Need Advice - Just not shooting much anymore

sigamy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
178
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

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Messages
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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
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1,100
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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

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Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
1,514
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

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Joined
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Messages
634
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

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Mar 25, 2018
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The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
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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

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Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
3,376
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
178
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
178
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
114
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.
 

StirlingBartholomew

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
34
I have experience photography burn out several times in my life. I was very active in film from '70 to '75 but then went graduate school and my priorities shifted. Gave away and sold all of my gear. From 1980 to 2005 didn't own a camera. Started digital after purchasing an Olympus superzoom for someone else. Did a lot of DSLR shooting from 2005 - 2010. Got into MU43 in 2011. Ran out of subjects to shoot. I don't travel. Seattle is a war zone for photographers and street photography will earn you death threats. I shoot long lens on the street. Been doing that since the '70s. But now even a long lens doesn't work unless you are hidden from view. i just got a an EM-1 MKii and I am going to use auto focus with my 4/3 glass and see if I can work do some street photography again. Requires a change in strategy. I do landscape work but the sites are all overworked. I have been everywhere between on the west coast north of from Carmel by the Sea to the San Juan Islands. All that material has been kind of exhausted. Recently been doing macro work in the woods. Have a micro rain forest locally with lots of material. Thought about doing portraits non-commercial but the interpersonal logistics of that are somewhat difficult to manage in our current culture.
 

Will Focus

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Traverse City, Michigan USA
Just about the time you decide to sell all your camera gear, aliens will drop their cloaking technology and begin landing en masse. I can remember when I was a kid gazing at the star (we only had one you could see in Brooklyn, I think they called it the Moon) through a Tasco telescope dreaming about seeing Haley's Comet. They said it would only come around once in my lifetime. Well, it turns out we've had probably a dozen comets that were camera worthy, not the least of which was Neowise just last year. Nobody had even heard of Neowise.

My abstract point is this. There may be things just over the horizon that you will be excited to photograph again. That horizon could be tomorrow. I've put down my gear for weeks and months at a time. Heck, I walked away from my steamer trunks of film equipment for years, until digital relit the fire for me, and I was a (really) late arriver at that!.

Everybody is different. Personally I hit cold and hot spells in everything I do. The thing for me has been to be prepared for when I get the bug for whatever it is I want to do, that I have the tools to do it. Or, if I were to turn on the news tonight and see video of saucers landing in Detroit, I want to be able to reach for the telephoto. (I'm not sure how close you can get to aliens...safely)
 

ac12

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Apr 24, 2018
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I go through my various hobbies in shifts.
I was hot into photography, before work took all my spare time.
When I retired, I volunteered at the local high school, to help their yearbook. And I went whole hog into photography again.​
I used to shoot 10 meter air pistol and rifle.
My model trains have not had attention in years, and are screaming for me to pay attention to them.
My copters have not been flown in a few years.
My fish tank is empty and looking sad.
I used to breed finches. Now I only have 6.
I have not used my ham radio in YEARS.

I simply do not have time or energy to do ALL my hobbies. Hence I move through them.
So I would not worry too much about it.
 

Thai-Mike

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Aug 2, 2016
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I experienced this many time as well. Changed gear which gave me a boost. Than when Covid-19 started I realized that I did the past two years ago (Before Covid) to get a pat on ny shoulder in Forums. So Now I just take photos of everything I like and how I see to show people around me how everything has a beauty in it. Thi sI share on FB. without any expectation of any likes. Now two years and I am in a state of peace of mind. I am a happy Hobby Photographer agian.

BTW, one short story. A family who a friends on FB saw in the beginning this year my little spider crawling on my wallpaper photo on FB, similar to this one.

spider-little-1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



The wrote to me and said that they stopped to kill spiders cos they aren't looking dangerous.

I do photography now to keep my brain young and creative-full. No begging for good comments but honesty feedback. I know that criticism doesn't go towards me but to improve my style of photography. BTW, I don't care of Photography rules anymore. Sometimes I don't have the time to think about it, sometimes it doesn't fit in my style. Sure many things are muscle memories, such as A-S-ISO.

Now two years almost in Lock-down I found my patient in photography.
 
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Walter
For a long time, I was heavily into SLR film photography, in the early 1970's up through the early 1990's. Then I went through a bit of a drought and lost interest in photography. I hardly took my cameras out of my bag. After I got married in the late 1990's, I bought a P&S Canon waterproof film camera, but my passion did not really return until I got my first digital, an Olympus P&S, in the early 2000's. Digital made photography fun again. Then I started to pick it up because we had a son and family photos, kids sports and school events, fulfilled the need to shoot. Then about five years ago, I got together with some old friends who were still doing photography and started to do photowalks and other things with them and that prompted me to get back seriously into photography. Went from Canon DSLRs to Olympus M43. Different phases, ages, and situations. The ebb and flow of life. The passion may come and go, and I don't think the OP should fret over it. However, if you keep your gear, take care of it. I let my 35mm stuff get all moldy and ended up being unusable.
 

John King

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Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
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John ...
I feel for you, @sigamy .

I'm also depressed - not about photography, but about a nearly 10 year fight with the Commonwealth government here. We won, 100%, across the board, on all points.

It appears that one of the main arguments I ran is now a precedent. I ran my own case, as it would have been cheaper to just pay the bastards than to employ a competent barrister (lawyer). One needs very deep pockets and nerves of steel to fight the federal government!

You may well ask, why depressed after winning?
Well, no acknowledgment from the department of Social Security that the case was even heard, let alone decided unequivocally in our favour. This case ruined five years of our lives. It haunts me still. Two lots of heart surgery in the middle of it didn't help.

Back to photography.

Freeman Patterson's book "Photography and the Art of Seeing" deals specifically and extensively with photographer's block. I have both 3rd and 4th editions, but prefer the 3rd (better photos, IMHO).

Oh, and talk to your doctor about your depression.
 

D7k1

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Joined
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Messages
2,927
I have four primary hobbies: photography/video, Astronomy (visual and imaging). Paleontology, and music composition. I mix and max but some are more seasonal than others. But I don't feel compelled to do any of them (quit astronomy for a full two years, kept my equipment) because they are hobbies, things I love to do but I know life gets in the way. I enjoy every day I do them but I don't feel compelled to do any of them. Go see a friend, take a walk, adopt an animal, take a drive - but don't feel that you must enjoy your key hobbies.

I am a member of a meetup group, once a month I prepare a meetup for photographers (mine have a specific theme), once a week I go shooting with my "photography friend" - sometimes local - sometime farther away, I have three online forums I follow for my specific hobbies, and I am lucky enough to have an acre with a stream which sometimes I just go out and look around.

A hobby is not like work, you don't have to do it everyday and you don't have to drive yourself to be the best. Just enjoy when and what you can, as they "don't worry be happy":)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
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Mars
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.
Buy an EM1x, that will get you shooting again since it’s such a great camera and so fun to use.
 

JensM

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As screename
Since the tread was revived, how does it fare, a year on, @sigamy?

Personally, I tend to be a period photographer, lots of shooting here and there. No particular reason to, I just end up doing it. Then the hobby hibernates somewhat, before BANG, new round, and so the years passes. :drinks:
 

sigamy

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
178
Since the tread was revived, how does it fare, a year on, @sigamy?

Personally, I tend to be a period photographer, lots of shooting here and there. No particular reason to, I just end up doing it. Then the hobby hibernates somewhat, before BANG, new round, and so the years passes. :drinks:

Yeah, hard to believe it's been a year since I posted this. Thank you to everyone who posted their experiences and thoughts.

So when the S5 was announced, with the free Sigma 45mm, I got some GAS and general excitement back.

Around the same time I was talking with a friend and he made me realize that I have plenty of more family events to photograph over the years. I will want good gear to capture those memories.

So I sold my G9 and PL 25mm and used that to fund the Lumix S5 kit with the free Sigma 45mm.

Again...my gear has never been what is limiting me and I know FF won't solve my problems. But with the nice size of S5 body and upcoming Lumix f1.8 primes, I decided to jump over.

I'm happy with the decision, and I have been shooting more.

I also kept my E-M10 II and a few M43 lenses. I will use this when I want a smaller kit.
 

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