Getting the passion back!

JohnSw

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Having been a picture taker for years now, how does one get back the passion to be a photographer. I t seems like when I switched from film to digital, I was exited not to have to mess with those messy darkroom chemicals any more, not have to wait or have the expense of sending color film to the lab, and getting instant gratification on the screen so my interest soared for about six months. I have some pretty nice equipment in both film and digital, just now I never use it. I love looking at the various photo sites at others work. Anyone else go through this, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

astroNikon

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Start taking photos of things that you like.

Creating "Passion" for something you have to like it first.
 

ronlane

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It's easy to get in a rut and stop taking photos. Something that have helped me at times was go on a photowalk with other photographers, do a daily/weekly photo challenge or start a photo project that will take time to complete.

I do agree with astroNikon about shooting stuff that you like will help, you can also search and find something new that you want to learn and help you get back to shooting.
 
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JohnSw

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Thanks guys, got a long weekend, might have to get out and shoot something.
 

Derrel

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Nobody knows you better than YOU. So, go out and start shooting some photos that are what YOU want to do! Film or digital, it doesn't matter much either way. What matters is if the pictures you are making matter to YOU. So, see if you can search your thoughts, and arrive at a plan that puts you into position to take the kinds of pictures you really,really have an interest in. No matter what anybody else says or thinks or tells you. Throw off the social or family constraints, and do what you realllllllly want to do.
 
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JohnSw

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Thanks Derrel, hopefully it will be sunny tomorrow. I may go up on the Appy Trail and shoot some nature shots. Then I can relearn the editing software.....not complaining I promise. Have a great Thanksgiving!
 

jcdeboever

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Having been a picture taker for years now, how does one get back the passion to be a photographer. I t seems like when I switched from film to digital, I was exited not to have to mess with those messy darkroom chemicals any more, not have to wait or have the expense of sending color film to the lab, and getting instant gratification on the screen so my interest soared for about six months. I have some pretty nice equipment in both film and digital, just now I never use it. I love looking at the various photo sites at others work. Anyone else go through this, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I had / have a similar issue. I became that way in painting. For me, I lost the passion to create works on canvas and to be honest, I have not missed it. I stopped doing it because I was not doing it for me. I have a few people hounding me right now to produce some works but I just politely tell them I am working on something else. One day I asked myself, what in the heck am I doing? My wife would make comments like, "I like when you do those pencil drawings". Or, a client would call and ask me to do a portrait of their spoiled rotten kid that I despised the last time I did one. Or the critic would say, "he lacks vision and his oil looks like it was mixed by a colorblind outsider" (when in fact it was dry pigment mixed in wax). Or my parents telling me my work sucks and I should go back to paint the way I used to in the 80's. It goes on and on and on...

I am not saying I will never paint again. I just do not see a point in it today. I still draw something every day (forced habit). Instead, I am trying to find my way in photography. It is totally different than painting. I have zero interest in making money doing it. I am doing it for me. The process, equipment, and history intrigues me. The thing that catches me is in the finality of that shutter release. You get one chance, that moment to freeze time. Finding out what really is going on in that moment. Why am I drawn to that and how can I show that? What's really cool is when I am drawn to something, capture it, and later realizing what it really was when I accidentally rotated it. I feel like I broke a rule... I like that.

In my opinion, it has nothing to do with film vs. digital. You are on a path, finding your way. Reflecting on past is part of the journey. Go towards the subject because that is where the passion is. Look at the work you did in those six months of passion. Was it a style? Was it a subject? I think you got distracted because you were after something and did not nail it. Looking back, you may have had a life event that distracted you. I say this because it happened to me on more than one occasion. Follow Derrel's lead, he is spot on my brother.
 
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JohnSw

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I agree with your thoughts exactly. It never has been film vs digital, I enjoy both. It even does not come down to brand loyalty as I have Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Olympus equipment. Knowing where the journey is headed is what I need work on. Thanks for the comments.
 

JerryPH

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I cannot really say about JohnSW because there is not enough info there, but for jcdeboever, the answer is screaming out loud and clear in his post.

Take a close look and ask yourself WHO is this person painting for? It is for his parents, his client, the spoiled kid, his wife, anyone and everyone except the one person it has to be for... if you are not doing this for YOURSELF, how can you have any passion for it??? The answer here is simple... If you want to find out if the passion is still there, walk into an empty room with just yourself and your painting tools, close the door and paint for an entire afternoon for you. If you find your passion, you found the reason. If you find it tedious, lay down the brush, walk out, and have a coffee.

Don't go back into that room until that passion calls to you, if ever. In the meantime, live your life with passion via other ways.

For the OP, they need to ask themselves if its just lack of time, interest, other passions intruding. They could do the same as I said above, to just go out there alone and find out if they still have a passion for it or not, but having passion for anything should involve pleasure in the act. If there is none... Don't do it, find something thats does work for you.
 
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JohnSw

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Jerry,
I really enjoyed your response as it hit the nail on the head. Stop looking at everyone else's expectations for my photography, and look deep into mine and pursue that. Great advice!
 

imagemaker46

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I found myself in a rut 15 years ago, switched to digital and started to enjoy photography again, kind of important when it's the career. I've gone through ups and downs and many ruts to the point where I have just wanted to stop shooting. I've put my gear down for a month at a time, and then just went out and shot junk, stuff I don't shoot, trying to make nice pictures out of nothing, it was a matter of re-setting my brain I guess. In my case having had a camera in my hands for over 4 decades I just got tired of it. The last few years I've managed to stay happy shooting, not worrying as much about how little money I was making, just shooting for myself, playing around. When a good shoot came along, I was in a better place mentally and the pictures reflected that. I think everyone goes through it at one time or another.
 

otherprof

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Your problem is digital I felt the same, so now I'm back to 100% film
I'm wondering if it might be the number of shots one takes per outing, and the thought that goes into each one, in digital compared to the number of shots one takes with film. Digital can encourage a "one of them must be a chicken" approach, and that might not be right for you. Try limiting your shooting as if you had only a few rolls of film with you. It might be a new way of shooting and that could be fun. Obviously, I'm throwing out a general comment, and don't know how much time and care you spend on each shot. But sometimes I feel the pull of that endless roll in my digital camera. I wonder how many keepers the same people have when shooting digital or film?
 

gsgary

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Your problem is digital I felt the same, so now I'm back to 100% film
I'm wondering if it might be the number of shots one takes per outing, and the thought that goes into each one, in digital compared to the number of shots one takes with film. Digital can encourage a "one of them must be a chicken" approach, and that might not be right for you. Try limiting your shooting as if you had only a few rolls of film with you. It might be a new way of shooting and that could be fun. Obviously, I'm throwing out a general comment, and don't know how much time and care you spend on each shot. But sometimes I feel the pull of that endless roll in my digital camera. I wonder how many keepers the same people have when shooting digital or film?
I used to shoot thousands because I used to shoot sports and print on site with a dye sub printer, but then every Joey thought they could just buy a camera and printer and do it so I packed up because I was getting bored, but I always shot film for myself now I'm 99% film and when I go out I might only shoot 10 digital shots
 

shzarainbo

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I am artist that started with paint and poetry 18 years ago. Now I am interested and toying with digital photography. I don't use anything fancy, just my phone and some cool apps. I have not painted or wrote poetry in just over a year. I miss it, but I'm lacking the motivation and subject ideas. I think it's about attention and appraisal from others. When i began to share my digital photos, people were attentive. I have sold over 400 paintings over the years and still have about 20 pieces collecting dust in a closet and some decor my house. I have tried to sell them via eBay, Etsy, and local galleries but to no avail.

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