What do you do when the thrill is gone?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Senor Hound, May 27, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    What do you do when the thrill is gone out of photographing? I still love to actually get out and shoot, but I'm just so disappointed in the results. I have such strong feelings and ideas running through my head! And I go to a spot I like, and start clicking away (so far so good). Then I get home, download my memory card and... they all SUCK, at least I think they do! Its really depressing to get your hopes up so high, only for them to crash down.

    I view myself as a very emotional photographer. I don't wear my feelings on my sleeve, or hardly show them at all. But to me, photography as a way to show people the world through my eyes, to let them see an event or thing how I see it and how I feel it. But what I'm shooting right now isn't what I'm feeling at all, in fact its fairly emotionless and crummy. Does that make any sense? Its like my soul and my camera aren't connected...

    Also, I don't want to get too personal, but I do have some depression problems that might have something to do with the way I'm feeling. But that was part of the reason I started taking photos, was to express myself, and get my feelings out into the open.

    Anyway, if anyone has ever been in the same boat as me, either on an amateur or professional level, I'd love to hear from you.
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    lower your standards. I've seen your works and they don't suck, Yeah they may have flaws but that does not constitute suckage.....I can show you sucks if you want trust me.

    Relax a little and take your time, you are trying too hard, I made this mistake too when I was in school. I used to blow threw film and photo paper like there was no tomorrow because I was not footin the bill, then I would get pissed when no mater what I did I could not get a good print, then I would run out and try to fix it all at once. it was frustrating. Now I foot the bill and I am taking my time and looking at each individual problem and fixing it one at a time.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pick one thing (at a time if there are several) and set up your shoot in a controlled environment. Work on that one thing until you can do it in your sleep.

    Just like sports, you have to stay on the fundamentals.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are times that I need to get away from the camera for a while just because like anything, if you don`t have variety in life, you burn out at something.

    It can be a couple of days or a week, but when the desire returns, feed the desire and enjoy. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, then don`t do it. Life is too short to waste.

    As for personal standards in photography, there is only one true rule to learning... the ONLY time you fail is if you stop and accept that failure. All other times are just preparation and practice for getting that one amazing shot that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. When that one shot comes, no one knows, so keep practicing and enjoying the process the whole time.

    As for "sucking"... I don't believe in that. Every picture has value, even the underexposed blurred ones, know why? Becuase they teach me something, they give me goals. "Oh, this picture is blurry? Cool, so what do I do so the next one is not blurry? Hrm... higher shutter speed, huh? Ok, I'll try that out and see the results and take that to the next level".

    Never just say "it sucks" and leave it at that, you are promoting bad internal thought processes that lead you nowhere fast. Say "its not as good as I want, but HOW can I get it closer to where I want?".

    This leads me into a little something that I've learned to do in life... proper internal self talk. If you ask stupid questions, guess what you will get? Stupid answers. (why do I suck, how come I never get a nice pic ever?).

    Rather asking yourself good questions will net you better answers. (what is it about this picture that I do not like? How can I avoid that in the future? Where can this effect that I do not like be used in a way that adds to another picture?).

    See what I mean?

    Finally, if you suffer from clinical depression, don't hesitate to consult professional help.

    Lots 'o luck. :)
     
  5. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I had this happen already (I have only been shooting for a few months!), where I just was over critical of my work and stressed out and not enjoying it. I took a break from the camera for a couple weeks and it really helped. I would say either taking a break or looking for a photo theme to get inspired would help. Also maybe taking a class online? Getting some honest, but positive c&c and having photo assignments could really help you feel better.

    My mom has depression and the first sign she is hitting a rough patch is she becomes less interested in things she usually finds fun. If that last for more then 2 weeks, she gets her meds adjusted to avoid a major episode. So that could be one thing to consider too.
     
  6. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    By the way, I just looked at some of your threads with photos and you dont suck but every post is started by "I know I suck but". Honestly, don't be so down on yourself. From now on you MUST start each post with "I am super awesome and..."

    deal?
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That could backfire, But I do agree that SH should discontinue the "I suck" It's detrimental to development.
     
  8. Miaow

    Miaow TPF Noob!

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    I know the feeling a bit - I'm getting too overcritical of my pics recently and am probably binning ones that would be ok with a bit of pp. I wouldnt say it's the thrill has gone just yes the thrill maybe of seeing those pics one downloaded off the camera has gone a little.

    Sometimes I have a certain thing in mind and if I don't get it then sometimes I sorta feel the whole effort/trip has probably been wasted cause what I've 'wanted' hasn't occured.

    Just remember that your pics don't suck- My favorite motto is "we are always learning", I think that applies for the whole of our life on all levels, not just photography :)
     
  9. There are phases in photography - keep in mind this is a hobby. It's ok to have a period where you enjoy the shoot, but not the post-processing or the results. Let it ride, enjoy the actual process of capturing the pictures, and then develop them a few months later. You may discover a direction within the various results from different shooting days.

    When you're out shooting, you will get to know yourself better.

    ... and remember: you are neither the giant of your dreams, nor the dwarf of your fears.
     
  10. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Easy, Buy new gear:D

    But seriously. Its already been said but you need to lower your standards and focus more on shots. One thing you could do is buy a very old memory card that only holds a few shots and use that, you will focus more on each shot and you will have less "bad" shots.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In way you are not too far from the truth..... more accurately a change in the type of shooting you do .

    Everyone gets a little tired/critical/uncreative when they've been doing a hobby for so long. It is a life long hobby, there is no need to squeeze yourself into a corner when only the best matters. I'm going through a similar situation when life changes have made my time dedicated to photography extremely limited and thus I'm being overly critical over the photos I've created recently. The little voice in my head keeps saying... thats boring or that was uncreative.. the voice ignores the fact that I'm just a bit too busy and a little rusty.

    What helped me TREMENDOUSLY was a shift of gears for a while. Going outside of what I normally enjoy as a photographer (street/people, landscape/architectural). I ended up pursuing macro photography... something that I had almost no interest in the past. Saved up.. spent about $400 for a Kmount DSLR + Tamron 90 f/2.5 Macro Adaptall + Vivitar macro flash. I've been doing nothing but macro for the past two weeks... I love it. The nice thing is that the boring areas I shoot suddenly are new again. Yeh.. I have no way to "critique" my own macros (Never done this before) and they just might suck. The important thing is that I'm shooting again..

    I've been posting some of my photos in the Nature & Wildlife forum.... not too many comments (thanks LaFoto for yours!).. thats ok.. I'm enjoying being outside my comfort zone.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh yeh.... another thing I do that keeps me going (has for years!)

    Spend a little more time with your photography beyond being behind the camera hitting the shutter. Perhaps go back to film to develop and print yourself. I don't have much wall space so I enjoy making portfolios of my work. I have a single book shelf dedicated for them.. One has portraits (originally my photo "resume") Another (my favorite) has photos of abandoned buildings and beauty I see in aged things. A few that contains street photos. A couple more on landscapes..

    With the popularity of digital, I think there is a tendency to RUSH. We fire away the shutter like a machine gun. We process the photo in seconds (download it from the card). We spend a few minutes adjusting them in PS (in the past, I would spend ours in the darkroom just on ONE photo). We view them on the screen rather than print. Organizing is a click and drag. For me... that tendency makes it a little more difficult to enjoy the savor of photography.
     

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