    BTW, I’m having a tough time believing you didn’t notice the background of the dog-walking shot! 😉 Ultimately it is what makes the picture so amusing, since it is so obvious what the dog-walker is looking at!

    Like

  41. Beutiful shots. I love the night skyline photo. I’ve always had a kind of nostalgic feeling about city lights in the night. Brilliant!

    Like

  42. About yout “photography slump”, I’d suggest not trying to look for photos, but letting them come to you. Everyone has their own approach to photography, but my personal way is to always take my camera wherever I go, but not with the special aim of taking photos, instead just appreciating the scenery or the activity around me. Still, I am always prepared for a photographic oportunity, such as a composition or a subject that catches my eye, to arise. I guess being in a photography slump is simply due to your “photographic eye” being tired of constantly searching for a photo, rather than capturing what you just happen to come across.
    This is just my opinion and I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m saying this is the best or only approach to photography!
    Good luck!

    Like

  43. If I was pressed to choose a favorite, I probably would have voted for the night skyline. But, I don’t know exactly how I would have defended that choice except to say it’s a personal preference. Thank you for this comment, Kai!

    Like

  44. Sometimes, I just think I have nothing to post. It’s not that I haven’t taken shots, though. It’s more that I’m just not too happy with the results. I think I’m too critical of myself sometimes, too. Not everything I post will appeal to everyone who sees it. But, I find almost everything will appeal to at least someone. Thanks for your encouragement, Kai!

    Like

  45. Thanks for this information, Karma! I’m going to check this out! I really appreciate your comment and encouragement. And honestly when I pressed that shutter, I had two dogs in my viewfinder and the gentleman walking them. But, I do have to admit I noticed some movement just as I snapped it. She came from the house that sits right on this little boardwalk. An innocent capture. I’m always happy that you stopped by.

    Like

  46. […] I shared my early frustration stemming from what I deemed to be a minor photography slump, I was astonished, not by just the mere number of comments, but also by the sincerity of […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: