It is one of the dreaded parts of a creative endeavor, be it music, writing, photography, painting etc. That feeling of “what is the point really?” or “my stuff really sucks” or “I should just sell all my gear and withdraw into a cave!”. I’ve had it happen before, so it’s not exactly a new feeling, but it’s still uncomfortable and unnerving when it does arrive. I’ve felt it slowly creep up on me during the summer even though I’ve been quite happy with the stuff I’ve been shooting and posting. The change in weather and most important - light - might also have something to do with it.
So what to do about it?
I guess it’s fortunate that I’ve had this happen before…so I know what to do to “treat” it. To some people it’s a good idea to get new gear; seeing the world through a new focal length lens or camera body might do the trick, or shooting in a new location you’ve not been before (actually that one might work for me as well), but I’ve experienced that for me it’s a good idea to cut back on shooting and experiencing things live rather than from behind a lens. A person much wiser and nicer than me so rightly pointed that out during our shared travels a few years ago. I think some of us photographers can get so preoccupied with our gear that we lose track of things happening around us - not to the point of falling into the drink like several Fail videos I’ve seen on YouTube - but rather where we obsess ourselves with getting THE picture and miss the things happening around us.
Since I don’t shoot for a living I am privileged that I can cut back on my photography - I don’t have to shoot to earn my rent - so eventually that urge, that drive to shoot will come back. I think it’s accidentally fortuitous that the rut happens now…since this year’s edition of National Novel Writing Month is fast approaching (November 1 is the start day). I think I will dip into that process more seriously this year than previous years, to really do something different from my photography! It’ll be my 12th year (!) participating and I am looking forward to it in a way I’ve not done for some time.
Writing is such a different process from photography, at least the photography that I do, which tend to be very spontaneous, shoot what you see kind of stuff. Writing on the other hand is creativity for the long haul. It takes time to craft your stories, to hone them into something worth sharing with others. I’m still working on that latter part…I tend to keep my written stuff to myself to a much greater extent than my photographic endeavors. I am not there yet to share those things with the general public.
Do I have any clue what to write about for this year’s NaNo edition? Nope! Not a clue…yet. I usually come up with a premise or a starting point just before the start of the month and it’s served me well in the previous years. I’m definitely in the “pantser” rather than “plotter” camp, i.e. writing by the seat of my pants. You can always declutter and re-organize your novel and its parts later!
Since this is primarily a photo blog I have put a few shots in here from the photowalk I did with the IgersMalmoe group a few weekends ago (and which I planned to share last week before I got the devastating news about my friend). The theme was coordinated with the #iloveyoumalmö campaign on Instagram where we went through the PIldammsparken area to shoot some of the spots that often end up in photos, both by local photographers as well as out-of-town shooters. We also walked through the Malmö General Hospital area and finished at the Triangeln train station with its very recognizable geodesic dome entrance.
The photos in this blogpost were all taken with a Canon 650 SLR on Rollei Retro 400S film and are mostly straight-out-of-the-scanner shots.
As for the next few blog posts I think I will include some deep-dives into my archives so that I can share photos on a weekly basis, even if I might not shoot as much new stuff right now. And I will of course keep doing my daily 365 image on Instagram at @tomasnilssonfoto as well as on this site in the special The 365 Project 2019 section in the menu to the left.