Burn Out

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Gaerek, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    As some may have noticed (or more likely, didn't notice at all) I've been away for a couple months and have only recently been posting again. Well, I had just gone through a bad case of photography burn out. I know that some people go through this, and I though I might tell what I did to overcome it.

    A few months ago, I realized I wasn't enjoying my photography anymore. When I went to go shoot, I was actually dreading it. After the shoot, I was dreading looking at my photos on my computer and I was dreading doing editing. I was (still am) a busy person (father to a 14 month old, full-time work, full-time school), so I just told myself I was too busy to enjoy photography, and put my camera away for the time being.

    A couple times during the last few months, I had the urge to get my camera out and shoot, but I never got farther than getting my camera out (except to shoot photos of my daughter, of course). I just had that feeling of not really enjoying it anymore.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I heard that the local photo lab was going to do their photo contest for a second year. I started looking through photos that I had taken over the past year or so and picked out 3 (we could enter a maximum of 3 photos), edited them, and submitted them. I didn't win anything, but I realized that I had a lot of fun preparing for this contest. I didn't care that I didn't win at all. I wanted to know why I had fun, even though I spent all that time preparing, just to not win. So I did something drastic, I decided to analyze why I wasn't having fun anymore with photography.

    Once I started thinking about it, I realized that I was taking myself FAR too seriously. I had set a ridiculously high standard for myself. A standard so high, few people even on this forum could meet it. I was rejecting just about everyone of my photos. I was also not trying anything new. Besides making photos of my daughter, practically all of my shooting was of landscapes. I didn't even try anything else. Basically, photography became like a job to me, a job I wasn't getting paid to do. I was dreading it, because I knew in the back of my mind that I wasn't going to meet my own standard, and that I would be frustrating myself. I knew I needed to do something.

    Yesterday, I decided to go on a photo walk. Just me, my camera, and nature. I was completely out of my comfort zone. I rarely shoot without a tripod. I had no tripod with me. I'm not used to shooting anything that isn't a landscape, I shot very few landscapes. I'm used to refusing to shoot if the conditions aren't perfect. I was shooting on an overcast day, with the sun pretty high in the sky. I was out of my comfort zone, and I was loving it. Even though my photos, for the most part, weren't all that great, I had a blast. I rarely post photos on this forum, but I want to post the photos I liked from my shoot yesterday. I learned a lot yesterday, and I'd like to learn more, if you want to give me some C&C. I know they're not great, I know the conditions weren't terribly great, but have at it. Thank you!

    #1 - 1/320sec, f/4.5, ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    #2 - 1/400sec, f/10, ISO 400
    [​IMG]

    #3 - 1/200sec, f/10, ISO 400
    [​IMG]

    #4 - 1/320sec, f/6.3, ISO 400
    [​IMG]

    #5 - 1/800sec, f/6.3, ISO 400
    [​IMG]
     
  2. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

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    I feel that I have seriously high standards for myself as well. I find that when I am editing pictures, after being on this forum and posting for a while, I don't look to see whether I like the photo or not, I look to see if it is something that won't get shredded to pieces if I post it on the forum. if I think for a second that someone will find some flaw, I usually get rid of the photo. Sad but true.

    I am trying to get out of that habit because it is kind of ruining photography for me, I have photos that I like but I end up getting rid of them or just keeping the RAW files and not editing them.

    Glad that you decided to come back!
     
  3. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    When I feel like that I go out and shoot something I never had before. I also just like going down town and sneaking pictures of strange people :sexywink:
     
  4. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    Well, I actually like the shots you did - they are very personal, and at the end of the day, photography is a personal thing.

    I guess, that get's overlooked a lot these days. If your out and about, just going for a photo walk, then there are no rules to what works and what doesn't. I have a ton of pictures at home, that, meassured by the proper standards of composition / lighting / focus, etc...would just be "rubbish", but then, I like them because they are personal, something in the way that maybe you as the photographer see something.

    Neways - know the feeling and am glad that you broke free of it.
    Good luck!!
     
  5. OrionsByte

    OrionsByte No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I really like #2!

    I had a similar experience with photography. I used to shoot all the time, but not having the funds to purchase an SLR, I instead purchased a Canon G3 (back when it was new). It had a lot of manual functions so I had a fair amount of control, but it was still a compact so it couldn't really grow with me, and the longer I had the camera the more it felt outdated. I looked at the new cameras that my family and friends were getting, and feature-wise they blew mine out of the water, but financially I couldn't do much about it.

    My disconnect with photography was so bad that even when my daughter was born, I really didn't take that many pictures. I mean I still took pictures, but if she'd been born 5 years ago or so, she'd have grown up thinking Daddy was a camera. I feel a little guilty and very sad that there are moments in her life that should have been photographed that weren't because I was being lazy and apathetic about my camera.

    What changed it for me was just a couple weeks ago when a friend of mine upgraded from a D70 to a D90, and remarked, "Well I guess I'm going to need to sell the D70," and I replied, "Oh really....." He was incredibly generous and sold me his D70 for next to nothing.

    Obtaining that camera has got me excited about photography again, and I'm having lots of fun taking shots of pretty much anything I can point a camera at!
     
  6. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

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    It's amazing what a Nikon can do for your love of photography isn't it? ;)
     
  7. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    That was my thinking. I was so set in my ways, I didn't realize that was where my frustration was coming from. It was actually liberating going completely out of my comfort zone, and just re-introducing myself to the joy of photography.

    I know that I'll be able to look back at these photos and they will have a meaning to me. My logical brain tells me that each and every one of these photos can be improved in a dozen different ways. But that's not the point. I think these are wonderful photos, not technically, or even creatively, but because of the sentiment they produce in me. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to snapshoot, but at the same time, if something didn't have tack sharp focus, or wasn't composed perfectly, I wasn't going to immediately throw it away.

    And I do agree with you, I think that they are fairly decent shots, even without the sentiment, but it doesn't matter to me anyway. :)

    Thank you for the compliments. The first 6 months of my daughters life, my camera was practically installed on my face. I'm surprised my daughter recognizes me now without a camera in front of me. When I stopped having fun with my photography, I didn't make photos of my daughter as much. During that period, she was practically the only subject I did shoot.

    I'm really happy to hear that you've gotten a good deal on a good camera. It will serve you well. Be sure to go out and shoot, and post what you make. I'm curious to see what you'l get. :)
     

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