Almost gave up on Photography

Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,856
Location
Adelaide South Australia
Hi Ovidiu, I don't think I need to add any more words of wisdom to what others above have already shared. I do have an opinion on gear. Better gear is of course helpful, but when one sees some marvelous old photos taken with equipment far less advanced than the entry level stuff available nowadays, it is without doubt in my mind that one can always get more from the gear that one already has.

Even on this forum, for example, there are superb bird-in-flight photos taken with old MF lenses. While the older four thirds lenses are probably more difficult to use than the current m43 lenses, they are less costly options.

I'm sure you will come through your current situation. Be patient and be gentle on yourself.
 

damianmkv

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Messages
756
Location
Surrey, England
I rarely take photos now, perhaps because I used to travel a lot for work which now isn’t possible.

However, my son is 17 and doing his a-level photography and this week we did something new to us using smoke grenades. I wasn’t taking the photos ( I was the fool gassing myself ) but it was the best shoot I’d done in years. Great fun, the photos are fantastic.

I find trying to “please others“ disheartening. We all love to be loved and appreciated but often our work isn’t seen by others in the same way - then we see someone else taking a photo of ( eg ) a wall and people rave. So we try again, then get annoyed and fed up.

Take the photos you want to take. Use social media positively ( eg on IG, post behind the scene video for reels as they get loads of views ). Most of all, enjoy your hobby.

Finally, hats off to you for your career. Money is nice but I’d rather be happy in my job and lower paid than hate my job and be well paid.

Take care
 

robcee

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Jan 10, 2016
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New Brunswick, Canada
Real Name
Rob Campbell
hi. First, thank you @L0n3Gr3yW0lf for writing this, and thanks for your work helping the elderly and mentally challenged. It's shameful how we treat social work and care work and I can't imagine how hard it's been during the pandemic. You shouldn't have to worry about income or your own health when doing such difficult work.

second, the pandemic has affected all of us in some way and your post resonated with me. Instead of making more pictures, like I had expected, the isolation and "sameness" of most days has really affected my motivation to go out and shoot. I realize that's a self-defeating spiral, and probably a sign of some lingering depression, but shooting around the house and environs isn't really appealing to me. Going out on daytrips is complicated by having to look after a dog, work, mundane errands, etc.

as a result, my cameras have felt like a nagging burden. They taunt me.

I'd love to have a "photo project" to work on. I used to love doing macro photography and making surreal abstracts with light and liquid. The motivation to set up a studio environment to do that is low, but I could be convinced to experiment.

And maybe that's what I (and maybe others?) need: Would people here be interested in forming a photo group? Once a week, we sign up and pick (or are assigned) a project to work on, then we get together on the forum and post our images for that project. If there's interest, we should get a few people to sign up to create a batch of assignments. I think, generally, something we can do without having to travel or maybe have a range of potential activity levels like, indoors, outdoors (but nearby), further afield, ... I think this deserves a separate post, but this is what I'm thinking.

so yeah, thanks for sharing!
 
Joined
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UK
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Ovidiu
hi. First, thank you @L0n3Gr3yW0lf for writing this, and thanks for your work helping the elderly and mentally challenged. It's shameful how we treat social work and care work and I can't imagine how hard it's been during the pandemic. You shouldn't have to worry about income or your own health when doing such difficult work.

second, the pandemic has affected all of us in some way and your post resonated with me. Instead of making more pictures, like I had expected, the isolation and "sameness" of most days has really affected my motivation to go out and shoot. I realize that's a self-defeating spiral, and probably a sign of some lingering depression, but shooting around the house and environs isn't really appealing to me. Going out on daytrips is complicated by having to look after a dog, work, mundane errands, etc.

as a result, my cameras have felt like a nagging burden. They taunt me.

I'd love to have a "photo project" to work on. I used to love doing macro photography and making surreal abstracts with light and liquid. The motivation to set up a studio environment to do that is low, but I could be convinced to experiment.

And maybe that's what I (and maybe others?) need: Would people here be interested in forming a photo group? Once a week, we sign up and pick (or are assigned) a project to work on, then we get together on the forum and post our images for that project. If there's interest, we should get a few people to sign up to create a batch of assignments. I think, generally, something we can do without having to travel or maybe have a range of potential activity levels like, indoors, outdoors (but nearby), further afield, ... I think this deserves a separate post, but this is what I'm thinking.

so yeah, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for your kind words, it sounds like a great idea worth exploring. One of the challenges of setting up a group and challenges to do is timing and subject. While some interests can overlap for peeps eventually you will end up with peeps not wanting or interested in a specific type of subject in a challenge (just throwing in an example here: I don't do peeps very well so if the challenge is portraits then I don't have much I can do, my girlfriend is about as willing to get a picture made of her as the dog's willing to have her nails clipped :p ). A solution might be to have per subject group but it will make the groups quite small (and dedicated to the subject) like macro, portrait, landscape, black and white, etc. It's always good to try and get out of your comfort zone to get into a subject new to try but it's rare that it will stick for most people to turn into an active interest/passion (AND THAT'S NORMAL and healthy, there's only so much diversity a person can develop in life).
The other issue is timing, some challenges are doable within a week while others are not, depending on the person's level of skill (if it's something so new to them it can be quite frustrating to get a/the result they might give up or feel discouraged or it may take them a lot longer if they have a less efficient tool/knowledge, ex: have you tried using a close focus (less the 1:2 ratio) lens to get a close enough for small subjects? It can be very frustrating and time-consuming to get the subject in focus, dealing with (possible) distortions and the very narrow DoF). But it can depend from subject to subject of the challenge (willing participant for a portrait (pets :p ), bad weather (to use the garden :p ), lack of pretty flowers (I don't even have flowers at home because of my GF's allergies), etc). And it can be as simple as some peeps get very little free time and it can limit how much time they can put in a challenge. A possible solution would be to have multiple active challenges that people can get to choose from and actively participate in (2 of the long week one and 1 for month-long maybe?). Maybe have WIP (Work In Progress) where people can share their ideas before submitting it to help them through the process, especially when tackling something new of them?

I am all up for some flexing of the brain muscle and creative process :friends:
 

robcee

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
719
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New Brunswick, Canada
Real Name
Rob Campbell
I get your points, totally. I certainly don't want to be in the business of herding cats, just figured some very loose rules and a couple of vague "assignments" to whet people's whistles and get their cameras out.

I proposed something over here in this adjacent thread: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/virtual-photography-group.110696/

If there are a few interested people, we can put up a few assignments for next week.

I was going to explicitly exclude portraiture at least for now and stick to more abstract concepts and technical specifics like, "use a lens you never use" or "put it on a tripod and stay in one place until you have 30 pictures" kinds of exercises.

Anyway, not much action on that thread yet so if anybody's interested, plop a vote on there. Or tell me why it's a terrible idea! :)
 
Joined
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UK
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Ovidiu

Just found this as it was uploaded 4 hours ago. Everything within and about reflects on me, as I will try to stay true for as long as I live (I immediately put it as my signature as well).
 

agentlossing

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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Jun 26, 2013
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Oregon USA
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Andrew Lossing
Sister site Cameraderie does some good monthly challenges, it's worth a browse to see what they've done and get some ideas. I last participated in a February lo-fi challenge, and a Single In January the month before.
 

doady

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
272
Location
Canada
I stopped trying to connect with people long time ago, maybe that's what's holding me back as a photographer. Not necessarily that I need to try harder to appeal to other people, but just being less anti-social.

Like, I have three Instagram accounts, one for cityscape/street, one for nature/landscape, and one for abstract/macro. One has 73 followers, one has 10 followers, and one has 54 followers. Why does the second one have so few followers compared to the others? Because the second account doesn't have a self-portrait as a profile picture. That's it. Just my unwillingness to reach out to people and connect with people and let people get to know me better. Basically, just bad marketing. Even extremely vague self-portraits like in my first and third Instagram accounts made a big difference in people paying attention to me and my work. Even months after joining mu-43.com, I still haven't come up with a profile picture for my account here either.

I take photos just for myself only and I will continue to do that. But maybe I also need start connecting with people in others ways, and maybe that will help them to connect with my photos as well.
 

Bidkev

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Joined
Feb 5, 2018
Messages
4,963
Location
Brisbane Australia from Blackpool UK 25yrs ago
I can't add much to the many wise words previously replied other than to wish you good luck and some "peace". I've been out of the loop for a fair while now as like you, I was getting depressed with regards to constantly trying to justify to self why I had such expensive gear when I am only the recipient a a basic flat rate pension with little savings. Those who know me will see just how much gear I've offloaded by what is left in my signature and I only keep the E-M5 because I'd get nothing for it. I bought a small boat with electric motor with the proceeds and am now much happier fishing for bass on my local lake instead of constantly challenging myself to produce the images that my gear deserves.

The GF7 with 12-32 goes with me for photographing the fish and landscape and as the combo only cost me $A180 I haven't a care in the world that it is not waterproof or if it gets fish slime on it. I also take the e-m10 and 75-300 for any bird of prey image that may present itself and it stays in it's bag most of the time as I don't bother shooting other birds as I have plenty of images of them. I cannot express enough how much relief I felt when I offloaded the panny 100-400, and TBH, I get more satisfaction producing images with the self imposed limitations placed on me by the 75-300

I too suffer form anxiety (PTSD induced) and am medicated with mirtazapine/avanza for life so I feel for you. To my understanding, you have written with the same "tone" that I would have written many times but deleted and I think that you are very brave to have done so. Indeed, the factor that you work in the care providing field, affirms this. As an ex foster carer of many years, I know full well the stressors that your job places on you, and the standards that you impose on yourself. To my way of thinking you have a double whammy with the standards that you are setting yourself in photography.

Again, from the tone of your OP, I am prepared to bet that much of the time you will have "thought loops" where you are constantly questioning yourself and your life and that becomes exhausting, and if not the result of depression, it can in many cases lead to it. If you are not averse to meds I would ask your GP about my meds as they have been a life saver for me. You are in a very stressful occupation on a low salary with higher expectations of yourself which seems to be a major problem. If you cannot alter that, it may serve you well if good meds can help alleviate it.

I wish you the best of luck and will add that the most satisfaction that I get from photography is when I shoot not for others, but for myself but of course, if you want to become a pro it may well be that you will have to shoot for others. If that places too much stress on yourself, you must ask if it's worth it?
 
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