Anyway, I was going to post some of my recent photos and put red circles around the parts of them that I hated, my composition mistakes and my lighting mistakes, but I couldn't make myself stare at my work any longer than I had too this morning. Truth is that it will all get better and I'll pull off a shot soon that will excite me and invigorate me once again I just know it. Part of the fun and pain has been our new studio. I've really enjoyed having it and shooting in it, and it feels great. It also is still not done partly because we have been busy, and that is getting frustrating (not being busy, I like that, but working in an incomplete space is kinda irritating). Also each month brings.....rent.....and it hasn't been an issue at all yet but unlike before when we ran the business out of my home, I have it in the back of my head that part of my effort each month goes to keeping a roof over our heads.
All this bellyaching isn't meant to be so gloomy. Remember, I've watched that video in this post a good half dozen times since it was originally made. I know it gets better, I'll hit that perfect picture that will make me excited, I'll land that big job, and I'll get that new technique down that I'll then overuse until I'm sick of it. As Zach did I am bringing models through our studio working with them, trying to find something new in my photography. Something exciting and inventive, and trying to discern the subtle differences between my lighting and what I like and what I don't like.
I recently had a young fellow in that wanted some photos and let me play with my film camera for a while. He wasn't in the mood to smile, but to me it was fine, it suited me at the time. What was cool for me was throwing a Pocket Wizard on my Olympus OM-4t with some black and white Illford film in it and using my light meter to nail the exposure on his face. I was using a 50mm f1.8 Zuiko lens so I had to be pretty close to him for these intimate head shots, and the camera works slowly so it was a connection I don't often feel when I work digitally. It was one step toward feeling my photography again, and a connection with photographers in the past that I admire.
I actually brought that camera around with me quite a bit this year and each time I get a roll developed I get those nice surprises of images that I love. Film gives you that feeling of throwing the dice in the air and wondering which number, which image will pop up as your favourite. No doubt I stack those dice with my choices in the camera, but surprises always happen, like this image I took of my Godsons at the local market this summer.
It was such a moment, a snapshot yes, but a moment and I still get all giddy about the tones and grain of film.
I had a model I worked with a couple times this year email me and ask for a shoot next week so we are going out to play with some ideas. Spencer, a photographer friend (I know you're reading this Spencer!) had an idea for playing with an old gas mask I had (don't ask) so we are going to have some fun with that. I know it's been done, but we'll do it better.
I also get to deliver some portraits today that were made at our local Help Portrait event which I took part is as one of about 8 photographers. Come to think of it, that was the day that I started to feel that I suck at my craft. But the reward of giving printed photos to families was really gratifying and I know I'll get a kick out of making the deliveries today for another photographer that is busy with his brand new baby son.
So I guess the point of my post today is this, when you are feeling like a hack, when you are pretty sure you should hang up the camera for good, just push yourself through it, keep fighting and making images. You'll eventually excite yourself again and be better for it. Do something different, shoot film, dust off a lens you never use, shoot video, photograph models, photograph pets, whatever. Heck, just blog, it's writing therapy and it works for me!
I'll leave you with a little time lapse I did of my setup, tear-down and shoot of a model a couple of weeks ago. I used the new little Pentax W90 I bought. I picked this camera up mostly for this very purpose, time lapse. A review is coming soon, I just want to try a few other things with it first.