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Hi all,

This not really technical question and I also know that it will not cover the topic of this forum but maybe : )

Did you ever felt like you just stop photography, that you havent vision and where is no vision people perish ?

Martin the christian

-- Martin Kapostas (, July 12, 2001


Yes, Martin, I think most of us have these spells where we feel nothing is working in photography. For me it is usually a difficulty with getting materials to behave so that I can express a vision. Or sometimes it is a rut I'm in from working the same way for too long. Some things that have helped me: a week's vacation away from home where I do not even take out the camera. Or, a day or two in the galleries, museums and books looking at lots of other artwork. Or, trying a whole new technique, new format or something. Or, getting down to the very basics --- do some photograms on printing-out paper outside in the sun. Feel like a child again.

Your vision will return.

Sandy the atheist

-- Sandy Sorlien (, July 12, 2001.

Periods of non-inspiration hit me a few times a year. Unfortunately, they usually seem to coincide with finals week and my need to finish my final photography assignment. I do various things to get myself out of it, but genererally what I'll do is look at a few books of stuff by my favorite photographers and do personal work that has nothing to do with what's assigned to me and everything to do with shooting 8x10 and not medium format. My general problem, I think, is that assignment after assignment of stuff I'm not all too excited about slowly takes the fun out of things, and I have to get refreshed. It always passes, by and by, so I don't usually get too worried about it

David the christian/deist/animist

-- David Munson (, July 12, 2001.

As others have suggested, your vision may benefit from a photo project that is very different from your usual. Try a toy camera, a pinhole camera, Polaroid, infrared, or any equipment/medium/subject that you haven't done before, and just experiment with no particular goal.

-- Chris Ellinger (, July 12, 2001.

Well I more or less agree with everyone else (not about the atheism/deism/animism - I'm definitely a Christian). There is always another process you can try, or subject field you can tackle - but whatever else you do, it still has to inspire you.

I had this recently - I got to feeling that pretty much everything I had done until now was hackneyed and boring (have a look at the gallery pages in if you want to see what I mean). I decided that, for me, the solution was to turn from the mostly colour work I had previously done to concentrate on B&W. Also to do some architecture and portraiture rather than just landscape, which was what had interested me previously.

Also, and I'm ashamed to admit this, but it's true, it sometimes just takes a new piece of equipment to get the creative juices flowing again. It shouldn't be like that, but, for me, it is. (I like cameras and lenses and shutters just as some people like steam engines or football.)

So don't give up: 'Yea, if thou criest after [inspiration], and liftest up thy voice for [vision]; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;...' I'm sure you will find it!

Huw the Christian.

-- Huw Evans (, July 12, 2001.

Hi Martin, I think all photographers/artist go through this!The advice of the other posters is spot on,treat your photography like'll be amazed at how creative you can become. I had this problem when I was on my photography course(DaveI know how you feel)my problem was every picture I made reminded me of someone else' solution was to do a book of parodys of all this photographers that had an influence on my development. I submitted it for one of my workshops and people thought it was really funny and told me at various times which made me feel good,hence i felt better about photography and my own work. There is actually a cycle to the whole creative process,I read about it whilst at collegeand I think it's breaks down into four periods- the creative burst,where you make the work. The elation as your happy with having made it and the results look good. Then comes the depression as it's not as good as you fist thought and then finally the soaking up period where you look at stuff and prepare once again for the creative burst! None of these periods have a set period of time, so just hang on in there and the cloud will pass. regards

-- Andy Tymon (, July 12, 2001.

Join the club!!! I find that taking a few trips out WITHOUT the camera and looking for shots is good therapy. With landscape in particular sometimes just sitting and looking at a scene without the "burden" of the camera is inspirational. AND sometimes not taking it all too seriously!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, July 12, 2001.

It sounds like my disillusionment (is that a word?) with photography lasted longer than most, though mine wasn't really for creative reasons as much as it was related to the business of photography.

After gradually building my photography business into a successful enterprise (over a period of approximately 10 years), I got rid of nearly all my equipment and quit making photographs (other than your basic snapshots of family vactions and the kids), for the next 10 years. I simply got fed up with everything about photography. Despite the fact I felt like more of a salesman than a creative artist, the last thing I could bring myself to do in my free time was pick up a camera.

It was probably the best thing that ever happened to my photography.

The most important thing that I discovered during my hiatus was how little I had actually experienced the places I had visited when I was a photographer. With a camera, you spend most of your time looking: Looking for exciting subjects. Looking for wonderful light. Looking for ways to make the everyday object appear more interesting. Looking for a way to avoid the cliche' and, instead, capture a subject in your own style. Looking at and observing your surroundings is very, very different than EXPERIENCING them. Viewing people, places, and things as technical lighting problems to be solved is nothing at all like sitting down and enjoying the way these same subjects sound, smell, look, etc..

Today, I realize that vision comes from KNOWING your subject, not simply observing it.

Put your camera away for a bit (though, 10 years is probably overkill!). Go out and re-experience the things you like to photograph (presumably, most people start photographing things that they enjoy and that interest them), and I suspect you'll find that it's not that you're tired of photography, it's that you miss your experiences with the things you're photographing.

When you pick up your camera again (and I'm certain that you will), make sure that you balance your photography time with non-photography time. Your images will benefit from it.

-- Tim Klein (, July 12, 2001.

We all have crises in faith, vision, etc. There's only one option - keep shooting! Beats the alternative. Some of those that make it, in any endeavor do so with talent, some with luck, and many by just putting in the hours. What was Brett Westons quote about 90% of photography being sheer brutal drudgery?

The other day some guy from Orkin was chasing me.....

-- Gregor Samsa (, July 12, 2001.

Tim- this is exactly why I got out of camera retail, and after only 3 months! Maybe I'm allergic to retail work, but selling overrated point 'n' shoots to the average Joe and trying to explain the concept of an aperture just sort of sucked the fun out of photography for me in no time flat. Now I work in a warehouse and love it...

-- David Munson (, July 12, 2001.

Oh wow....just noticed the Kafka reference....way to be...

-- David Munson (, July 14, 2001.

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