One question that comes up a lot and I hate to answer it but I do anyway. How do I tackle complacency and the obvious overstated, overseen, overworked, over-walked? It’s a question I answer but it goes into my gut to get it. This is also something every shooter will experience. There are countless ways to get past it but we should each try to understand our own block. For me and I’m not sure it’s a block, it’s hitting the streets and being in the same general area for ummmm decades. I love walking and usually do about 5 or so miles an outing. Sometimes I change cameras or lenses or both. I find that just changing a camera or lens will make me see the obvious in a different manner. I respond different. Maybe the subject matter is very similar but seeing and thinking about it will create a new outlook or experience.
The Changing Here and now
So, if it’s true that we live in the here and now and we do. Photographers are blessed with the ability to appreciate the here and now and to make a photo in and of it. The problem is that the here and now seems to have a sense of humor sometimes. I mean we are in the here and now and there ain’t nothing happening. I mean sometimes I’m groovin and walking and hearing the horns honk and the dudes on the corner cursing, buses moving, homeless people begging for a bite to eat, (most know me and know I’ll give them something cause I want to)… all kinds of life going on and man, I mean to tellya, I’m in the here and now and it’s happening. We are all just living and doing what we do. I have my camera in my hand or on a strap. ( I can’t emphasize how much the ACAM 25 has changed my life. Ray Sachs showed me a few years ago and it’s the best thing going. I can wear my M on the strap cross shoulder and go all day, no aches.)
Then, all the sudden a cold shiver comes across me. I realize that I’m on the corner of 13th & Market and I know how much spit is on the street. I know about everything there is for a shooter to know at 13th & market. I been here making photos since 1971. Not like a few times a year either. I mean I been here a gazillion times. Then I pool around at all the familiar sites, all the people I see walking around.
Then a feeling of warmth overcomes me. I feel like I am where I know and where I belong. I don’t really fall prey to the “I need a new place to work syndrome”. Here I am and been here for decades and I feel stimulated. I mean I am looking for photos. Photos are looking for me that want to get borne. I gotta tellya…of course I get tired of seeing the same things and places day after day. Then what happens is, Mother light sends a photo fairy to me and says…”Look stupid, great shot”. Of course I make the photo because a photo fairy can help you find a photo but they aren’t allowed to make it. Maybe I am a romantic. Maybe I believe in magic and the love of life and photography. What does this have to do with a dry spell or creative block….?
It has to do with INTENT. If you focus on your intent then no matter how much stuff clutters it or how mush negative energy surrounds you, you maintain CLARITY of INTENT. We always have the issue of getting lost in the here and now. We get sidetracked and kinda feel alone and useless. We lose interest because we can’t find stimulation and energy to uplift our souls and feed our intent.
We all go through this. Everyone suffers the cloudy love of intent. The masters you see in books and museums went thru this. The bloggers on the net go thru this. All the shooters all over the world have or will have the struggle to continue. It is not a disease, not an affliction that can’t be over come.
c’mon, ya ain’t getting everything in one post. Ya know what Arnold said….”I’ll be back”…..