I’m lagging behind!

Those last months I have been seriously lagging behind with my photography.161206 - Ricoh GR1 - Ilford HP5+ (35)

There’s good and bad reasons behing that. First of course my foot surgery prevented me from running about making nice pictures. But it did not prevent me from writing posts. In fact, I have never posted as much as when I was sitting idly at home.

Then I have been in a nice kidney-stone-episode those last weeks. Yes. the fun never stops for me!170901 - Olympus XA2 - Lomo Lady Grey (31)

But it’s been months now that I’m mobile again and those darn kidney stones don’t bother me ALL the time, so why am I not out with a camera in hand?

It’s not only photography that’s on the back burner for the moment. I’m following a number of great blogs (Thanks Dan, Josh, Hamish, James, and Chroma – whatever your real name is, and of course all the other great blogs I can’t all name here). I love to read what they write and look at their photos but I have a serious backlog of posts to view. Can’t simply manage to shake myself up and sit down to an hour or two of marveling at theis posts and writing meaningless comments.170901 - Olympus XA2 - Lomo Lady Grey (33)

Not that I’m terribly busy otherwise. It rather seems that I’m slow in every possible way of dealing with life those last weeks. Listless I call it! Life seems dull, the streets are dull… and even when I have my XA2 with me I often can’t get bothered to take it out of my pocket. Unbelievable, really!

I’d love to go out and make photos, I’d love to write more posts, I’d love to read more posts and interact with you more. But I’m stuck! I post the odd old photo, I write some more or less meaningless stuff, illustrated again by old photos…

If there’s something like writer’s block for us  I think I caught the virus.

Photographer’s block…img_0149

And that’s where you come in! Did you experience this too some time in your lives? What did you do to get over it?

Thanks for your precious input and thanks for being here!

24 thoughts on “I’m lagging behind!

  1. I don’t get a block, my problem is finding the time to shoot. Because I work permanent nights I’m forever tried at the weekends so I need motivating to get out and about.
    So whenever I’m parked up in the lorry having a break I will watch videos on photography documentary’s or programs work of famous photographers, such as Joel Meyerowitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, Gordon Parks and Bill Cunningham. Most I find on Youtube, I have been looking more at street photography of late, so I watched a documentary called ‘Everybody Street’ last week. Try it, works for me!

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    • Getting ideas online is great but I found that Youtube was stealing a lot of my time. One vid leads to the next and donw you go into a rabbit hole… and an hour or two are gone.

      Of course it’s hard when life and work keeps you from photography. And who am I to try to motivate you…

      Any chance you might use your breaks or the time before and after climbing into the lorry for photography?

      Thanks for chiming in!

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    • Watching Béla Tarr films and social realism b/w films and documentaries usually gets me in the mood. I think it’s a question of having project. BTW Matt Weber dunno if you know his stuff, drove a NYC taxi in the 80s and shot most of stuff though the window. Or how about when you’re parked up or transport caffs for a subject, maybe a series about work life like Jim Mortram’s
      Might sound dull but it’s a view on life not everyone sees. Just some thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wish I always could, I got home at 7 am this morning, having showered, eaten dinner and talked to all of you its time for bed at 9 am.
    4 pm my wife will get me up and I’ll go to work at 4:30 pm. Get into the Mercedes Actros truck and after checks, drive to Purfleet docks where I will pick up a fridge trailer full of Tropicana juice and take it to Haverhill, Cambridge.
    Return to the docks with the empty, and repeat the process. I will probably get home around 6 am tomorrow morning… back to bed for a few hours!

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  3. Frank, a couple of things come to mind.

    First, something I read in one of the simplicity/minimalist blogs I followed years ago was super helpful. They said however many websites and blogs you follow, instead of thinking you need to “keep up” with them all, reframe how you look them. When you visit one, instead of thinking “I need to catch up”, just think “I’m checking in”.

    Rather than sitting constantly by the rushing river (that is the internet!) trying to spot every last fish that passes, instead maybe just amble down to the river once a day and see what’s there at that moment. Then leave it again and pop back to check in (not catch up) another day.

    We can’t keep up with everything, so why try to?

    I love this trick and still think like this these days, even though I don’t follow much stuff.

    The other thing I thought was that nothing around photography seems to be much fun for you at the moment. Your post reads like everything is a chore, an effort. If we’re not enjoying photography (and it’s surrounding activities) then it’s hard to get motivated to do it.

    So, what can you do that’s simple and fun?

    And maybe if you can’t find much fun right now you just need a break from using cameras. Just go for walks without cameras and observe what’s going on without any intention of capturing it.

    Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good advice! Thanks. I’ll look for something simple and fun! And perhaps you’re right about leaving the cameras for a bit. Going out and look, without constraints and that naggin that I should have made a photo.

      For the mement I’m really in a dark phase, but that’s (hopefully) going to change one day soon.

      As for the blogs I follow, they are not very many anyways. Nonetheless I like to keep up with the best of them, like yours!

      Gotta put some effort in my days I think.

      Think positive, love humanity and enjoy life! Thanks a lot for your help!

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      • Another option of course Frank is, if you’re in a dark phase, let that guide the photography. I’m not sure if you know Wouter Brandsma, but following his blog over a period of years you can see how some of his work is much darker than others, in subject and literally in colour or lack of. His emotion comes through in the pictures he makes. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to explore this in your work…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a roll of FP4 Plus in one of the cameras in my day bag, and a roll of HP5 Plus in the other one, both frame counters are on zero, and they’ve been that way for a week. What I sometimes do when this happens is set up a camera for closeups and take some pictures of whatever happens to be on the dining room table. I should really go downstairs and do that now, but here I am commenting on your blog instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, the idea is great so let’s do it!! But no, I have a roll in the Leica IIIa with a close up limit of 70cm and one in the XA2 which is at 1.2m…. no close ups. Gotta think harder! 😉

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  5. I find that having a easily accessible default subject and setup for when I find myself in the doldrums will often get me taking pictures again.

    (I just took two closeups of the newspaper and a cup of coffee using the Visoflex and 65/3.5 Elmar on the IIIf. We’ll see where it goes from here.)

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  6. I don’t think your posts or comments are meaningless Frank, I very much enjoy looking forward to seeing your posts in my news feed! Not to mention I find some of them Inspiring to my own photography.

    I think inspiration is very much cyclical, even if you love something, there’s no way you will always feel 100 percent inspired or creative. Maybe it’s life’s way of telling us there something else we need to focus on at the moment or maybe it’s just a momentary lull in an otherwise enjoyable passion.

    If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only one out there that’s suffering writers block or photographers block, or whatever we want to call it. I am struggling to get out and make photographs and if I do, Im never happy with the results and trash the batch.

    Sometimes it’s good to step back and sometimes it’s helpful to look or revisit a book from one of your favourite photographers! I’ve come across a Time Life magazine book set from the 70’s that I’m hoping will help give me a little direction. (It’s definitely funny reading their theories on the future of cameras from the lens of the 70’s!)

    Or perhaps sometimes it’s nice to just go for a walk without the camera and try to just enjoy each moment or instance without always worrying about whether or not we captured that perfect frame, but actually experience it! That way, next time your out with your camera you will have a better sense of when you’ll want to press that shutter switch. Then perhaps the inspiration will return.

    I personally am also a fan of the quality over quantity in regards to posts, so I’m sure when you find what your looking for, the inspiration will return and you will no doubt continue to inspire those around you!

    All the best in your search! God speed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks a lot!

      It’s twice now that I get the advice to leave the camera at home and go for a walk and just enjoy it…. that makes sense.

      I’ll definitely do that

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  7. Well I think this sort of stale time thing happens to everyone. But on the other hand the time is usually spent usefully “thinking about photography” (or rather why you’re not taking pictures) while you’re walking around, seeing what pictures you could make, maybe watching art-house films, looking at other people’s pictures, paintings and artwork in galleries etc, which is just as useful and part of the creative experience – a kind of re-charging of creative batteries.

    As for “lagging behind” I have personally found that by not blogging at all, either words or pictures on social media, I don’t feel any pressure. It’s all digitally-induced artifice.

    Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics, which is the real premise of minimalism. To me minimalism isn’t about having one sophisticated camera-editing suite and online posting facility in one hand eg an iPhone or whatever, it’s about a lack of sophistication and learning to do something basic technology, re-learning if you like. r.

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    • Minimalism is a fascinating concept. I have been tempted for some time but what is minimalism…. will it not boil down to just an iPhone for example and nothing more. Your all in one device, replacing phone, camera, books…

      Or is minimalism a return to basics with film and darkroom, real books etc. Not very minimalistic, if you consider space usage and number of appliances…

      The concept of just using a single device for a lot of things is appealing. Travelling light, no ballast…

      Minimalist or old fashioned?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dunno about space, all my film developing stuff goes on one shelf until the sink above the bleach and washing powders etc. My enlarger folds down into a suitcase. My darkroom is my bathroom.

        I’m quite sure there is no one strict definition of minimalism when it comes to the material world as minimalism came out of a form of expression, not as a form of modern-day asceticism or a trendy counter-culture to the excesses of western materialism (although people are making professions and money out of this by writing books, sermonizing and mavening on about and so on). But why should anyone really, really be happier by having their entire music, book library, software, cameras, friends on something in their pocket? Minimalism is nothing to do with possessions, it’s a state of mind.

        What is minimal to one person is not minimal to another just as much as what photography is to one person is not photography to another. It is after all, a form of artistic expression. However, as such I really don’t think social media and Web 2 has anything at all to do with photography so in my view equipment that links the lens with it, although interesting, is superfluous. For me, photography is not about posting photographs on social media and social media is no longer even an essential extension of practice. Social media (and the psychological pressures it brings) is just a form of self-promotion and marketing. Which in material terms unless it translates into money or material suck-cess, is completely useless. But that’s only my view, of course.

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      • Yes, I guess minimalism is not so much about material possessions but rather a mind-set. It’s about eliminating the distractions that keep us from doing what we like in the way we like to have it done. Reading on an iPhone or iPad has constant distractions built in. Using your phone as your camera has the same problem. The constant connectedness of our lives is really not helping productivity.

        And certainly not creativity!

        I think your view is absolutely correct. Minimalism is concentrating on what you do, on what you like to do. And doing it with the tools you have on hand. It’s certainly not about having your whole world in your pocket.

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