This week’s podcast takes a deeper dive into the question we discussed last week about facing difficult times in your creative process.
I think everyone gets stuck sometimes and ends up in a dark place when creating.
There are times when you have to take photographs because the bills depend on them being made, but even then, those photographs can be hard to make. You have a voice in your head telling you that things are hard, can’t be done, and you just aren’t feeling it. At times you feel like you are on the road to nowhere. When that happens, what is a photographer to do?
In this episode, I try to talk about some of my feelings when this happens and what I focus on to help with the process. I also talk about how focusing on the measure of photography, reasons for photographing and the power of feeling lost in the dark has as you turn the corner on your process — learning that being nowhere can help you find what is inside your own voice and show you that you are better today because of what you did yesterday.
As we kick off 2020, I thought I would make this week’s podcast all about the five most common questions I got asked in 2019 that weren’t related to camera gear or printing. I thought each question was exciting and provided an interesting insight into the creative process.
Here are the questions I talk about in the podcast this week. I hope that you find the questions as enjoyable as I did.
1. What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2019?
2. How long does it take to become a professional photographer?
3. Do you have any good books for me to read?
4. How do you know when to work in black and white?
5. Do you ever get stuck in your process and feel like you can’t create following your process?
As we close down the year and decade, many of us start to look back and reflect on the past year or ten. I am not a huge fan of looking back at what was cool in 2015 as a part of the decade. I would much rather think about the coming year. As photographers, we are always dealing with time and issues in time. It is part of the reading of photographs and the making of photographs.
As the new year dawns, I got to thinking about how much time there is. I hear from so many people how time is lost, and there isn’t time to make the photographs they want. So in this final podcast of 2019, I talk about how your approach to giving yourself time from making empty spaces can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself to start the new year.
I’m excited to be producing my 250th episode of the podcast for this week. It is a milestone that I never imagined when I started years ago, and it has been fun thinking about all the episodes I have had the honor to create thus far. As I began to reminiscing, I realized how much my podcast, while photography and creativity focused, isn’t really about being a better photographer by using a formula, but rather more about a wandering path.
That realization got me thinking about how much we can miss in our photography and learning when we try to focus our scope of work down so small that we miss the big picture. While it might be valuable at times to have a defined sequence of events, much of our creativity isn’t driven by that method. If we get closed-minded, we can miss the boat. Maybe we solve the wrong problem. Maybe we miss out on new information. Maybe we mark an accomplishment and yet feel as if nothing was done. No matter what you might be feeling, you can shift your approach to your photography in a meaningful way by embracing a more chaotic approach to your path and consistently remind yourself that it might not be as simple as A to B to C.
I was recently helping a friend who was insistent that his camera lens needed to be adjusted because it wasn’t able to properly autofocus. I tried to tell him that it was likely a technique issue, but he was insistent. So he and I got together to test the lens, and sure enough, it was him and not the lens.
As I reflected on the experience, I got to thinking bout how many of us have a manual focus autofocus issue in our photography. In the old days, most people who missed focus would assume it was them and not the camera, but as automation comes into play with “better” technology, we seem to blame the gear quickly. In this week’s podcast, we talk about how we approach the source of a problem that can have reaching implications into our shooting and editing of our photographs. No matter what issues you face as a photographer, you will need to sort out how you will approach things when it turns out that it isn’t your camera but you that has an issue.
Most photographers, when they are learning about camera gear, learn that the lens controls the perspective. This isn’t exactly accurate; the subject to lens distance determines perspective along with the point of view. However, from a podcast a few weeks ago about fear, I was asked about perspective and meaningful photography. This week’s podcast is about how our perspective and approach to the things we photograph will be a cornerstone for what defines important personal photography.