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Old October 10th, 2006, 09:09 PM
Michael Brown Michael Brown is offline
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Default "I Can't" -- A Photographer's Phrase From Hell!

Yesterday I received a letter here at home in South Carolina from a young lady in Germany.
It was a very personal letter telling me of what she had been through and the rough times in the past 2 years, some of the wonderful things she is going through now and especially with her photography, and about her hopes and dreams for the future.
All of this came about from one of the ramblings on my blog that she had read some months ago.
Even though I am not a writer, (I just talk a awful lot), maybe I will continue to write honestly what I feel in my world of photography, ..... to be more open with it.
Looks like maybe I did something good, and thought I would post it here!

"I Can't" --- A Photographer's Phrase From Hell!
January 2006



Those two words, "I can't", is one of the most common phrases that you will hear from photographers or artists and especially from those who are just learning their craft. It is the phrase that will often bring a individual down into the depths of where they will never want to be. You will never get to where you want to be in photography if you continually and verbally speak those words. It is "not" a good thing!

Yet, ... it just recently happened to me, but this is the image that brought me back from that hell!

It was the last few weeks of September and into October of 2005, that I found myself in one of the worst creative funks that I had ever experienced. At that time, I did not know what brought all of that on to me. Sitting in the chair, no urge to do anything really! I felt that I did not want to go out and shoot, not to get on the computer to do some much needed editing, not to visit my favorite photography forum, ... it was a bit maddening. Things just did not seem right. Nothing seemed right! Things seemed to be so repetitive, even the dozen or so top news stories seemed to be repeated every 30 seconds on television. Was it depression? Depression can come at you in so many different ways and blind side you. But no, I don't think that was the case here.

So what was the problem?
As I said, I was beginning to wonder if it was depression but then thought about how I did not hesitate to get out with my sons, to go out and play with the dog, talk with the neighbors, do a bit of gardening, ... but I did not want to pick up a camera, ... or did I?
Yes, deep down inside I realized that I wanted to shoot but found myself not being able to think about what to shoot, or how I would wanted to shoot something. Just could not concentrate on it at all!

One day I was sitting in the chair and listening to that news that simply kept repeating itself, when I looked over into the computer room and then looked at the camera bag sitting up on the desk. I thought to myself, ... "I can't".
I cut the television off and sat there in silence for awhile, and it seemed that my dog Flash could sense that something was not right at all, as he jumped up into my lap and layed his head on my chest.
I kept thinking about how I would like to get out and shoot, but I can't think of what to shoot or how I want to shoot, I can't get myself in a creative mood, I can't see any kind of vision at all of what I want to do in photography, ..... I can't, ...

Well damn it, "yes I can" I thought to myself.
I then got up off my ass, went over to the bag and pulled out the camera and lens with a couple of reflectors and headed for the back door of the house. I stopped for a moment, and asked myself did I want to go out and see if I could find something that inspires me?
This is when I decided not to "hope" that I find something outside, but to "take" what was "given" to me, and to create from that.
I decided before I even opened up that door, that I was going to shoot the very first and closest thing at the bottom of the steps with foliage no matter what it was or what it looked like, shoot it creatively, and not come back inside until I had something that appealed to me.
I came across this lone plant at the bottom of those steps coming out of the ground and at about 4 or 5 inches in height. It was somewhat seperated from other little grasses/weeds. I noticed how it seemed to stand out. "I noticed"!
That was a part of my problem, "not noticing" things. My eyes were open but my mind was not.
Couple that with those words from hell "I can't", and suddenly I realized that I had been in the worst of "burn outs" that I had ever known.
Not just in photography, but in anything that you long to do, those words "I can't" can kill whatever goals and creative juices you may have. I honestly think that those words nearly did me in, at least in the world of photography.

I shot this small plant with different lenses, different lighting, some close, some from a distance and shooting it through other foliage, ... I was creating again.
This image appealed to me.

This image here has shown me that "I can". It has shown me that "I can" shoot whatever my visions are for a given subject. "I can" pick myself right back up after falling down. "I can" enjoy photography. "I can" enjoy creating again and "I can" have some fun. "I can" find beauty in this world of ours!
If you ever say those words "I can't", then you should also say to yourself "it's only temporary", because I know good and damn well that you can!

When I was a little kid and would tell my mom that "I can't" do something, she would always say, "Can't never could do anything"!

Please don't ever tell me that you can't do something!
Is 2006 your year? Can you do it? Can you get where you want to be in your photography? Can you be patient and simply work hard at it? Can you take "one step" at a time? Can you answer "yes" to all of these questions?

I can!


** Well, ..... if there is one thing in this world though that "I can't" do, that is, to cook like my mom!
She is surely a notch above most southern cooks!! : )
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  #2  
Old October 10th, 2006, 09:55 PM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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Inspiring image *and* commentary Michael. Thanks for posting it.

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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:23 AM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Michael, I love the emphasis you put on the stem, with all the rest a bit blurred.

How lovely the soft green colors are!

Now, yesterday I had an epiphany, consequent on a little tutoring in a PM e-mail from Sean DeMerchant about my side-view mushroom shots. When I made them, I didn't know about the macro button on my G2. If others here had been trying to tell me about it, it wasn't sinking in. Anyway, Sean linked me to a Canon website clearly showing the "flower" button.

As soon as I had pushed it, I nearly went crazy shooting close-ups, trying to keep the point of interest in the little square. Most shots were blurred--some because I couldn't maintain the focus, some because a little breeze *would* blow the ends of the holly or dogwood branches about.

So I started shooting subjects on the ground. Here's a favorite I came up with.

Your brave little plant inspires me to share it here:

Lichens Under the Maple Tree



This was a piece of bark, long peeled off and fallen to the ground below the large old tree in my front yard.

One thing I learned from my morning's experimentation was that shooting in light shade works better for me than trying to capture the image in sunlight. The contrasts in sunlight tend to result in blown highlights that I haven't quite mastered the in-camera settings to prevent.

I still didn't get the focus on a single lichen, as I was trying to do. Always it blurred out. So I backed off and shot the entire lichen-covered piece of bark.

Mary
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Old October 11th, 2006, 02:15 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Smile Thanks for sharing Michael

Michael, very inspiring and well written. I like the photo very much. Thanks for sharing all this with us. Recently, my camera has been left untouched due to similar reasons. I never seem to be able to make the time to go out and take pictures. Now I'm decided to change that :-).

Mary, I personally think that this is one of the best pictures you have posted on the board so far. I like the colours, deep shadows and the composition. Great picture! Keep on practising. (PS: Do you use a tripod?)

Cheers,

Cem

(edited to correct a typo)
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Old October 11th, 2006, 02:28 AM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Brown
Well damn it, "yes I can" I thought to myself.
How true Michael (and a great shot).

As a small kid my favorite book I'd ask my dad to read over and over to me was "The Little Engine that Could". I-think-I can, I-think-I can, I-think-I can ... I-know-I-can, I-know-I-can, I-know-I-can ... I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could. (voice intoned like a engine choo-chooing), Called "creative visualization" in more modern terms. We create our world - it is not imposed on us.

- DL
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Old October 11th, 2006, 03:36 AM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lashier
How true Michael (and a great shot).
Yes, it really is so true. And a brilliant shot.

And it is so satisfying that his blog helped someone halfway around the world, who took the time to tell him that it had helped her.

I haven't been in the "I can't" doldrums about my photography, but I would experience something like that about my French horn playing, back in the 1990s, when I was taking weekly private lessons. Sometimes the technique would just seem beyond me, as if practice would never get me there.

Then--I had a really great teacher--only a small adjustment in perspective would set me to trying again; or sometimes my teacher would be able to give one small tip, and suddenly the particular technique would be my own.

Quote:
As a small kid my favorite book I'd ask my dad to read over and over to me was "The Little Engine that Could". I-think-I can, I-think-I can, I-think-I can ... I-know-I-can, I-know-I-can, I-know-I-can ... I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could. (voice intoned like a engine choo-chooing), Called "creative visualization" in more modern terms.
I used to read that book to my own children. It was a favorite, asked for over-and-over. They got to where they would intone the "choo-choo" chant with me, and shout out loud at the end, "I knew I could!"

So much fun.
Quote:
We create our world - it is not imposed on us.
And we're lucky to have good bodies and brains with which to create it.

Mary
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:03 AM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem Usakligil
Michael, very inspiring and well written. I like the photo very much. Thanks for sharing all this with us. Recently, my camera has been left untouched due to similar reasons. I never seem to be able to make the time to go out and take pictures. Now I'm decided to change that :-).
Another success story for Michael's interesting, inspiring blog, then.
Quote:
Mary, I personally think that this is one of the best pictures you have posted on the board so far. I like the colours, deep shadows and the composition. Great picture! Keep on practising. (PS: Do you use a tripod?)
Thanks, Cem. It's nice to have a validating comment. I liked it enough myself to put it through a few manipulations in LightZone. I cropped it slightly, warmed the temperature the merest hair--that really helped the leaf color to pop out--reduced some noise. I tried saturating it a bit, but that killed it. So I undid the saturation and saved the image and then exported it.

It was, unfortunately, already a jpeg. My camera view-screen kept going black when I tried to focus, and retracting the zoom lens. I kept turning it on and off, trying to get the lens to stay out, and I must have slipped the mode ring from P to jpeg during all that. I have to say that I'm a slow learner. This had happened to me last month; and the cause is a low battery. Surely I'll remember after this.

Back to the experience surrounding the shot: I came in the house, put in the spare battery, and turned the camera back on. Simply didn't double-check that it was in P--so, shot unintentionally in jpeg not RAW, this whole series using the G2 Macro button.

I had a hard time to get the light just right to my eyes. Finally I picked up the piece of bark and propped it against a fallen branch, intentionally placing it near the russet leaf.

So, this is not a "documentary" shot. I somewhat set it up.

Because Michael Brown is an expert with Macro Art in Nature, I decided to put the shot here rather than in the Retouch, Repair forum. Additionally, it was accidentally shot in jpeg, so I wouldn't have had the RAW files to offer there.
Quote:
(PS: Do you use a tripod?)
I have a new tripod, and I am learning to use it. However, I didn't bother with it for this series of shots. I was shooting holly berries several inches above my head, and dogwood as it is just coming into fruit, looking down at the ends of branches where the berry was showing gray among colorful red and green bracts. Because of the varied subject matter and its locations, many yards apart, I did not practice with the tripod for the shots I made yesterday morning.

Mary
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Old October 11th, 2006, 08:42 AM
Michael Brown Michael Brown is offline
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Thanks gang!

Hey Mary, ... I like the simplicity of that shot, and one that is not often seen.
If the light gets a bit harsh at times and you need to diffuse that light, what I use many times is a simple white picnic plate. It can really cut down on the light but still allow enough through to help balance some of the highlight/shadow areas.
Yes, ... picnic plates. The styrofoam type works best. Works for me just fine, ... and cheap too!

Don, ... I still have my "Little Engine That Could" book from when I was a little snot nose kid.
It will become one of those hand me down heirlooms I guess!

Cem, ... glad to see that maybe some spoken words simply gave a kick-start to your photography.
Now, ... go get creative buddy and let us see the results. And, ... make sure you have some fun while you are at it too!

Nil, ... thanks! If what I have written can inspire someone, well, ... that's what we all are here for!


I guess something along these lines of what I wrote about happens to everyone at some point.
Picking yourself back up off of that floor can be a bit difficult at times, and I am sure that it will happen again to me some day.
I will just remind myself that I can do anything with my photography that I want to do. I just have to get up and make it happen!

Take care gang, and again, ... thanks!
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Old November 5th, 2006, 07:28 AM
Sven Bernert Sven Bernert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Brown
I then got up off my ass [...] to "take" what was "given" […] and to create from that …
Michael, I keep coming back to this post (and I keep visiting your blog btw. ) I find those things you’re talking about to be an essential part of our being. “Getting off my butt” (outside job and the related travel) to me is currently the most critical part of that process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Brown
Even though I am not a writer [...]
ROFL!

Best,
Sven
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Old November 5th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Michael,

I really love your work. Could you share how you finally made that picture. It would be so instructive to retrace your struggle and exploration. Even a sampling of some of the steps with different positions and lenses would be a privilege to be able to share!

Asher
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Old November 6th, 2006, 04:46 AM
Daniel Harrison Daniel Harrison is offline
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I suffer from a similar problem, not that I can't but that I don't have time. Without my macro lens I deide that there is nothing to shoot in the very close vivinity and I don't have time to go elsewhere. Well maybe I should just get off my rear and find something, or perhaps I will just stay here and buy a macro lens :-) but I just bought a 17-40mm, hmm why did I do that! So looks like i better find more time, but there just isn't any. oh well :-)
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Old November 6th, 2006, 06:55 AM
Joe Russo Joe Russo is offline
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Michael,

Thanks for the great pep talk. Much like Daniel I find myself telling myself that I just don't have the time to go out and photograph. But I think your posting makes a good point and it's important to remember that we all have choices and with rare exceptions everything we do is a matter of our making the choice to do that thing.

So in my case I've got a choice to make - do I just want to continue along as an amature photographer or do I want to (to borrow a phrase) 'kick it up a notch' to the next level and get serious about my photography.

Thanks to your post the choice is clear - 'BAM!' ;-)
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Old November 6th, 2006, 07:43 AM
Marian Howell Marian Howell is offline
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thank you to Sven for bringing this thread up to the front again.
we in the northern latitudes approach the dark winter months. the time fell back an hour and suddenly sunset was before was at 5pm instead of 6pm. depression, discouragement, and gloom can come easily when it's 4:30pm and getting dark. since i shoot predominantly landscapes and nature, my photography is tied to light and the path of the sun. to catch "golden hour" and sunrise/sunset i now have to start out an hour earlier than i did the week before, throwing my work rhythms out of sync. the temptation of saying "i can't" is felt, as in, "i'm in the middle of something, i need to finish it before i go," or "i forgot i had to get going so early and now it's too late and i'll miss what i really wanted to get," or "this meeting better be over in 15 minutes," or my favorite, "it's too cold"! (fortunately i don't live in the *really* cold north...although their "golden hour" can be sooo much longer...hmmm...)
the irony is that many of these times when the excuses to not go are floating around me, i do good work! this comes in part from forcing myself to concentrate on the task to avoid hearing the bad voices, and this often leads to work a bit different from the usual as well. i follow the path (literally and figuratively) i a little further.
this seems to have happened to Michael too, in the sense that this is a great image he has taken.

and also i thank Michael for reminding us of the dangers of "i can't"
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Old November 27th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Mr.Lauren MacIntosh Mr.Lauren MacIntosh is offline
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I wasted most of my life with that I can't make it ,boy what a waste ,
It took a very rude awaking to serve as statement of I can do It:\

may people have gone thru this in one form or another

thanks for posting and writing this comment:
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Old December 11th, 2006, 01:28 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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I've copied the following, with Michael's agreement, this was in response to a similar thread at
http://www.openphotographyforums.com...ead.php?t=1706
Quote:
Yep, .... that "block" will sometimes jump right up and bite you in the butt huh?
We all get it at some point, and each has to find their own way of working out of it.
There are sometimes other things going on in one's life that could have some effect on their shooting/creativity.
Your bills, your significant other, kids, your job, things happening in the city or country that you live in, ... so many things can cause that "funk" to happen.
Sometimes, it can come from "doubt" about one's work.
(I viewed your work by the way. Nice!!)

One thing that I have discovered with myself personally is this:
If I have a long stretch of good work, some good creativity going within my images, ... and then I take a bit of time away from that creative shooting to work with clients and editing, etc., ... sometimes that will kill that "groove" that I was in and it is hard to pick up where I left off.
It is like the body and brain has built itself up to a point that nothing can stop the creativity, but of course, part of the business in fact, ....... "did"! "The Funk Has Landed"
If I learn to recognize that, most of the time and with a bit of effort, I can adjust and pick back up where I left off.
Sometimes though, ... I simply don't know what the hell hit me and really have to work myself back into that groove.

Now, think about what I mentioned before in regards to "significant other & kids".
With Christmas coming up and the wife and kids at full speed, I found myself the other day with a mental block. I just could not think about what I had to do or what I would like to do because I was following them around like a puppy on a leash and could not get anything going at all.
Well, the kids wanted to go and spend the weekend with their grandparents out in the country, ... so I ran them down there for that weekend visit.
While there, I grabbed the camera and headed outside for some goofing off.
I decided to photograph my dads old antique plow that he just put out in the field. (He put it there for looks)
I had never photographed it from a very low perspective and shooting it through existing grasses and shallow DOF.
The images were fairly decent, but I thought that they were not at their best because my mind really was not in it.
That same night, I had to send some images to the art buyer that I have been working with and thought I would send the shot of that old plow just for fun, and to get their thoughts on a subject such as this.
About 1 hour later the phone rang, and it was the art buyer.
Bingo!
A certain client had been looking for something like this, and wanted more.
Not only did my dad have 1 old antique plow, but a neighbor of theirs collected them, and had 14 of them scattered about their farm.

I am now busy again with some new work in addition to what I needed to finish up, and have some new found interests that I am sure will lead to something else and fresh images.
Once again, the "funk" effects everyone at some point, and there are different ways of getting out of it whether it is something that will come along and inspires you again, or you simply demanding your way out of it.

So anyway, ..... you got the whole world to create from. The world gives you something fresh every single day, ... non stop.
The rest is up to you!



See you gang! __________________
Michael Brown
South Carolina

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"Macro Art In Nature" - Blog
PixiPort Fine Art Photography - Feature

Last edited by Ray West; July 16th, 2007 at 03:12 PM. Reason: corrected quote
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Old January 25th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Harvey Moore Harvey Moore is offline
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I found the original post and image in this thread to be very inspiring

harvey
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Old May 17th, 2007, 09:05 AM
kombizz kashani kombizz kashani is offline
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Thank you for sharing.
I do believe by practising you are able to improve.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Christopher Racca Christopher Racca is offline
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Hey Michael,

I know this is an old post, but after reading it I felt the need to post. My Fiance and I are in similar situations at the moment. She with her drawing and myself with photography. I wake up everyday with the urge to grab my camera and go shoot something, but everyday I run into a problem (myself). I seem to always come up with something else that I need to do and then I loose the light and tell myself I'll shoot something tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, samething happens, etc. My Fiance on the other hand has the problem where she can't come up with any ideas. I tell here to look around, pick something and start drawing (Maybe I should take my own advice as well, but hey I'm a guy and we know that it never works like that).

So, here I am, preparing to move across country to attend Hallmark Institute of Photography. I have several friends that will be attending the school with me and we are all having the same problem. Our creative juices have just frozen in place and we don't want to get up and thaw them out. So I have been trying to come up with some projects for the four of us to do (all of us live in different areas of the U.S. I'm not doing so good with coming up with stuff to do. But I think that I will go home tonight and grab my camera and just find something around my apartment that I can shoot. I'll try to post one or two of them up soon.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Bonsoir Christopher
It is quite honest from your post to recognize your situation… as I'm a curious guy (I mean I do have curiosity;-) I went to your previous post and wanted to check some of your work, alas! I get the mesage "This album is private. Please login" but I can't as it is password protected…
It would have helped for a better understanding and to answer you more apropriatly…

We all have different reasons to be photographers, mine, beside of doing commercial photography is to show others how I see the world around me, my way of isolating a subject from the context or on the contrary how to show the subject AND it's context… a person, a house, a building a car, a bicycle, a dog or a beach. Whatever.

Do you want a challenge? show us what you see from your bedroom window… now you've got something to work on and achieve, a vision to express… c'mon, hurry-up! we're curious!
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Old July 16th, 2007, 01:22 PM
Christopher Racca Christopher Racca is offline
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If you go back to this page http://s138.photobucket.com/albums/q...ritbearshaman/ I made it Public now, so you should be able to access my photos. You can also see some of my work at www.modelmayhem.com MM# 72238.

I will see what I can come up with for your challenge. And post them as soon as I can.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 06:59 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Racca View Post
I will see what I can come up with for your challenge. And post them as soon as I can.
I agree with Nicolas (pick a subject and explore), and I also understand your predicament. For my free work, I occasionaly follow the path of selecting a single fixed focal length, and touring a site. Being restricted to a single focal length requires to "zoom with your feet" for perspective and composition. The focal length will dictate the type of image (e.g. wide angle --> foreground emphasis in a given context, or Tele --> feature isolation or apparent flattening of perspective). That will force a different look, and develop/strengthen your instinct for perspective choices.

Bart
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:11 PM
Michael Brown Michael Brown is offline
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Hi Christopher, ... and thanks!

I know how you feel and where you are coming from. It can be quite difficult to get out of that funk and to get those creative juices flowing, and regardless of what anyone may say or write to you, only you can get yourself to where you want to be. Patience plays a big part in it too!

Regardless of what subjects you choose, try to shoot something with a different perspective than what you normally would have.
(I'm just throwing out some thoughts here, ... and man, ... I need more coffee!!)
Tell yourself that "you will" find a subject and get a perspective and a composition that has plenty of impact.
For a simple project, maybe concentrate on "lines" that come together at a 90 degree angle, and maybe to have those 2 lines to sort of frame something else that could almost become a subject on its own. (Hope I said that right)

Anyway, ... something that I think that is important when you find yourself in that funk, is to eliminate any distractions. Shoot by yourself, ... leave your phone at home, ... leave your iPod at home, ... etc.
Here is something else that I will often do just to get myself in the right frame of mind.
Simple, easy to do, and you could easily apply this to something that you already enjoy shooting!
http://macroartinnature.wordpress.co...funky-crops-2/

I hope I made some kind of sense here Christopher, as I have been editing since 6am this morning and I have virtually no more braincells left!!

No matter what you do or however you go about it, ..... just have yourself some fun while doing it!

Take it easy buddy,
Mike
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  #23  
Old April 14th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Christopher Racca Christopher Racca is offline
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Alright, here it is Nicolas. This is the photo you asked me to take. This is what I see when I look out my window. Well at least it's close to what I see when I look out my window. If you would like to see more of my work check out my website www.raccaphotography.com. I hope you enjoy.



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  #24  
Old April 14th, 2008, 07:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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This is impressive! How about telling us what this is:film, processed how, lenses etc? Anyway, if you never leave your house, you have a universe to photograph all year round. I'd consider doing that and showing us the pcitures as the seasons change.

Asher
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  #25  
Old April 14th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Christopher Racca Christopher Racca is offline
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The camera was a digital Olympus camera I borrowed. I don't remember what lens was on it either. But the best part I remember. The photograph you are looking at is actually 22 different photographs blended and stitched together to make one large panoramic photo.
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  #26  
Old May 8th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Heather McCullah Heather McCullah is offline
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Michael-what an inspiring post! I just visited your web page for the first time and am in total awe over your work. I have not personally ventured into macro photography, but appreciate the amazing beauty you have produced through a lens. Thank you for sharing your work with the world!
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  #27  
Old August 21st, 2008, 07:41 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Your Camera Mojo, how strong is it today?

So, guys, how is your mojo flowing? Are you doing what you want to be doing in photography? Do you still have the verve and passion? How often are you able to get up enough motivation to do work that's not for a client?

IOW, do you need something to help your mojo? If so what do you use?

Asher
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  #28  
Old August 22nd, 2008, 01:59 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Unhappy Stormy Monday Blues here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
So, guys, how is your mojo flowing? Are you doing what you want to be doing in photography? Do you still have the verve and passion? How often are you able to get up enough motivation to do work that's not for a client?

IOW, do you need something to help your mojo? If so what do you use?

Asher
My "mojo" is not flowing right now, full stop. Even before I dropped my camera to its premature demise, I have been having motivational issues. As you know, I have been on a tour through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and the NYC. Although I took many pictures (and some of them are actually quite good) I have had this nagging feeling that I was just being a copycat and not a very good one at that either. After all, all the definitive pictures of those majestic spots such as the Half Dome or the Monument Valley have already been taken by various masters before me. Then I went to Paris last weekend. The whole time, I was reminded of the pictures by HCB, Atget and others who have covered pretty much everything which is there to be covered in Paris. As Ken told me in the other thread, dropping my camera was kind of “Nature's way of telling me that the world has reached its limit of Paris photos for this century”.

So I am deeply in a motivational crisis right now you could say. I didn’t even have the energy and the wish to process my tour and show some here yet :-(.
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  #29  
Old August 22nd, 2008, 02:33 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Well, Cem, my friend, welcome to the Mojo Clinic!

Let me give you my take on this. You take these pictures as you travel to gather intelligence on all that is beautiful and as an aide memoire. It's not necessarily "art". So there's no need to measure it against the work of dead people!

What's happening is that you are merely priming your brain and that's needed for your creativity. Instead of working on your pictures, hug your family and persuade them to join you on a visit to a gallery or to a theater. Discuss what you experience. The art will come from the openness to new ideas and joy in your life. Something will emerge and seem necessary.

So after a break, go through some of your pictures, and each several days, select just one or two a few that are different, and put them in a ? for OPF folder. If you send them to me I'd be delighted to give feedback. To prove I'm honest, I'll no doubt not like several! However, we may find your mojo was really there among a few of the shots you took that were not of some grand monument.

Kindest wishes,

Asher
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  #30  
Old August 22nd, 2008, 02:55 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
......You take these pictures as you travel to gather intelligence on all that is beautiful and as an aide memoire. It's not necessarily "art". So there's no need to measure it against the work of dead people!...
In my current state of mind, this sounds to me as if you are saying that the pictures I am supposed to have taken are merely snaps. "Gathering intelligence" and "memory aid" are pretty much the clues which give it away. I do not pretent that I strive towards art in all my pictures but in some, I actually do. I don't want to sound arrogant but some of my pictures are actually pretty good. OTOH, right now I dislike all of them equally and I just don't see the point in all this anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
...So after a break, go through some of your pictures, and each several days, select just one or two a few that are different, and put them in a ? for OPF folder. If you send them to me I'd be delighted to give feedback. To prove I'm honest, I'll no doubt not like several! However, we may find your mojo was really there among a few of the shots you took that were not of some grand monument....
Thanks for the kind offer, perhaps I'll accept it when I come off of this mood.
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