Thursday, 28 January 2016

My photography mojo

On APUG the other day was a thread about losing your enthusiasm for the old photography thing from time to time.  The question posed, more or less, was 'Is this a natural state of events?'.

A good question - better than the ones 'Is X sharper/better than Y?' and other such nonsense you get from time to time.  Having said that, APUG is better than a lot of other Internet forums (fora?) and occasionally even has threads from which you can learn something...

The general consensus appeared to be that Yes this is a normal occurrence, stick with it, don't sell any gear and wait for your enthusiasm to return, which it eventually will.

Personally speaking (Ed: Funny turn of phrase that - isn't all speaking personal?) I find there are times when indeed the enthusiasm to lift any camera, no matter how small, and do anything remotely interesting with it is somewhat lacking.  However, the benefit of having a darkroom, I notice, is that sometimes if my interest wanes on the photograph-taking side of things, my interest in printing remains relatively healthy and so I can potter about under the enlarger for manys-an-hour and print some negs from the Archives that I have neglected up to now.  I find printing rewarding - probably since it is completing the life-cycle that started with the opening of the shutter.  Rewarding in a way that digital never did for me...even when I could be bothered to upload the digital images to some far-away website and some days later get prints in your hand, it just didn't have the same feeling of accomplishment ('I did that') for me.

Aside: here's a shot of the old Salmon fishery cottage down by Portstewart - one of the few they haven't knocked down yet...

Quite beautiful, I think, the way the cottage looks like it is has almost grown organically out of the rock formation behind it.  The upstairs door is intriguing...a safe way out when the waves are crashing in through the front door maybe?  Strangely I seemed to have got the exposure about right for once and HP5/ID-11 did the rest.

So where was I?  Oh yes, enthusiasm and all that.  Well, sometimes my mojo comes back relatively quickly.  And sometimes it doesn't and I just snap away somewhat randomly to keep my hand in sort of thing.  I try not to let it bother me much, recognise it for what it is and have faith that things will change.  In the meantime I just kind of ignore it.  Perhaps I should name it - like Churchill and his Black Dog.  Perhaps such periods of rest are important, you know, before something sparks inside and off I go again.

This time of year doesn't help - the light, what light there is in The Liberties at the minute, is so dull and flat it is hard to get any enthusiasm for outdoor photography.  Maybe that's it - set up a wee table-top studio and photograph some lifeless things.  Perhaps.


  1. Yes, I think it's quite a normal thing... you know, lack of inspiration and total lack of interest.
    No, this time of year certainly doesn't help much at all...! The light, whenever it exists at all, is not very much calling for me to lift my camera hand at all.
    Then again, I'm old enough to know that things will pass. There will be days after this, when the light shines down and everything looks a bit more pleasing :)
    Great text, and simply a lovely snap from a beautiful place! I would love to be able to go see this, some day...

    1. Roy thanks for taking the time to comment my friend. Some light would be good, for sure :)