I'm finding photography purposeless.

Strodav

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Turned 70 last month. My main interests are playing chess, reading sci-fi books (I highly recommend Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet Series), playing guitar (mainly blues), taking care of Amber, staying out of trouble with my wife, and photography. I take pictures for myself, mainly nature and wildlife, especially water birds. To me, being out in nature marveling at what God has created, and capturing what I SEE in camera for my own enjoyment and to share with wife, kids and friends gives me joy. I don't post many in forums as the feedback is not that important to me or even that good. It's getting the shot and processing it to bring out what I see that's important. I print out the ones I like (17"x22" Canon Pro-1000), hang them in my "lightroom" and along the long hallway in our house. Each one has a memory with it, many set a mood or re-tell a story to me. I switch them out every once in a while to keep my "gallery" fresh. Improving my skills to better see, remember and present the creations around me gives me great satisfaction and the motivation I need to learn more about the arts and science of photography and keep motivated to get out there take good photos.

This is one of my memories: Amber at 9 weeks, She's now 2 years, 9 months old and her comfort and good health are more important to me than my own. Photographing her gives me great joy. She is probably the last Golden I will call me own given my age. I am her human, she is my dog. Motivation enough?

Amber at 9 Weeks 1999 x1333.jpg
 

AlanKlein

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Sounds like a mid-life crisis. Why am I here? A good read of Ecclesiastes might help.
 
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mjcmt

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Sounds like a mid-life crisis. Why am I here? A good read of Ecclesiastes might help.
Alan, I'm past mid life. I'm a Christ-follower so I know where the source of joy comes from. I see the purpose in working out, as it improves my physical health. And reading the Bible as improves my spiritual life. I suppose photography is simply a creative outlet.
 

webestang64

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I have never found my photography purposeless but I do find MANY of my customers photography at the lab VERY purposeless.
 

cgw

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Alan, I'm past mid life. I'm a Christ-follower so I know where the source of joy comes from. I see the purpose in working out, as it improves my physical health. And reading the Bible as improves my spiritual life. I suppose photography is simply a creative outlet.
Cheer up. Doubtful you'll get any worse at it.
 

Dave Maciak

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Turned 70 last month. My main interests are playing chess, reading sci-fi books (I highly recommend Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet Series), playing guitar (mainly blues), taking care of Amber, staying out of trouble with my wife, and photography. I take pictures for myself, mainly nature and wildlife, especially water birds. To me, being out in nature marveling at what God has created, and capturing what I SEE in camera for my own enjoyment and to share with wife, kids and friends gives me joy. I don't post many in forums as the feedback is not that important to me or even that good. It's getting the shot and processing it to bring out what I see that's important. I print out the ones I like (17"x22" Canon Pro-1000), hang them in my "lightroom" and along the long hallway in our house. Each one has a memory with it, many set a mood or re-tell a story to me. I switch them out every once in a while to keep my "gallery" fresh. Improving my skills to better see, remember and present the creations around me gives me great satisfaction and the motivation I need to learn more about the arts and science of photography and keep motivated to get out there take good photos.

This is one of my memories: Amber at 9 weeks, She's now 2 years, 9 months old and her comfort and good health are more important to me than my own. Photographing her gives me great joy. She is probably the last Golden I will call me own given my age. I am her human, she is my dog. Motivation enough?

View attachment 257769
Beautiful, I am also in love
 

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Old Skool

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Enjoyment does not need purpose.

I've looked at your pics and you are very good. It was a surprise to see this thread from you. You were the first person here I put in my mind as someone to look out for on the forums after viewing your images. You mentioned in another thread you were considering selling your gear and I seriously questioned to myself why. You mentioned your age, thought it may be a physical thing. My back is really bad so I understand such problems can certainly impact photography, choice of gear and ability to just get around with it. It appears you wish to sell because you are on a downer right now. Don't sell, you'll regret it later. You make great use of the gear you have, clearly enjoy what you do and what a shame if you let it go while being on a temporary low.

We don't do this for decades unless we love it. Over the last few years, I totally lost interest in photography. It was to the point I came back from shooting one day, simply dumped my gear in the spare room and it sat untouched where I dumped it for over 3 years. Completely believed I would never use a camera again.

It just takes some little thing or idea to spark interest and it all changes. For myself, it was deciding to leave the modern photographic world behind. To put myself and my photography in a time period I greatly enjoyed. I've gone back to using a Nikon D200, dealing with it's limitations that are so similar to film days which I totally miss. I loved the challenges back then. Success back in those days was such a wonderful reward for all the failures. Modern gear, modern photography, it bores me to tears so I've eliminated it from my life. In doing this, I haven't been so excited about photography since I first began and for me this was in the 80's.

Keep doing it for yourself. You've enjoyed it for this long, it doesn't just stop. The spark will come.
 
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mjcmt

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Enjoyment does not need purpose.

I've looked at your pics and you are very good. It was a surprise to see this thread from you. You were the first person here I put in my mind as someone to look out for on the forums after viewing your images. You mentioned in another thread you were considering selling your gear and I seriously questioned to myself why. You mentioned your age, thought it may be a physical thing. My back is really bad so I understand such problems can certainly impact photography, choice of gear and ability to just get around with it. It appears you wish to sell because you are on a downer right now. Don't sell, you'll regret it later. You make great use of the gear you have, clearly enjoy what you do and what a shame if you let it go while being on a temporary low.

We don't do this for decades unless we love it. Over the last few years, I totally lost interest in photography. It was to the point I came back from shooting one day, simply dumped my gear in the spare room and it sat untouched where I dumped it for over 3 years. Completely believed I would never use a camera again.

It just takes some little thing or idea to spark interest and it all changes. For myself, it was deciding to leave the modern photographic world behind. To put myself and my photography in a time period I greatly enjoyed. I've gone back to using a Nikon D200, dealing with it's limitations that are so similar to film days which I totally miss. I loved the challenges back then. Success back in those days was such a wonderful reward for all the failures. Modern gear, modern photography, it bores me to tears so I've eliminated it from my life. In doing this, I haven't been so excited about photography since I first began and for me this was in the 80's.

Keep doing it for yourself. You've enjoyed it for this long, it doesn't just stop. The spark will come.
Thank you for your feedback and insights. It is much appreciated Old Skool.
Respectfully,
Mike
 

AlanKlein

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Sometimes we need to set aside our diversions and look deeply into other things that are more important. Being disinterested in our hobbies may give us the time we need to investigate emotional and spiritual growth.
 

mrca

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I'm 75 and have been shooting since I had my darkroom in 1961. The problem I have is there is so much I want to do with my photography and so little time. I am a portrait photographer and my genres shot, products provide are always changing. But photography has so many possibilities in the narrow range of just portraiture: learning to find and using all kinds of available light, modifying it using reflectors, scrims, subtraction, mirrors, overhangs, trees. In studio I can use large soft modifiers, hard modifiers like hot lights. In lighting alone there are all sorts of different and interesting things in my control. Different styles of portraiture, formal, casual, street candid. All different kinds of poses. The people bring all sorts of personalities. If you don't photo people, have you really studied lighting and apply it to what you shoot? Have you tried film? We grew up with it and I now learned to develop without a dark room, and scan. It opens up all sorts of possibilities with different film stocks. Have you tried shooting in black and white? I just printed a 6 light selfie on 3200 medium format film that blows my mind. I don't care if anyone sees my work but take a look at facebook for groups for the things you like to photo or photo with, eg., I have a mamiya medium , a yasiha and pentax medium format cameras and there are facebook groups where you can post those photos. I'm sure for landscape or what ever you shoot as a place to post if you want to share your photos. There are pages for specific cameras. I have spend decades mastering the craft... PPA in northern CA appointed me to head their mentor program so I guess i learned something....but there is always more to learn. Are you really as master of composition, lighting, post processing. Arent there things that will get your creative juices flowing again? Are you satisfied with your work? I'm not and I have pro competition ribbons and judged pro competitions. Have you ever taken any of the Kelby on line courses? He gives a couple weeks for free. Warning, so your wife like so many others won't be pissed at me, don't sign up unless you can disappear for a couple weeks, you will. Perhaps you will find a new genre there, animals, landscapes, mastering lighting. Good luck and don't stop shooting.
 

FBPB

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?

I sometime vacillate between loving photography and hating it. I think the challenge is actually to constantly be learning new techniques /styles.

For instance, set some goals for yourself. If you are still in good health and mobile, take a photo safari in the desert, or stay up half the night to shoot the stars / Milky Way etc.

In the end, as much as I have tried to please people with what I make and do, it really comes down to if I like it or not personally. Which, in the end, is the only thing that really counts. After all, I am my own harshest critic...
 
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mjcmt

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MRCA and FBPB,
Going to new locations is a plus for sure. Then the tedious yet creative editing work begins after that.
 

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A much-loved but sarcastic associate routinely stabs me with this:

"Art without commerce is just a hobby."

And there's nothing wrong with that. My workspace is verbal and contentious. I find photography takes me elsewhere--pleasantly. The odd shot sold confirms I'm still just a hack.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday.
So your associate thought Van Gogh was just had a hobby.
 

mrca

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Art without commerce is still art. Art with commerce is commercial art. I have seen enough real art created by amateurs to know it isn't only created by people who are paid. On the other hand, getting paid for your work doesn't make it art. The non photographer usually doesn't have a clue what makes art, only what they like. Now, if you are trying to sell,
beauty is a different thing, beauty is in the eye of the checkbook holder.
 

cgw

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Art without commerce is still art. Art with commerce is commercial art. I have seen enough real art created by amateurs to know it isn't only created by people who are paid. On the other hand, getting paid for your work doesn't make it art. The non photographer usually doesn't have a clue what makes art, only what they like. Now, if you are trying to sell,
beauty is a different thing, beauty is in the eye of the checkbook holder.
Art with commerce is commercial art

After a good laugh, major gallery principals just might take you less than seriously--assuming they listened at all. I'm guessing the art market are waters you don't swim in regularly.
 

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