Photography Foot off the Gas

BananaRepublic

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12 months ago I was out and about with my camera nearly every other day and I was all about improving technic and what not, this period coincided with two fundamental things I believe.

1, I was unemployed and 2, I wanted to get into the top tier of my photography club, so I had time on my hands and I had motivation. This year however I have a job and I am in the top tier, so called, of the photo club. Yes I have less time to do thing but really my motivation is gone, I quickly discovered that the same people win internal competitions no matter what, unless there is an external judge, this is not a malicious thing it just seems that members have been inculcated with a bias towards a certain genre or subject matter.

In any event the club thing is only spilt milk but I can't find the motivation to photograph anymore or to even substantially up my game a blow the rest of them out of the water.
 

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Went through this many years ago to the point that I loathed even picking up a camera. For me it had to do with "others" expectations. I was being invited to functions with an "oh by the way could you bring your camera". So after awhile instead of telling the offensive parties where to go, I put up the camera. Then career took over, so it was many years before I finally regained an interest, and only recently that I've become more serious. I also tend to be a little "Hyper" so I'm prone to go at something so hard that I that I lose focus on the fact that photography is not my profession, but my hobby. Now when I find myself getting to serious I look for a new technique or process to divert my interest back to the fun side.
 

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.. members have been inculcated with a bias towards a certain genre or subject matter.
Or a new person comes along showing a body of immature work, and the judges see errors that other club members have long since overcome.
 
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BananaRepublic

BananaRepublic

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.. members have been inculcated with a bias towards a certain genre or subject matter.
Or a new person comes along showing a body of immature work, and the judges see errors that other club members have long since overcome.

I may be taking your point up wrong, but actually that isn't the case. Ive ben there for 3 years the judges for the most part are the members and we do table judging from time to time, allowing for discussion of images, I have found the criticism to be fare but time and time again the same faults are found, in all classes, but there is never any kind of advice or tutorials given to rectify the problems which would or should improve the whole groups images mine included.

I thought in the beginning that I would get help with things on top of my own experimentation but there seems to be a kind of cold war attitude amongst the better people.
 

Overread

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Any group of people that remains the same or any indivudal will generally have themes that they prefer over others which can make it harder to compete with other subject contents. One way is to introduce/suggest themed competitions at the club which can sometimes get around this problem by focusing on different content and changes things up a bit.

The other aspect is to consider that photography is many things and the drive comes from many sources. Most clubs tend to go the competitive path because its easy to organise and setup and doesn't require much input by those running the club (compared to other events). It's something that plagues a LOT of hobby types because competition drives interest in many people; but it can also burn a lot of people out and most often those at the extreme ends (those that win all the time or those who lose or never seem to progress).

Sometimes you have to drop out of the "rat race" as it were to refocus and get the desire and drive from another source.


Also remember doing anything can get boring and that is totaly normal. Changing things up or doing it a little differently can help restore interest but so to can taking a break and focusing on a different passtime or hobby or interest. Barring things like pets or animal care; most hobbies don't care if you take a break and its healthy to do so from time to time.
 

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Another thing to consider is just taking a break from submitting to any competition and just go shoot for yourself. I don't mean trying to perfect "X" or "Y'. Just go shoot something....anything.
Or maybe a new challenge is all you need. Pick a different style of photography and try it out. It may just re-kindle the spark.

Hope you keep trying.
If all you need a stern taking to come in back we'll be more than happy to let you have it. :eyebrows:
 

JoeW

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Don't shoot for extrinsic reasons (i.e.: to win an award at the club or to be perceived in the "top tier"). Shoot b/c you have an idea...or there is something you want to create...or b/c shooting gives you joy or insight.
 

jcdeboever

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12 months ago I was out and about with my camera nearly every other day and I was all about improving technic and what not, this period coincided with two fundamental things I believe.

1, I was unemployed and 2, I wanted to get into the top tier of my photography club, so I had time on my hands and I had motivation. This year however I have a job and I am in the top tier, so called, of the photo club. Yes I have less time to do thing but really my motivation is gone, I quickly discovered that the same people win internal competitions no matter what, unless there is an external judge, this is not a malicious thing it just seems that members have been inculcated with a bias towards a certain genre or subject matter.

In any event the club thing is only spilt milk but I can't find the motivation to photograph anymore or to even substantially up my game a blow the rest of them out of the water.
For me it's the process that I love. I think this is common among pros and amatures alike. Some may realize it, others may not have discovered it, some may be focused on images. It's not the image, the image is a result of the process. The viewer see's the image. The photographer see's the image before it's processed.

My suggestion is to go back to process. Maybe pick up a film camera if you shoot digital or pick up a digital if you use film. Focus on process. Sometimes, it's the simplest things overlooked.

I think a common trait amongst people doing great things, whatever it is, seem to have an innate ability to overcome the boredom of process.
 

Tee

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Went through this many years ago to the point that I loathed even picking up a camera. For me it had to do with "others" expectations. I was being invited to functions with an "oh by the way could you bring your camera". So after awhile instead of telling the offensive parties where to go, I put up the camera. Then career took over, so it was many years before I finally regained an interest, and only recently that I've become more serious. I also tend to be a little "Hyper" so I'm prone to go at something so hard that I that I lose focus on the fact that photography is not my profession, but my hobby. Now when I find myself getting to serious I look for a new technique or process to divert my interest back to the fun side.

This is me almost to the T. I took some time off and am back in the hobby but with a fresh approach (i.e.- I'm only doing it for myself and nobody else). I would suggest to the OP to put the camera in the closet (but don't sell it) and when it's time to pull it out, you'll know.
 

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I run a weekly contest on another board and the winner will pick a theme for the challenge that week. At the end of that week the last weeks winner gets to pick a new winner. Due to not everyone participating every week we get a well rounded group of people that come up with decent challenges. It keeps it fun and anyone is invited to join. Usually the judge will give some critique and you get an interesting point of view from some that may not be better than others. It seems to work well and we have a lot of fun with it.
 
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smoke665

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Don't shoot for extrinsic reasons (i.e.: to win an award at the club or to be perceived in the "top tier"). Shoot b/c you have an idea...or there is something you want to create...or b/c shooting gives you joy or insight.

I am so glad you posted this, I was beginning to think something was wrong with me. I don't begrudge anyone who wants to compete or follow a "theme" but that's just not for me. I shoot what I want, when I want primarily for my own enjoyment and fun.
 

table1349

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12 months ago I was out and about with my camera nearly every other day and I was all about improving technic and what not, this period coincided with two fundamental things I believe.

1, I was unemployed and 2, I wanted to get into the top tier of my photography club, so I had time on my hands and I had motivation. This year however I have a job and I am in the top tier, so called, of the photo club. Yes I have less time to do thing but really my motivation is gone, I quickly discovered that the same people win internal competitions no matter what, unless there is an external judge, this is not a malicious thing it just seems that members have been inculcated with a bias towards a certain genre or subject matter.

In any event the club thing is only spilt milk but I can't find the motivation to photograph anymore or to even substantially up my game a blow the rest of them out of the water.
Ok, I am going to make a guess that you are either not married or not married for long. Any new recreation is like dating and marrying your long term spouse.

Buying a camera is like the first time you "Hit a home run" with the girl you are dating. From that moment on you want to be a Home Run KING!!! You will swat the ball out of the park at the drop of a hat, hint, pencil, bra strap or horn honk. Doesn't matter if you are in you home stadium, the visitors stadium, a minor league stadium or just walking the isles of Walmart. The lumber is ready and you are in the on deck circle.

You are also taking batting practice anytime you can so you are ready to swat that ball out of the park.

As the season goes on you find that it becomes more difficult to hit those "Home Runs" as often. The pitcher has got to know you and pitches to you in a different rhythm, causing you to strike out more and more often.

As the seasons progress you are demoted to lower and lower levels in the batting order. You chances at bat diminish and you batting average goes down. You really know your career is over when you are relegated to being a pinch hitter. Especially if she is an a National League pitcher where the pitcher is expected to bat.

Finally you end up in the old-timers all star games where ever hit you get is off a mercy pitch so the crowd doesn't feel bad for you. Oh sure, you can get a batting coach,(little blue pill) and hang out in the hot tub (side by side bath tub) all you want but you know your days are over. If you are lucky, you get a coaching job, but most just retire into obscurity.

So pace yourself, don't try to be a one hit wonder or before you know it you will be like Casey at the Bat.
 

smoke665

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So pace yourself, don't try to be a one hit wonder or

You lost me here are using baseball as an analogy, because even though the stadium might change, the game is still on. Though an old codger may not hit it out of the park, a line drive still counts :adoration:
 

KenC

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there is never any kind of advice or tutorials given to rectify the problems which would or should improve the whole groups images mine included.

there seems to be a kind of cold war attitude amongst the better people.

In my experience (three camera clubs over the years) they fixate on competitions and on certain technical flaws and there often seems to be little else going on. In one competition one of the member judges gave most of the images a very low score based on the fact that they were "not sharp," which means they did not look perfectly sharp when projected at a size of about four feet on the long side and viewed by him from about four feet away. In my opinion this quest for ultimate sharpness is foolish because many wonderful images that will appear perfectly sharp as 11x14 prints viewed at arm's length will be tossed out in favor of images that appear equally sharp as prints but look a little sharper projected, even if the former are better images in terms of composition, etc.

They also tend to think of composition in terms of "rules," of which they have about five or six, some of which are not consistent with what you can read about composition in some of the classic books on the subject. It may help to take a little break from that environment and go shoot what you want how you want.

It makes me very sad to hear about the "cold war" thing - the club I am in currently, for all its flaws, does not have this problem.
 

table1349

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So pace yourself, don't try to be a one hit wonder or

You lost me here are using baseball as an analogy, because even though the stadium might change, the game is still on. Though an old codger may not hit it out of the park, a line drive still counts :adoration:
Your place, Her place, someone else's place, walmart/anyplace.
 

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