losing it


TPF Noob!
Mar 15, 2006
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hello friends, this is my first official post at this website. ive always been interested in taking pictures since i was small. im now in highschool (still) in photo 3. i was quite motivated in photo 1 and 2.. and i havent been able to shoot much lately, and i think im starting to lose it. i shot two rolls this weekend, and they turned out quite distastefully unsatisfying. im quite worried. I enjoy photography more than anything ive ever been into.
so if anyone has any advice on how to build creativity and artistic expression, i would love to hear from you! thanks in advance
We all go through stages where we think we lose it completely.
Not that I have ever had ANY photographic instruction like you are going through now in your highschool. All I have ever done in all my life was "learning by doing", no more. And yet, I feel I can fall into deep "artistic depression" when nothing I try works or satisfies me. My way out is to keep taking photos regardless. Just to carry on, hoping that the right mood and the right motifs will come along my way again eventually. It is more expensive when you have to expose one roll of film after the other, though... but I also know THAT situation (I do both these days).

Oh, and before I forget:

Welcome, fellow Pilgrim!

The fact that you're not happy with your pictures is a good thing, not bad. It means that you're becoming critical of your own work. It may also mean that your taste is improving. That, more than anything else, is the absolutely essential first step toward the making of better pictures.

You can start out by zeroing in on just what you don't like about a given shot. Then start thinking about how you could have made it better. Don't be afraid to go back to re-take a picture, perhaps with different lighting, a different time of day, a different angle, etc.

Next, hit the library and search out those books which deal with composition. An oldie but goodie comes to mind: Freeman Patterson's 'Photographing the World Around You.' When all is said and done, what makes a photograph good [and sometimes great] is lighting and composition. The particular gear you use is secondary.

Don't give up. And let us know how you are doing from time to time.
When learning photography, it's important to experiment...and not all experiments turn out how we expect them to. That's what makes them experiments...and not just things that people do. :D
Do you go to Hills East by any chance? Off topic, but I see where youre coming from. For me, last night in the darkroom I lost it. I was messing up a lot, forgetting things, etc. etc. I did all of this for two terrible prints that didn't seem the least bit satisfying. Like Big Mike said. we all have to experiment. Dont give up, and I assure you, when you least expect it, great subjects will be calling your name.
i went through the same thing. sometimes it's just great to take a break for a little while and come back. if you keep shooting while frustrated, you might just get really upset with your results one day and just quit. have a little cool off period, and maybe when you start shooting again you'll find that "spark". if you don't, just experiment, like was said before.
thank you fellow photographers. ive just had a rough time lately. my parents are also not very supportive of photography, which makes it even tougher to find motivation. i am going to start shooting more and more.. i barely get around to doing it anymore, but when i do, i see how much i really love it. i really dont think i need a break, lol i cant really take one, i have to shoot a roll each week, which isnt a lot, but i make it complicated somehow. Im gonna do my best from now on!!!! thanks again.. oh, and im not sure where Hills East is. I live in Renton, Washington
Taking a small break, starting a new project, trying a different style (try taking some macro shots, for example) -all these things can help get the spark back. I also find that taking some time out to check out what other photographers are doing (whether that's checking out exhibitions or just browsing through forums like this one) can be very inspiring.

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