During the past two weeks, my posts have decreased significantly. It’s a combination of almost no free time at all due to work and other obligations, and to a lack of inspiration. Writers refer to it as “writer’s block” and it seems that the same has happened to me.
The process of creating an interesting photo requires from the photographer to be in the mood to make images. If there’s a lack of inspiration, then it’s very difficult to produce good photos. I had written some time ago about my gradual lack of interest to landscape photography which had been my main subject for almost two years. My second favorite subject was street photography but I don’t have the time to make long walks in the cities I visit in order to find good compositions.
So, the one thing I can do is go back to landscapes which is easier for me since I travel a lot by car. When I bought my first good camera, the Nikon D300, I would shoot hundreds of images every day, since it was a huge step from the compact camera I owned (a Panasonic Lumix FZ-8). Then, I got seriously involved with film and that of course made me more selective since films costs money. It also made me more disciplined with digital cameras since I didn’t like spending my time searching and processing through a workflow of hundreds of photos.
Eventually, I stopped shooting subjects which I knew I would surely delete them instantly when viewing them on my computer. On a full day of taking images, I will probably return home with no more than 30 photos, and when shooting medium format film, the frames shot are not more than 10-15 images.
These days, I will probably shoot no more than 10 images when I got out for making images, even I shoot with a digital camera. I tend to bypass subjects that I would surely try to capture a year ago and only bother to photograph things that really excite me.
Now, about cameras. I have settled to the Sony NEX 5N as my main walk around digital camera. It’s small and light with a great sensor and many automations in case I need them. It also has great ISO performance (also in case I need it). The RMT-DSLR1 remote control allows for long exposures which is something I have been experimenting with lately and the fantastic OLED viewfinder allows me to shoot better.
The above image was a hasty morning shot, which I snapped just before getting into my car. There was good light and the clouds made a difference so I took the shot. I did a levels adjustment and added some sharpness using the Photogene app for iPad (the Retina display on the new iPad ally makes a difference when viewing and processing images). The flexibility of small camera like the NEX allowed this scene to be captured since I wouldn’t have bothered taking the time to setup a larger camera.
Now, the image above is one I should have taken the time to capture with my Fotoman 612 panoramic camera (which I had with me that day). Loaded with Ilford Pan F 50 ISO film and with a red filter attached on the lens, I am sure it would produce a great photo where the strange cloud would appear on a black contrasty sky. Instead I chose to use my Sony NEX which was a few seconds procedure, while the Fotoman would require a more careful process of setting it up on a tripod, get a proper metering with my Sekonic, adjust for depth of field, etc. The final result would be a genuine black and white film image which scanned at 4000dpi could make a huge print. So, that’s to what I am referring when talking about a lack of inspiration and the “consequences” of it.
This is by no means meant to be a pessimistic article. I am sure many photographers will eventually get in this situation and I am sure it’s just a phase. I just wanted to share my point of view for something that it’s natural to occur. By looking at the image with the strange cloud above I will just use it as an excuse next time to overcome my boredom and shoot a good subject properly !!
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.