Need Advice - Just not shooting much anymore

sigamy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
176
I'm looking for some advice, someone to talk this over with...sorry if this is long.

I was always more of a video shooter than stills. I was a dad with a camcorder, getting school events, sports, family stuff. My wife would take stills with our old Nikon entry level DSLR. I even got into making no budget short films as a hobby.

I found the GH2 and it allowed me to consolidate down to one camera. I'd also get more of a "film look" with shallow DOF (compared to camcorder) for my short films.

So, I've been a big MFT fan since the GH2. I've had many bodies and lenses. I always wanted at least two bodies--one big "prosumer" body and one smaller travel camera.

As years went on, I wasn't making short films (none from 2015-2017, last one was 2017) and my shooting moved more to photography. I was still only shooting family stuff, my kids sports and music events or photo walks. Nothing professional and my equipment was never the limiting factor in my photos.

When G9 firmware was updated I felt it was a good move for me to move from the GH5 "down" to G9. I would be getting some better photo features and only losing the pro-level video features that I wasn't even using. I also picked up a refurb E-M10 II and that little camera seemed to have cure me of endless GAS looking for my idea second body. I need to have an EVF and it seems besides some of the 1" cameras, this is the smallest I can get with an EVF.

So, I have been happy with G9 and E-M10. I went to India in January and took the E-M10 and got some good shots. I did a lot of street photography there. I don't know why, but I haven't been excited to shoot since that trip. Now, the world has changed and there are in ways less opportunities to shoot, but there is also more free time. But, I haven't been inspired or even wanting to shoot.

My youngest will graduate in 2021. This spring, her sports season was cancelled. I would have used the G9 and I usually take 200+ shots at every game and make a year-end video.

With my kids moving on to college and being done with sports I honestly don't know what I will shoot. I don't need to get them running down the steps on Christmas morning, or opening every present. Birthdays are now typically low-key. I feel like I can easily get by with a modern phone. I try to do some photo walks and join Meetups, but again, I haven't had the motivation.

So...long story. I'm thinking of selling the G9 and maybe some lenses. I haven't used it probably since Christmas. I feel terrible having things sitting on a shelf unused. I feel this way with anything around the house--extra blankets to tools to electronics. I'd rather sell it and then have to re-buy something instead of having it sit unused for months.

I think the E-M10 is more than enough for me as I look at the next few years and what I'd possibility be shooting. The only wildcard is if I decide to make more short films.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have some good advice/opinions.
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,253
Location
Boston
Sigamy - I'm right there with you. Though they are back in the house at the moment, it's odd to be "the camera guy" with your kids at this age. It's also super weird, at least to me, to be at a social event with your camera. Everyone is using phones and sharing pics, and I'm using the camera with "I'll email these out to you." I feel like a Stegasaurus or something.

Of course, in general, there isn't much socializing going on anyway!

I have 1500 "keepers" in my Lightroom database from 2009. Halfway through 2020, I have 100.

But I don't want to give up photography (not that I'm very good at it, anyway). I am moving a bit more into longer lenses, and trying to do more wildlife, and I've always liked pictures of flowers and plants, so getting lenses that help me with that.

Sorry I don't have any answers. Just more of a reflection that you aren't alone in this.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
1,081
Location
Spitfire Bluff
Photographer's block? Just like above reply, I have many keepers from early 2010s till about 2016, all shot with good old DLSRs and after that I have only a handful. Recently though when I was stuck in lock down, I started shooting macros more and more and I like a lot of them. Nothing worth printing but I like them.

I didn't see you mention macros in your op, so may be that's something you can try? It requires a lot of patience and entirely different skill set. I think you will like the learning curve if you haven't already tried it. It's also something that can't be simply done with mobile phone camera. I mention mobile phones because there are times I just whip out my phone and click even when I have a camera with me. Playing with lights is a lot of fun too.
 

Stanga

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
1,420
because of the lock down I have been doing macro, stacking, and even hanging out in the garden doing Astro. There's more to photography than just the kids. Soon it will be the future inlaws, and then the grandkids. So don't get caught short without a camera.
 

doady

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
293
Location
Canada
Look at other people's work - in message boards, social media, magazines, books, art galleries - and don't be afraid to get inspiration from them. Photography is a medium of communication, so don't be afraid to let others share their ideas with you, then maybe you will have ideas to share with them.

My local bookstore recently severely cut back their magazine section, so my favourite magazine, Black & White, is no longer sold there, and perhaps that's the reason for my own lack of inspiration lately too (and of course the coronavirus doesn't exactly help provide more opportunities or drive either). So instead of magazines I've been looking at hardcover books (with stitched binding) that are on clearance, no more expensive than a magazine, and I've gotten a few good ones past few months.

I think it is important to be a true fan of photography. If you really enjoy looking at other people's work, it can only help spark enjoyment of creating your own work as well.

But beyond photography, it is also important to think about what you are truly passionate about. Like, the reason I bought my first camera and got into photography was because I obsessed with skyscrapers and I wanted to photograph them. To this day, most of my photography is related to urban planning issues, and I share my photos mostly on urban architecture/planning enthusiast forums rather than on a photography enthusiast forums. Photography is a passion of mine, but urban planning and geography maybe is an even bigger passion (Geography and GIS were my majors). So don't think about photography just for the sake of photography. Maybe there is something you want to say to people, and the camera can be the tool for that.
 

RichardC

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
4,381
Location
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Real Name
Richard
I'm looking for some advice, someone to talk this over with...sorry if this is long.

I was always more of a video shooter than stills. I was a dad with a camcorder, getting school events, sports, family stuff. My wife would take stills with our old Nikon entry level DSLR. I even got into making no budget short films as a hobby.

I found the GH2 and it allowed me to consolidate down to one camera. I'd also get more of a "film look" with shallow DOF (compared to camcorder) for my short films.

So, I've been a big MFT fan since the GH2. I've had many bodies and lenses. I always wanted at least two bodies--one big "prosumer" body and one smaller travel camera.

As years went on, I wasn't making short films (none from 2015-2017, last one was 2017) and my shooting moved more to photography. I was still only shooting family stuff, my kids sports and music events or photo walks. Nothing professional and my equipment was never the limiting factor in my photos.

When G9 firmware was updated I felt it was a good move for me to move from the GH5 "down" to G9. I would be getting some better photo features and only losing the pro-level video features that I wasn't even using. I also picked up a refurb E-M10 II and that little camera seemed to have cure me of endless GAS looking for my idea second body. I need to have an EVF and it seems besides some of the 1" cameras, this is the smallest I can get with an EVF.

So, I have been happy with G9 and E-M10. I went to India in January and took the E-M10 and got some good shots. I did a lot of street photography there. I don't know why, but I haven't been excited to shoot since that trip. Now, the world has changed and there are in ways less opportunities to shoot, but there is also more free time. But, I haven't been inspired or even wanting to shoot.

My youngest will graduate in 2021. This spring, her sports season was cancelled. I would have used the G9 and I usually take 200+ shots at every game and make a year-end video.

With my kids moving on to college and being done with sports I honestly don't know what I will shoot. I don't need to get them running down the steps on Christmas morning, or opening every present. Birthdays are now typically low-key. I feel like I can easily get by with a modern phone. I try to do some photo walks and join Meetups, but again, I haven't had the motivation.

So...long story. I'm thinking of selling the G9 and maybe some lenses. I haven't used it probably since Christmas. I feel terrible having things sitting on a shelf unused. I feel this way with anything around the house--extra blankets to tools to electronics. I'd rather sell it and then have to re-buy something instead of having it sit unused for months.

I think the E-M10 is more than enough for me as I look at the next few years and what I'd possibility be shooting. The only wildcard is if I decide to make more short films.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have some good advice/opinions.

Same problem here - nowhere new to go, and going out with a camera is a real chore. Trying more macro though - but my garden only seems to attract flies, wasps and bees.

Had a mild case of covid too, which whilst not bad enough to stop me working, has left me really fatigued, craving my bed at 8pm and not wanting to get up in the morning.

My saviour has been linkedin learning. All of lynda.com's content has been moved there. It's free for a month. Another poster said lynda.com was accessible free of charge in the US via the library - worth a look.

In the course of a few months I have discovered how little I knew about Photoshop, colour correction, composition etc. There are excellent courses by Deke McClelland, Taz Tally, Julieanne Kost and others. All structured rather than the random youtube content I've been watching.

By exposing some huge gaps in my knowledge (turn's out I don't know everything after all) , it's helped me to get my inspiration back. I'm even experimenting with monochrome (hell yuk!).
 

demiro

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
3,230
Location
northeast US
@sigamy I'm right with you as well, both in shooting less and not liking stuff sitting around. For a while I kind of fought it, but then accepted it. Sold most everything. Just kept a small kit for sports and a Panny super zoom. iPhone is my go to.

I consider "getting back in to photography" periodically, but if I have to force myself I know I don't really want to do it.

Your idea of keeping the E-M10 for now makes sense to me. If you have needs in the future you can certainly reload your gear. I find the potential financial hit that comes with rebuying is the lesser of two evils when compared to stuff just sitting around.
 

sigamy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
176
Sigamy - I'm right there with you. Though they are back in the house at the moment, it's odd to be "the camera guy" with your kids at this age. It's also super weird, at least to me, to be at a social event with your camera. Everyone is using phones and sharing pics, and I'm using the camera with "I'll email these out to you." I feel like a Stegasaurus or something.

Of course, in general, there isn't much socializing going on anyway!

I have 1500 "keepers" in my Lightroom database from 2009. Halfway through 2020, I have 100.

Yep. exactly.
 

sigamy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
176
Thanks for the ideas about new types of photography and courses.

Not sure what I’ll do but I’m still leaning towards reducing my gear.

RichardC—-get well soon, sorry to hear that news.
 

MPrince

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Messages
113
Location
West Virginia
Real Name
Matt Prince
I'm in my third year of retirement. Before I retired, I was sure I would be increasing my time spent on photography once I retired. I was wrong. I spend less time on photography now. Why? Because there are so many things to do now that I don't work. And that's ok.

There's nothing wrong about taking a break from photography, and there's nothing wrong with spending less time on photography than you may have thought you would.

The important thing is to enjoy life to the fullest.
 
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