Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Look Back

by Leigh


Do you ever glance back through your archives and wonder what happened to that photographer? I was going through my Flickr stream the other day and what I found was a different artist than I am now.   What came across the screen to me was a pure love of photography and a no holds barred creativity.  

Currently…I just feel ho hum about photography.  Perhaps it's a lack of inspiration, but I think what it really might be is that I know too much.  Yep, you read that right. I think we study so hard to learn our craft that we get wrapped up in the technical aspects.  And sometimes the focus on the technical aspects outweighs the creative flow.  ISO, depth of field, composition, white balance, exposure compensation….all these words running through my head and I just want it to stop!  


So how do we stop over thinking things?  How do we get back to that instinctual shooting that we had early on?  well…I don't really know.  I was hoping you guys could help me with that!  Maybe it's going on more photo walks instead of planned photo shoots.  Maybe it's just getting outside and shooting…a lot.  Or maybe it's just a matter of shutting my brain off.  If only I could figure out how to do that.



I guess it all boils down to feeling more and thinking less which is easier said than done.  That instinctual shooting still happens with my phone.   That inspired feeling is still there and the photos seem to convey that.  I don't over think it because there aren't that many technical things to fiddle with.  

see…..feel…..shoot

The emotion and feeling is captured easily and effortlessly.  I want that feeling again with my Nikon.  I want to fall in love with it all over again.  Anyone else in the same boat?



"An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration.  You always have to be ready for that little artistic Epiphany."
~Nick Cave





16 comments:

AFishGirl said...

Very interesting, Leigh. I don't have a smartphone so that's not an option for me. I have my old point and shoot and the DSLR. It is, at times, a chore to pack up all the lens and tripod and go out. I often put the 50mm on and go, one backup battery. While fishing I take the point and shoot. It's definitely easier to not have choices at some times. I hear you. And yes, the early days where everything is beautiful and the rush to capture it all. Hmmmm. You've got me thinking. Thanks. This blog is great for that. I'm reading a good book now by Dani Shapiro about the writing habit and the whole "muse" thing. It translates well to any artistic medium. My two cents, we somehow have to see with new eyes again, And again, and again. Get the fever, so to speak, to get it all captured. I'll think and come back if anything strikes me.

Dotti said...

There is a fine line between contemplative photography and shooting with our hearts. If they can't be accomplished together, then I say throw out the contemplation and go for the heart. But that's a different thing than getting all wrapped up in the technical stuff. I think we need to make a decision on what settings to use and then go with the flow. The photos in this post are awesome, tender ... your heart does shine through. It's as we always say ... just shoot through it. It will come.

Deirdre Haber Malfatto said...

Gorgeous photos in this post!!!

I keep my dslr strap long, so I can carry it over my shoulder, keep a relatively lightweight lens on it, use a hood and ditch the lens cap, and wear it all the time, inside and out, like an accessory. I sometimes stick an extra lens in my purse, but not always -- I usually just live with whatever lens I have on until I get tired of it and then switch. I never got the phone camera bug, but I'm wondering if you just started carrying the dslr so it is always ready and you tried, for a few days, to not use your phone but only your dslr, it would reawaken something for you? This isn't to say I don't get burned out at times, but the first rule for me is to always have my camera with me and ready for shooting.

Cathy H. said...

I do agree that all the technology can damper the moments of awe and the quick moments we shoot from the heart. I can look back and see those moments and wonder why I don't have as many now. You've given me something to think about. I'm going to try to stick a lens on, go out, and just capture what my eyes see, not worrying about settings and techniques and just see what happens.

Cathy said...

Leigh, you are speaking right to me I know it. This is exactly how I have been feeling lately. We work so hard to become friendly with our camera and yet there are times we lose sight of seeing. I know I sure struggle with this. Some of my older photos are not as sharp, maybe not composed right but they seem to have more heart. There has to be a balance. This is such a great post and your photos are amazing. Thanks so much! oxox

Viv@within the Frame said...

You are speaking to me too. I am trying to rekindle the joy and wonder of photography. I think I am done with technique for now and I'm going to shoot from the heart

terriporter said...

Can you tell by reading the comments that each of us has experienced this? I know my "passion" kind of ebbs and flows and I'm never sure quite why that happens. I do enjoy the "fly by the seat of my pants" shooting with my iPhone but tend to overthink things with my DSLR. Overthinking never makes for a happy photographer! But I think you nailed it when you talked about shooting from the heart. That last photo surely qualifies as that! And the advice shared here by others is all good. How wonderful that we have this place so we can all hear that we're not the only ones experiencing this? Thanks, Leigh, for this post. I know you have us all thinking today!

Cathy H. said...

Leigh, I just kept thinking about this post today, so I did what I said I was going to. I took my little point and shoot camera, went outside, and just happily snapped away! It was truly enjoyable! Thanks for making me realize that it's not always about the technical side of things. I also wanted to let you know that I posted about it on my blog and mentioned this post and quoted you. Thanks again!

Barb Brookbank said...

That's what I love about phone photography so much - no pressure! I'm just out capturing moments. I've had over 200 instagram photos printed i the last year. Guess how many of my DSLR shots are printed? Zero.

Barb Brookbank said...

Forgot to say how gorgeous your images are! I love the little girl on the swing!

Lisa said...

Just gorgeous. Yes I look back but I carry my camera each day. I love it still. Its been a while for me .

Loved your blog.

Carol said...

I think there's a bigger picture too. Before the trip I just went on, our teacher made a Very Big Point about telling us not to forget to be in the moment. You ar in this spot ( whether home or away) for only a moment, so take the time to be in it, even if that means less pictures. To the observer, I wasn't very good at it -I still took a million, but I was doing it internally,sitting on a beach, or in a cathedral. I think this way you preserve your enthusiasm, and get less but better pictures. Don't give up, Leigh -you're too good ! These pictures are great!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I totally agree with that not overthinking aspect when shooting with my phone. I just take it out and snap away, kind of a creative freedom. If I don't like it I just delete it. Probably why in the Summer I turn to my photo a lot. I can capture memories and fun outings without overthinking the whole event.

kelly said...

it's always interesting to me leigh to hear another photographer whom i greatly admire share their frustrations about feeling unispired. i think all to often we compare work to either the work of other photographers or even worse (in my case) what i feel like my photos SHOULD look like. it's so hard to be objective about our own work. as the queen of overthinking things, if what makes you happy now is to shoot with your iphone, then you should do that. photography should be fun right? that's what i keep telling myself. :)

Deanna said...

Don't you think we all reach a point in our photography lives when that inspiration hits a wall and we wonder how to get it back?? I agree, sometimes we do overthink and try to capture perfection and in doing so we lose that heart. I don't have an answer, I just think we all experience that stumbling block.

susan said...

I'm so glad you touched base on this. Remember when we all met online in Tracy Clark's Picture class? Remember those daily prompts? I believe, through her gentle use of words and image…she really helped us all to shoot-from-our-heart…what we were feeling at the moment. She taught us to not only notice 'life' around us…but to connect with our inner feelings and express it through photography.

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