Photography….ain’t it a bitch?

Funny…my last post said something about normal service being resumed in a week. That was well over a month ago. Believe me…I’ve thought almost every day about getting on the iMac and processing pictures for posting. I’ve frequently thought about going out and taking pictures even though we have moved into summer and I am not fond of being outside when it’s hot. Alas, nothing has motivated me enough to do anything photography-oriented.

The problems have been numerous and diverse. First, I left for Wisconsin for my grandmother’s funeral and cousin’s wedding (the former unexpected, while the latter was planned) and spent what seemed like 24/7 with my camera in hand. I took a bit over 1,200 photographs over the 10-days I was in Wisconsin. I still haven’t gone through them though. I think part of it is the emotional attachment to the moment: my grandmother’s funeral. I was happy for my grandmother in her passing. She was 94 and had become quite tired of being in constant pain. Passing was precisely what she wanted and I was happy for her that her wish finally came true. However, that doesn’t solve my problem: I want my grandmother back. Since I know that isn’t possible I’m having something akin to separation anxiety and I don’t yet feel comfortable going through the pictures. This is weird. Or so I think. I wasn’t prepared to feel this way about the photographs. But there you are.

I also confess to feeling incredibly uncreative of late. Granted, I’m not normally creative in the first place. And certainly not creative on-demand. I usually become inspired out of the blue and only a few times a year. Creativity, as I often state, is not one of my strengths. Oddly enough I wouldn’t normally consider creativity to be a component of my process of handling pictures. Shoot. Review on the computer. Delete the trash. Process (“tweak” as someone might say) and upload to Flickr. Hardly the stuff of Art, eh?

Yet, I might argue (not very well, mind you) that the process described above is, in a manner, creative. Maybe it would be better to say it’s destructive considering the number of image files that find their way into the round file cabinet (“trash”). Regardless, the process serves to create a final product: a JPEG. But I’d hesitate to call it creative when I think the term “process” sounds and feels more correct.

There is also the issue of weather. As folks who follow my Flickr site are aware, I love the winter and I very much enjoy being outside during such. I am little bothered by the cold and look forward to almost any opportunity to head out of doors with my camera. The same cannot be said of summer. Of course, summer just started, but the weather has been unseasonably warm for the most part during the months of May and June. As such I have felt little compunction to take my dog and pony show outdoors, especially when combined with the other reasons I have outlined above.

Finally, and perhaps oddest of all, there is the issue of burn out. I didn’t realize it until I was back from Wisconsin and looking at two memory cards filled with RAW image files. I suddenly realized how much time I have been spending in front of a computer and behind a camera for the past year. WordPress blogging about photography. Flickr uploads of the fruits of my labour. Reading other folks blogs. Viewing their Flickr wares and leaving behind comments. It doesn’t really sound like much when I read the lines I just typed, but I was easily spending two to four hours of each and every day doing something related to photography.

Now I imagine some folks might be incredibly jealous of my free time and wonder how it is I’m complaining about such. But if you look carefully you’ll find I’m not complaining, but simply stating I’m tired. Burned out. In need of a diversion, a vacation if you will. So instead of a vacation (which we cannot afford to take) or a diversion I instead elected to simply refrain from doing what I had been doing for the past year. I took a break.

But now it feels like it’s time to get back onto the horse and ride again. And in honour of such feelings I’m posting here, on WordPress, and heading out to take some pics later this afternoon. Now if only I can remain motivated enough to process and upload them within a reasonable time frame!

5 thoughts on “Photography….ain’t it a bitch?

  1. All my thoughts are with you. Loosing someone you love is hard and difficult to overcome. I hope someday you will cherish the wonderful thoughts as precious and everlasting memories.

    With regard to your tireness your words echoed within me. I am dealing with the same process as a result of my family life (son with autism and adhd). I realized I photograph less this year than the years before. I still feel creative, but don’t want to do the usual stuff. Want to try different things, but I do want to have quality time with my family (and most importantly my wife) to, want to sport, and want to sleep.

    Don’t push yourself. Make sure you go to bed at time, and sleep well. Take time for yourself and make sure you enjoy the things you do. Scrap the words ‘must do’ and ‘need to do’ out of your personal life (or at least for a while). And yes, I do believe you are right. The diversion won’t be found in the things you usualy don’t do. You will find in the things you used to do.


  2. I’m sorry you had to go through all this mess. Things will get better.

    These diversions and distractions will make you better as you take the time to think them out and deal with it.

    Don’t give up.


  3. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. It must be hard and emotionally exhausting to have feelings of happiness yet feelings of pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Whenever you need time off, take it. It’s not worth having the burned out feeling, but it is good to see you back again.

  4. Hmm… pleased (I think… maybe) to see you’re slowly getting back with us. Best advice I could give (not that such has been asked for, and prob’ly not even required or wanted) is forget all you’ve missed Flickr-wise blog-wise photo-wise etc in the interim and start over as it were. Otherwise you’ll just spend the next twelve months or so catching up!

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